How to Choose Photos for an Annual Report

December 3rd, 2015

TRWG is pleased to share with you some tips on one of the most important parts of the annual report project: photo selection. This is a bit of advice that I first published on Linkedin. 

I have been blessed. The first time that I had a significant role in an annual report, I didn’t freak. Indeed, I enjoyed the project. These days, I can’t get enough of doing these important publications, as well as working with the clients and professionals who are my business partners.

Here are some tips about selecting photos for an annual report.

1. Review your photo library. Put aside any photo that is of poor quality or low resolution, or if someone doesn’t look good. If I have a top rule about photos, it is never use an unflattering photo. That’s not fair, and talk about bad karma. Also, there are always people who should not appear in the report. As its publisher, you need to make that determination.

2. Make a list of the people who MUST be in your publication. And, I mean MUST. You will need to share that information with your creative director, writer and designer.

3. Allow your designer to evaluate the photos you have chosen and be willing to take no for an answer. The flip side of this is that a designer can sometimes use a photo that seems mediocre to you in surprising ways.

4. Now you know your real choices. The team can set about to plan and schedule any professional photo shoot or shoots. Nota bene: photos taken on location are usually the most time-consuming and expensive.

5. Take your organization’s permissions policy seriously. Don’t include images for which you do not have proper consents on file.

6. When all this is said and done, give your designer a wide berth when it comes to photo selection. It is quite unlikely that you can do as good a job.

7. Pressed for time? Build the cost of an experienced project manager into your budget. Your creative director or writer, who might be the same person, could have the skills needed to organize the talent and countless tasks required to get the job done. You have plenty of other things to do!