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Eye-Catching: Making Pictures Stand Out in Print

Image: dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How do you choose the right photo for a newspaper story, magazine article, or advertisement? It can be difficult to balance headlines, photos, and texts, so today we’re focusing on selecting the right images for storytelling. How do you make a photo really stand out on a page? Here are some tips to help you.

  • Know the story. The photo should complement the story, adding to it and not just repeating what the text already says. Yet it also shouldn’t distract from the story.
  • Follow visual-interest rules. While the photo must complement the story, it should also be interesting on its own, so choose photos with interesting angles, intimate close-ups, shots from far away that offer surprising perspectives on a situation. For more tips, check out this post on camera tricks that create an interesting photo.
  • Choose a photo with emotion. Capturing a heated moment, a spontaneous outburst of laughter, or a couple weeping makes the photo eye-catching, and most readers will want to go on to the story. Just make sure the emotion really captures the focal point of the story; don’t use it merely for surprise or shock value.
  • Don’t crowd the photo. A Society for News Design article discusses the importance of letting a photo speak for itself. When you want a photo to stand out, give it a little white space so it stands on its own. Make sure that any text or headlines are complementary and not competing. While you don’t want the photo to distract from the story, you also don’t want surrounding text to distract from the photo.

If you’re interested in using eye-catching photos for advertisements, check out this post about creative print advertisements.

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3 Comments

  1. Posted February 8, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    Good article that could be applied to website design also.

    Thank you for sharing.

  2. Posted February 16, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Thank You. I really enjoyed this post. I would like to share this with my graphic design community. and I’ll be sure to refer them to your website.
    :)

  3. Posted February 27, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Really good article. I enjoyed reading it, a lot to learn from it

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