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How to submit photos that the news media will use

By Marjorie Comer

Be a better resource for the media


A photographer with a camera.As newsrooms continue to shrink, they rely more and more on their reporters to write for print and online as well as take their own photos and videos. With reporters doing more, newspapers also rely on PR professionals and a company’s PR and marketing department to submit stories – in an inverted pyramid style – and images for publication. 


Story ideas and submissions are relatively easy to provide to a media outlet. Many companies struggle with submitting photos that newspapers and magazines will and can use. Here are some tips that will help you and your team submit quality photos the media will use. 



  • Size: Submitting a small photo can sometimes mean the outlet won’t publish your images and even worse, it can reflect poorly on your company. For print newspapers, photos need to be at least 150-300 dots per inch and 88-100 dpi for web use. Magazines need at least 300 dpi for publication. You can check the dpi by right clicking on the image before opening it and going to properties. 

  • Camera: Many cell phones can take a quality photo with a high enough resolution to submit for publication. Some phone cameras though still take lower quality photos. Be sure you know how large your image is before submitting. When possible, use an actual point and click camera instead of your phone. 

  • Style: Photos should be candid. Action photos look more realistic and look better in print than posed images. The only time that a posed image works well is when an award is given and it is the staged image at the ceremony. 

  • Cutline: When submitting photos, be sure to include a cutline with the photo. A cutline is the description of what is happening in the photo and includes the names of those in the photo. This is sometimes called the caption.

  • Submission: If you are sending multiple photos, you may need to send them via Dropbox or a Google Drive shared folder. Be sure your images are labeled, so the media can easily distinguish which photo is which. 

  • Headshot: For some articles, a headshot is needed. If your executive team doesn’t have a professional headshot, then you need to recommend it to them. 


A picture can make a story more interesting and helps consumers know who you and your company are. They can even help connect a prospective customer to your company. By submitting your own quality images to a news outlet, you become a resource to them. You make a news outlet and the reporter’s job easier, and they may seek you out for future story opportunities. 


Be better prepared by reading our e-book “Learn Media Relations from the Media” and help your company secure earned media coverage by knowing what the news media is looking for and needs.


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marjorie-newClients love Marjorie’s work ethic, speed and diligence. She has worked with Axia Public Relations since October 2011. Marjorie graduated from Rockhurst University with a Bachelor of Arts in communication and loves to cheer for her hometown Kansas City Royals. Learn more about Marjorie.


Photo by Matt Hardy from Pexels

Topics: media relations, earned media, news media

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