Political Campaign Photography Matters
Dont Skimp on Political Campaign Photography
Political campaign photography matters. The quality of the photos provided for mail, walk cards, etc., are crucially important. Nowadays, everyone is used to seeing glossy, vibrant photos on screen, and assume they can grab a digital photo off the Internet and include it on their campaign lit. They are often surprised that the photo is not as clear, crisp or vibrant as the on-screen versions.
What is more confusing is the language used for image quality. You may have heard that your photo should be 300 DPI (dots per inch), this is commonly said and true for printing. The challenge is how do you know the photo you have is 300 DPI?
Most digital photos translate into 72 DPI, a digital camera default. But really digital images do not have DPI, they have PPI (pixels per inch), as computers display photos in pixels of color and paper displays pictures as dots of ink.
So, the standard of 300 DPI is akin to 200 PPI. These both should achieve photographic print quality, but higher is always better. If you know the desired printed dimension of the photo you can calculate: 5 inch printed photo = 5 x 200 PPI = 1,000 pixels.
Because images are everything and everywhere these days, photo shoots for campaigns are highly recommended. Please see our previous blog posts on candidate photo shoots.
To produce high quality political campaign photography:
- Use a good camera
- Do not use digital zoom
- Shoot the photo in good light and use a steady hand (with the subject still)
- Do not resize the original photo
- Store as TIF, JPEG
Many times, digital cameras are defaulted to 72 DPI which will not work for political campaign photography. It is always a good idea to look at the properties. The properties should reveal the pixel dimensions, I had one that read 3,200 pixels x 2,000 pixels and said it was 72 PPI. Really this was 200 PPI at 16” x 10”. Consider this an opportunity to use your third grade math skills and a little arts & crafts in political direct mail.
Have other questions about political campaign photography? drop us a line...