How to get photos of local celebrities for your website

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The best place to get to know local celebrities like the Chief of Police, Superintendent of Schools, city council members, the Head of the local Chamber of Commerce or Board of Trade, is one of the Rotary Clubs in town. Out of all the different service clubs, Rotary is usually the one they join.

In my experience people like that are happy to have their picture taken. They’ve worked hard to get where they are, and are happy to receive a little recognition.

When you’re talking casually with one of them sometime, look at what they’re wearing to make sure they’ll look good in your photo. You want it to be a photo they’ll be happy to see on your website.

If they look OK, just as a part of the conversation mention you’re building a new website, and you want to acknowledge local celebrities, and you’d take it as a personal favor (or you’d appreciate it) if they let you put their picture on it with a few words about them. No matter what their reaction is, pretend you didn’t hear them, get out your pen and paper, even if it’s a napkin, and ask what they think are the best points about them to mention. Let them see you making notes as they talk. As soon as they say two words, you’ve got them.

That is the best time to interrupt and say “Can we get a shot right now?” They will agree. Then look for a spot where your faces will be well lit. If there is a bright light in the room such as a window or a chandelier, make sure you are facing the light. Find the camera on your smart phone, give it to someone nearby, and ask them if they’d shoot a couple shots of you and (whoever). You might want to be shaking hands with the celebrity, but that’s up to you. It’s important that you both be smiling, like you’re happy to have this photo taken. Be sure your volunteer photographer takes TWO SHOTS, in case someone has their eyes closed.

Then after you’ve got the shots you can continue taking notes of what they think are the best things for you to say. No matter what they say, whether it’s ten words or two pages, it’s better not to interrupt them or they’ll be insulted. Take it all down. Later you can pick two or three sentences for your website.

When their photo is up on your website with a few words they’ll be happy to see it, even if you only have two sentences. They won’t complain about you not including the two pages of notes they gave you. If they ever mention it to you later, just apologize and say your website designer said we didn’t have room.