Most local newspapers are keen to print pictures with education stories, but do not think their readers have an overwhelming desire to see the principal, chair of governors and assorted VIPs grinning cheesily at the camera lens. They don't.
Colleges should see photographs as an opportunity to demonstrate learning as it takes place in classrooms and workshops, says Chris Avis, director of development at Southwark College, London, and co-ordinator of a national photography project on the "Kennedy students", those who entered FE as part of the widening participation agenda.
"No one wants to see a line of people," she says. "You needphotos that really get into the people. They should be close impressions that really tell a story and bring the reader into the picture."
According to Chris Avis, too many colleges do not give enough thought to the type of pictures they submit to papers. "Very often a principal tells the marketing department to get something in the papers, but they don't really know what they are talking about."
National newspapers may require pictures to be sent in electronically, which is a problem for colleges without the necessary technology. The TES, on the other hand, prefers to send its own photographers along to take pictures.