If a picture’s worth a thousand words, then a good story’s worth a million pictures.
Those of us who know Summerland know that we have a great story and it’s one that we want to share with visitors and locals alike.
The best way to do that is through great pictures.
Beautiful images do more than just inspire readers – they actually motivate them to action. So it stands to reason that strong imagery and good design are crucial components for our tourism content strategy.
Over the past three years Tourism Summerland, managed by the Summerland Chamber, has invested substantially in high quality, experience oriented images taken by exceptional local and regional photographers.
These photos are co-owned with the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) and are used locally in the Visitor Guide, on three Facebook pages, Pinterest and Instagram and for regional marketing purposes.
Through the year we develop a shot list of images that we need or wish we had.
That may be a family around a campfire or people boating, horseback riding, enjoying a game of golf or baseball, or friends touring a winery.
Then, come summer, we have a brief window of opportunity, sometimes only a day depending on models and photographers, when those images can be captured.
In one 12-hour span, hundreds of photos are taken and with model coordination, photo releases and determining all the best angles, etc., it can be a very busy day.
More work comes when the pictures are ready as each one has to be tagged with keywords.
That way, when we quickly need a photo of say, a family on a beach, the storage system will sort through thousands of pictures and display all that we have in the image bank that meet that criteria.
One of our challenges is finding models. Sometimes the photographers know people; other times we just get lucky in that there are people at the attraction who make a great photo.
That was the case with the cover of the 2015 Visitor Guide.
The young couple taking a selfie in front of the KVSR just happened to be riding the train that morning. The guide also included district staff and business members this year. Even some of our own children stepped in to model.
Would you like to be a model for our image bank? It’s important to us that our products reflect the demographic and cultural diversity that is found in our community so please don’t be shy. It’s a fun way to spend an hour or two. In addition to photos of local attractions, etc, we will also be taking shots of multi-generational families this year as that is a growing trend in tourism. Please give us a call if you have a whole family who wants to volunteer or a family reunion planned. We’d love to hear from you.
We always appreciate your feedback. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or our chamber president, Kelly Marshall, at email@example.com .
Christine Petkau is the executive director of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce.