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GM Diaries #2: The "Dynamic" Photo

Article by Bill Parslow

While obsessionally looking at other Escape Room feedback and pictures I did find some real beauts. I particularly laughed in a knowingly, unkindly way, at the bearded winners of one Escape Room as they stared glumly out from their winner’s sofa, their mouths set firm against the ordeal they had surely just been through. In their hands, held limply, some kind of symbol that they had won - not enough to be sure by any means , so there is a white text in CAPS saying “WINNERS” which white text links up nicely with the white extension lead and plugs coiled at the side of the photograph.

I think that was what really made me feel all puffed and complacent about the pictures that I take. Sure I might have a lamp glowing a tad too brightly in the background, or one person in the group looking down at something important on the ground in front of them, but by and large I don’t have stray electrical cords, kettles, old trainers, freezers etc. in the valedictory picture of my escape room punters.

No on a good day the winners are smiling with smug intellectual ecstasy and pride that it bursts out of the picture at you. Their arms are raised in triumph, thrusting their prize into view, and they are all looking out the frame at YOU - saying YOU TOO could be a winner like us, YOU TOO could be a person with a social life, friends and things to do that you are successful at.

It’s a powerful message - and one they are more than likely to share on Facebook and the like if you’ve made sure that everybody looks good. Sure the odd one slips through looking like their pet cat just died in their arms, but that just makes the other happy bunnies stand out even more. You can even guard against this - take more than one picture, take three or four so that you can choose the best one.

Because people won’t share pictures where they look like they’ve just recovered from typhoid only to slip into deepest misery, or, if they look odd and ugly. It’s your job to make them shine with the joy of their win! That means employing all the cheesy encouraging stuff that photographers do at weddings - josh them along , cheese them up! Because these people are your best adverts - and if you liked them, then you want more people like them coming along. Any more ideas for making the pictures stand out? - do discuss below, always looking for new ideas.

And if you didn’t like them? (see my previous post.) Well, more about that next time. How to deal with the unlikeable, the ugly and downright unpleasant. Put your email in the box below and you'll get an message when it's out.

Bill Parslow

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Bill Parslow is an escape room GM, writer and storyteller. Being a game master/game show host ticked a number of his boxes and he still rather enjoys it.

Bill is Tom's dad (the Founder of Buzzshot) and it was his experience working in a local Escape Room that led to Tom developing the Buzzshot software.

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