How to brief a professional photographer
Posted on 21st July 2020 at 13:15
Top Tips for getting the best out of your professional photographer
What you need to think about when briefing a photographer for a corporate photo shoot, and why a good brief is important
1. What will I use my professional photos for?
When a business commissions professional photographs, there is usually a purpose, such as creating visual content for a website, or a bank of images for a social media campaign, or simply updating individual and team corporate headshots.
It may be that there is a specific marketing campaign which includes printed brochures, or a publicity campaign which needs PR photography.
Whatever the purpose, it is important to consider this from the outset. It sets the scene for the photographer to understand this, as it is the end goal.
2. Who is my target market?
Clarifying who your target market is for viewing your new corporate photos is really important as this will start to shape the look and feel of the images.
A photographer who understands the audience they are aiming at will be able to create images in a style that appeals to them, and this means that the right people will feel connected to the images and more likely to want to 'buy' from that business.
Is my market a very corporate one, city based with big budgets and short deadlines, or a local market who support independent businesses and value personal service? You could see that, for example, a firm of lawyers answering differently to this question would come out with unique sets of images.
3. What key messages do I want to get across?
As a professional photographer I am able to create images that have obvious messages, but also subconscious messaging.
It is useful to think about the three key messages you want to put across, as this can start the creative process in the photographer.
Connecting into the brand values of a business and what they want to portray to their clients is key to a photographer's understanding of the brief.
Your professional photographer will start to think about lighting, setting, styling and story telling based on the information you give them.
4. Who will be in the professional photos?
Some businesses are all about the people and so getting their headshot photography right is really important. It may be that there is a variety of team photos so how and where these are taken is key. Having a definitive list for your photographer of who will be in the photos and their location is essential.
You may want traditional headshots which can be used on social media profiles such as LinkedIn, but having creative portraits which go beyond corpporate headshots may be relevant for the business too, depending on where the images will be used. All this needs to be communicated.
If your business is all about the product, then consideration needs to be given to where the product photography is taken, and whether props or models will be needed to get the best images.
5. Where's the best location for my professional photo shoot?
Location is important for all professional photography and needs to be discussed with your photographer. It will probably vary depending on whether your business photography entails people shots and whether that is just headshots.
You may have a clear idea of the best location for your shoot, for example if you want to get images from around your offices, or you may need inspiration and so the direction in the brief may be to find a location with a specific vibe to it or to accommodate specific numbers of people or products.
For product photography, it is usually about 'selling the lifestyle' and so location and setting (potentially with props) will be key.
I have brand colours and logos to include in my professional photo shoot
It is also good to consider and communicate to your photographer if you have strong brand colours or signage etc that you'd like to be put into the mix when creating the photographs for your commercial photography. I like to really get under the skin of the businesses and the people that I am photographing so that I can interpret the essence of what they are about in the photographs.
If you would like to find out more about how I work with my commercial photography clients, look at the downloadable pdf of What to Expect from Business Photography on my Commercial page. Or give me a call on 07793 205155 or contact me
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