So, you’ve made the decision to hire a professional photographer. Good choice. I can’t tell you enough how important it is to have great quality imagery for your business, imagery that fits your brand and promotes you and what you do.
You've found someone whose work you like (perhaps even through the CWC Circle database!), now it’s time to make contact. But what do you tell them? How can you ensure that you communicate what it is that you are after so that the end product suits your needs?
Well, you create a photography brief. I like to start with the basic questions – what, why and how.
- Why do you want the images?
- Developing an image library for advertising or marketing
- Standardising headshots of staff for your website or annual report
- Documenting an event
- Capturing product shots for your packaging or e-commerce
There are many uses for imagery, determining what you want to achieve with the images will then help you determine the ‘what’.
- What kind of shoot is this?
- Corporate Headshots
- An event
- A place
- Action shots
- Editorial images
- What will the images be used for?
- Social media
- Print media
- General online usage
- An international campaign with a fixed term
There is a big difference in how an image is captured and processed for web use and how it is captured for print. Knowing upfront what your usage is allows the photographer to determine what equipment they need and what licensing requirements you might have.
- What style are you after?
- Bright, high key
- Low to mid key
- Simple, colourful
- Busy, energetic
- Black and white
- What kind of background are you after?
Plain white, natural, outdoors...
- Do you have a brand or style guide?
Websites like Pinterest are a goldmine of reference images. If you see something that matches the idea you have, attach it to the brief. This helps clarify your vision to the photographer.
Next is the how, the logistics.
- How will we capture the images you need?
- How many people will be photographed?
If this is a headshot shoot, the number of subjects will determine the length of the shoot.
- How many images do you need?
- Where will the shoot take place?
- An office
- On location
- Are there any restrictions on time?
For example, for a headshot, the subject may only a short window of time available.
- If the shoot is on location, do you require permits to shoot there?
- Do you require talent?
If so are they models, friends, staff and who will coordinate them?
- When do you require the images by?
- Do you have a particular treatment for the images in post processing?
- Do they need to be a particular format or size?
By working through all of these details you will be able to provide your photographer with all of the information they need to quote, plan and execute your shoot. Feel free to get in touch if you would like a handy brief template!
Amanda Shackleton is a Melbourne-based emerging photographer with a focus on documentary-style imagery. She is currently exploring the relationship between people and their smartphones. To learn more about Amanda, visit her website or Facebook page, or follow her on Instagram (@amandashackletonphotography).