Recently, I was speaking with a client who had arranged their own photography. They commissioned us to develop their proposition, brand, and website design. As a start-up, they wanted to save a little money by doing as much as possible themselves.
To help, we defined the photography style, including some example images. The client sourced a photographer, models, make-up artist and studio. After making a final selection, they sent us the photos. Overall, the pictures are good. However, while reviewing the images, the client shared some of the difficulties they faced. Such as not having access to the studio, some of the models and the photographer not understanding the brand and not setting expectations.
Some of these issues are out of our control, but many can be resolved through planning. We asked Adam Gault, one of our favourite photographers, to share his experience and what he would consider.
Points to consider:
- Create a style guide. A contact sheet of the style of shots will make things go much more smoothly. It sounds like an obvious thing to do, but early on in my career, I thought having an idea of the style I wanted in my head was enough. Sadly, it was not and made the shots harder and unpredictable to capture.
- Create a shot list. We often do this through a process of collaboration. For a recent photoshoot, we collaborated with the photographer. Going through each shot and the objective, the photographer gave us the benefit of their wisdom, experience, and creativity. Together, we defined a shot list that produced stunning images.
- Briefings. Take the time to brief all the people involved, from the photographer to the stylist to the models. Ideally, this should be a week or two before the shoot giving the team sufficient time to ask questions.
- Plan your shots. Try to work out approximately how long you might spend per shot and, if possible, work a bit of additional time into the schedule. On one particular shoot, we couldn’t gain access to one of the venues. Thankfully, we quickly adjusted our shot list and continued the photography without losing too much time and staying on budget.
- Be flexible. Sometimes despite all the planning, a shot might not work in practice, or a better picture comes to mind. During a shoot for a healthcare client, we had the opportunity to take some random shots with a consultant. They ended up being some of the best photos of the session.