For many businesses, hiring a professional photographer isn’t cheap, so it makes sense to get as much out of a photoshoot as possible. Thorough preparation is the best way to ensure that you get everything you want from your photographer, and also helps everything go to plan. Based on our years of experience in commercial photography, here are our hints and tips for making the most of your photoshoot.
Think creatively about what you want the photographer to cover
The first thing to do is to have a really good think about what exactly you’d like the photographer to include in the shoot. Being precise will ensure that everything you need is included in the photographer’s quote, and that there are no surprises for either party. For instance, in hotel photography, how many of your bedrooms would you like to be photographed? Does this include or exclude en suite bathrooms? Exactly which public rooms? Or, if you’re a manufacturer, precisely how many items do you have for a product photography session?
If your premises are being photographed, you have further requirements to think about. For instance, do you need images of the exterior as well as the interior? Would you like night-time shots of the premises? Take a walk around your premises and take a note of any particular features that you’d like to be photographed. These could include:
- The view from a particular window or from the garden
- Architectural features such as a stunning staircase, a modern reception area or a stained glass window
- Décor details such as light fixtures, original artwork or a collection of fine wine
- The business’s resources, such as branded vans, computer servers or a production line
- Appealing aspects of a garden, such as a gazebo or spectacular border
- Pets or farm animals (bearing in mind that not all your customers may like animals!)
- A product display in a boardroom, or homemade produce in a guest house.
Give your list to the photographer so that he or she can make sure that everything you want is covered in the shoot. Even better, give them the list before they arrive!
Decide what you will do with the images
Think about all the potential uses you will have for the images – now and in the future. This may affect the equipment brought to the shoot, so let your photographer know before he or she arrives. Are the images just for your website? Or for literature such as leaflets and brochures too? Will the images be used for exhibition stands? All these requirements can have technical implications, at the shoot and in post-production.
Consider your styling requirements
You will need to let your photographer know in advance if you would like him or her to bring props to the photoshoot. If you’re attending the photoshoot, by all means bring along your favourite items, but sometimes the photographer will be working without you. So for instance, if a show home is being photographed, you could ask the photographer to bring along a bottle of wine and some glasses, plus a vase of flowers. You would hope that that they would do this anyway (we do!) but there’s no harm in checking. And request that they don’t carry the same props from room to room.
If the project is product photography, sometimes lifestyle styling can work better than a plain product shot on a white background. For instance, hand-crafted bags or scarves can look wonderful draped over a rustic chair. Or an artisan cheese can look great on a chunky wooden board. Again, the photographer will probably think about this, but there’s no harm in checking beforehand.
If you sell to the general public, it’s a good idea to let the photographer know who your target audience is. For instance, the props we use at a photoshoot aimed at a target audience of Boden-style families are very different to the props required if the target audience is teenage girls. These principles are also true in a business-to-business context: are you aiming at corporate investors or Apple geeks? Whatever the context, make sure that your photographer really understands what is appealing and aspirational to your target audience.
And have a comprehensive tidy up!
Take a good look at every product or room, every nook and cranny that will be photographed. Any scruffy bits will be thrown into sharp relief in the finished images, so be sure to get everything looking tip-top. In the case of property photography, for instance, keep a look out for deflated cushions, bird mess, weeds and those piles of junk that have become part of the fixtures and fittings. This will give you a far better end result. We can often remove these things in post-production editing, but the results aren’t as real and some photographers will charge you more for this.
Thank you for reading this blog, which we write with the aim of helping small and medium-sized businesses get the most out of their photography. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any queries. Thank you for reading!
About us: We offer creative and cost-effective commercial photography in North Wales. Geoff Steen, our photographer, specialises in interiors, exteriors and corporate photography. He has clients across North and Mid Wales, Cheshire, Merseyside and Manchester. Find out more by visiting our commercial photography pages.
Posted by: Jane
Image via www.freedigitalphotos.net