Professional commercial photography is vital to successfully marketing and promoting your business, so invest with care. They are a long-term asset to be used strategically and not just forgotten about after their first use.
So, it’s worth taking the time to think about what you want out of them and planning accordingly: here are a few suggestions to help you.
It’s important that you and your photographer know what you want (and crucially what you don’t want) from your photos. In fact, it’s probably the most vital part of the shoot. Make a list of what you want photographed – don’t just try to wing it on the day – and make sure you have identified the purpose(s) for which you plan to use the photos. Write it down – it will help the photographer enormously if you do this first and it will save you time and possibly money. I have another article on how to write a brief for a photographer here, and a free template for you to use.
As with any significant expenditure, do your research. This may involve looking online and asking people you trust for their recommendations. Based on your brief, you should contact at least two or three commercial photographers for a quote or proposal. You can always refine your proposal later but at this stage you should be getting an idea of what the photographer recommends, how they charge (for example, per hour or per photo) and how much it is likely to cost.
Don’t choose a photographer purely on cost. Check their portfolio of work and ask them what other clients they have worked for – this confirms their experience. Make sure they are fully equipped and insured (they should have public liability, professional indemnity and equipment insurance). And, most importantly, how do they come across as a person? Make sure you will feel comfortable working with them and that you trust them not to disrupt your business or your team more than is necessary to achieve the brief. You will also want to ensure that you will be receiving the appropriate usage licence for the photos – this is a key area to discuss with your potential photographer.
Once you’ve chosen your photographer, don’t jump straight to having them come in and do the job. Meet them first to finalise the brief and, if necessary, to refine their quote or proposal. Ask them what you need to have ready and prepared for them on the day of the shoot. By telling them what you want through the brief, and by them visiting your premises, meeting you and seeing what you do, you and they will then be very clear about this.
If you would like to get in touch for a free consultation about how I can help you, please give me a shout, or if you’d like to read more about how to move forward with professional commercial photography, take a look at my articles on why professional commercial photography might be right for you, and tips for your commercial photoshoot.