If the client hasn’t gotten this far along the road yet, I will usually advise them to consider the following before I go on-site. It always delivers better value for money.
1. Time allocation:
First and foremost, getting commercial photography done is an important task and will prove to be a great asset for your business. You should allow for the time it deserves to get the job done properly. Great images attract new customers by building trust.
2. Find a good match for your needs:
Has your commercial photographer got relevant experience in the field that you are in? What is their area of specialisation? Perhaps they are a good ‘generalist’ and have a few areas of expertise. I find that a lot of clients don’t go much further than going through the first page on google, browsing a few links and taking it from there. Well, that’s not a bad approach, but you might be well advised to spend an extra few minutes checking the profile of the photographers you’re getting in contact with to see if they’re a really good fit for what you need. My experience shows that in B2B situations potential clients often need to do a little more research, and believe in their own judgement a little bit more.
3. Create a good brief:
What are the shots to be used for? Where will they end up? what demographic will see your imagery. Wouldn’t it be good to get unexpected uses from your shots? Think about the convenience of a bank of images specific to your needs that you can draw on in the future. A brief might be as simple as a few lines in an email. Discus with them any difficulties that you think may arise.
4. Decide on the overall direction:
Start with the overall site layout and message. How are the images going to be integrated into the overall layout? Should the photos look modern, cool and functional? Or warm and homely? What is the primary emotion that you would like your customers to have when viewing them on screen? You may want to discuss this with your graphic or web designer.
5. Work with your commercial photographer to create a shot-list:
I am always happy to spend time discussing what you need to get the optimum results from your shoot. Your photographer should be very happy to do this, as it provides clarity and certainty.
Have you discussed delivery times? Have you told your photographer how quickly you need your imagery turned around? Its worth mentioning this in advance of the shoot, as they might well be out on another gig the next day.
Will the imagery need specific photoshop, and is your photographer skilled in this area also? Many aren’t, and thats ok, its a separate skill. But they should be able to organise this for you. You need great professional imagery because people buy with their eyes
Will you need a Hair and make up specialist?
When you say “Its just for LinkedIn” think “Its just for impressing potential new clients”. Imagine you thought this way about your website or your business card.
Are they worryingly cheap? remember: “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”.
If you are working for a design agency, will your photographer be comfortable around clients, and make sure they have a good experience? Remember how this could reflect on you. Business is all about trust, and if you start to erode your client’s trust through your choices, well….