It’s an event that not many businesses think about. Often a photoshoot is thought to be too costly or not of any value. In fact, it can end up producing the greatest asset for your businesses. Nothing sets your Brand apart from competitors like unique, custom images that fit your brand’s style and speaks to your ideal client. Every company has a story to tell about how they were founded, what void in the market they are looking to fill, and how their people make them unique in the market place. Now more than ever, people want to make a personal connection with the businesses they will be dealing with. The more they know about you and the more personal you are, the better.
Hiring external creative help
At some point, you will need to consider hiring a photographer, videographer, or company to come in and document your business and what makes it stand out among others. The selection process is an important one as you are making an investment in your future. You want someone or a group that will capture the essence of your business and make it appeal to your audience. It needs to be short and to the point, but captivating at the same time.
While this may seem like a simple task, it can be very difficult. Obtaining a final gallery of images can be much more daunting than thought. Having material, you can utilize for marketing purposes requires a plan and preparation. You need to consider the story you want to tell and how you want your business to be perceived. These are two very important items.
Difficulties can present themselves in different ways:
If you or your staff lack experience with photography, or have never had the opportunity to work with one, it can be difficult to communicate your vision for these photos. It can become frustrating and even the thought of it can lead to not moving forward with the project. Getting past that is important and that is where organizing thoughts and ideas become very important. Something as simple as searching the internet for similar imagery to establish the look and feel of what you want goes a long way to getting the conversation started.
Step One: Get Organized
Think about the intended use of the images. Why you having photos taken in the first place will help you focus on needs. For instance, will this be for a brochure or website? Is it for a promotional piece or recruiting effort? The answers make a difference.
It can be easy to fall into the trap of relying too heavily on the photographer for their thoughts and opinions. Without your guidance, it can be difficult to set the scene. Only you know how you want your business to be represented.
Beyond shot composition, lighting advice and staging tips, letting the photographer know what your goals are for this photo shoot (i.e. why you’re having this done in the first place) are paramount. You can leave it all up to the photographer, but the end result will likely be their vision and not yours.
A photography schedule and a clear outline as to what photos are needed goes a long way to help accomplish the goals of the shoot. It will help guide the process and your photographer freeing them up to be more creative and efficient with time.
Step Two: Photographer Selection
This is as important a step as any in the process. You will want to be familiar with the companies in your area and the work they do. Look at their body of work to see if they fit your industry and will feature you in a way that showcases what makes you special. What services they offer may also make a difference in your decision-making process. You may want a company that can provide full photo and video services as well as all post production and the ability to edit for a variety of uses.
Step Three: Notify Employees
Once you have established how you want the shoot to unfold and who will be doing it, think about your staff. You should bring them up to speed as to what will be going on and let them know what they can expect. Provide as much time as possible so they can prepare and be dressed accordingly. They’ll appreciate this and be more likely to participate if they are not ambushed with the information the day of.
Advanced notification will make it easier to get work spaces cleaned and organized as well. You don’t want to limit options available to your photographer because various spaces are cluttered and not presentable. This even applies to industrial spaces and workshops. Person items should be considered as well.
It is also well worth considering who is willing to be photographed. Much time will be saved and things can move along without issue. In some cases, you may want to consider getting waivers signed to permit the use their likeness in all marketing and promotional materials.
Step Four: Point Person
It is very helpful to have someone on site that is familiar with the both the project and the employees. Having a person available to fill this roll makes the photo shoot run as smooth as possible and ensures the greatest cooperation. This person can also serve as a second set of eyes making suggestions and helping brainstorm shot ideas.
Step Five: Shoot Outline
This is far and away the best way to make sure nothing is missed. Like a story board, having an outline ensures nothing is missed should areas need to be photographed out of sequence. It happens a lot and once things get moving, it can be easy to miss shots that you would otherwise want to have. Working this out with your photographer is wise so they know what you are thinking and can brainstorm with you.
Step Six: Locations
You’ve filled out your outline so you know what you need to capture. That is the tough part and now you just need to match the locations to your outline. That will also help when discussing things with your staff in advance of the shoot and getting areas prepared.
Step Seven: Cleaning
For some areas, this may not be practical – especially in industrial setting and some manufacturing. However, if the space can be cleaned, you will want to. It will save time editing and the final images will be much better as a result. High resolution photography reveals just about every sin. A dusty desk or shelf becomes very apparent very quickly.
Don’t forget the outside. You want that to be as presentable as possible as you will no doubt wish to capture a good opening facility shot.
Step Eight: Staging
When possible, plan ahead. This is an excellent opportunity to update signs and do product placement. If a logo has changed, be sure to change it out for the new one. Having a tough time visualizing what an area may look like? Take a test photo on your phone to focus your vision so you can see what changes you may want to make for a cleaner shot.
If you have anything with your company logo on it, it is well worth getting it into the photoshoot. Even if it is just a mug on a table.
Step Nine: The Shoot
It’s the big day. Now is when the shot list and your point person become very important. Much time has been spent on the planning to make this run smoothly so stick to the plan. It’s the best way to ensure nothing is missed and you make the very best use of everyone’s time. It doesn’t hurt to look at the shots and video as you are moving along. It’s the best way to make sure the outcome will be as you envisioned.
Having a place for your photographer to stage equipment is also a good idea. Many will have quite a bit of gear and will want a safe place to store it where it is accessible, safe and out of everyone’s way.
Step Ten: Edits
This is where you can have one of your biggest disconnects in the process. Be sure to look at samples of images during the editing process to ensure the look you have in your mind is being brought forth. Once you have established that, you should be good to go.
The effort put into the project from the start will be rewarded in the end. These steps will ensure that you make the most of the time spent and the investment made. These images and videos should last you at least 2 years and go a long way in representing who you are and what you do for your clients.