Contributed by Simply C Photography
20/08/2018 - Simply C Photography
Writing a photography brief doesn’t have to be scary, if you’ve never written one before, Simply C Photography are here to help!
Put simply, a photography ‘brief’ is an outline of your overall goals, any specific requests and an explanation of the ‘type’ of imagery you require from your photo shoot.
It can also contain some background information about you and your business, including your target audience(s), which is a great way to ensure that any commercial photographer fully understands what you hope to achieve and can produce images that really hit the spot!
What to include in your photography brief
Here, Simply C have listed some example of the type of information a commercial photographer would find really useful prior to picking up the camera.
Have a clear goal
Write down what are you hoping to achieve from your photography project.
For example; Is your goal to highlight a new product range and entice potential customers to buy? are you hoping to inspire colleagues with an internal ‘good news story’? or is your goal to boost brand awareness?
Put your images in context
Depending on your goals, you may have a clear idea of where you wish to use your photographs and the purpose of each one. You may be looking for lots of images you can keep on file to use in blog posts or PR announcements for example, or your images may be destined for use within a particular marketing campaign and therefore need them to follow a theme.
Beware the one-dimensional ‘list’
Be wary of simply handing over a list of photos you require with no explanation behind them. Understanding how you plan to use your photos will ensure the right equipment is selected for the job. Cameras, lenses settings and styles can differ greatly depending on the look, feel and format you require.
Whether you decide to get creative and put together a mood board full of ideas, or simply include some example of photographs you like, examples are a great way to showcase that you are after. These don’t necessarily have to be images of the same products or services, and could even be stock imagery you have seen. Examples could simply reflect a particular style or lighting effect you like too.
Share your brand guidelines
If you have brand guidelines for your company – including information about specific fonts and typography, any particular colours you use in your logos and design materials, or any particular words and phrases you use to describe your company – share them!
Don’t forget the ‘fluffy stuff’
Think about how you want people to FEEL when they see your images. Do you want them to feel inspired? Happy? To laugh, cry or experience a boost of confidence for example? Considering the emotive side of your photography can really help project the right image and will align resulting photos with your desired actions.
Who is your audience?
Be as specific as you can regarding your audience or audiences. The more your commercial photographer knows about their ‘demographics’ – i.e. ages, likes, dislikes, buying habits and the market in general, the better we can understand the brief as a whole.
Think about your setting / location
Do you have an idea of where you would like your photography to take place? If photographing a building or set of interior rooms this is an easier question, however if you are booking corporate headshots or a set of team images, it’s important to have a think about the space you have available.
How may images do you require?
Whilst quality far outweighs quantity when it comes to professional photography, there may be reasons why you need a certain amount of images – for particular website or brochure pages for example – however one thing to bear in mind is that the number of images will directly impact on the amount of editing time required.
Think about future usage
Whether you require imagery for a set amount of time or would like indefinite usage of your images, it’s important to let your photographer know. When you commission a commercial photographer, there are various options when it comes to the ownership or ‘copyright’ of the resulting images. Buying the copyright, as you may imagine, puts a premium on the prices, whereas paying for a licence to use them according to your original intention can help you manage your budget.
Depending on the type of shoot you are planning, a realistic timeframe for both the shoot itself and the editing and delivery of your final files will need to be allocated. Bear in mind that outdoor shoots will leave the photographer at the mercy of the elements, so include a contingency plan or allow extra time for potential delays, the process will be much less stressful.
If you need photography in advance of a particular deadline, such as an event or a website ‘go live’ date, write that down in your brief too.
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