So you need to commission photography but what does a photographer need from you? Most photographers appreciate several key pieces of information from you as a commissioning client or individual customer.
This information is usually contained in a photography ‘brief’. This is an outline of requirements which can be formal, tightly scheduled and detailed, or it can be fairly loose. Nothing is set in stone, but giving your selected photographer a few key pieces of information makes the whole process run smoothly.
This is always good for a photographer to know from the start. Knowing the ultimate audience is really important. Will images be intended to appeal to picture editors of local or national press? Will the audience be customers or subscribers to social media channels? Creative, serious, businesslike or goofy. Your answer to this question can decide a photographer’s approach.
Do you want posed pictures, group pictures, natural pictures? Maybe you want general view pictures of a nicely presented room, together with close-ups of details? Or perhaps you need boardroom pictures of the CEO and CTO together with their trophies? Think about the types of images which are important to you and how you want to use them.
Consider whether you have a social media audience who would appreciate seeing images of a certain event. Or if you have any publicity requirements meaning a press release can be complemented with an image. Good photographers should be confident enough processing and sending a selection of images ‘live’ from an event.
If you need photographs of children for public use, you need to get consent forms completed by parents. If there are a few individuals among a generally consenting group who don’t grant permission for images to be taken of them, make sure the photographer knows before they begin shooting.
[Read the Composed Images post: What Is Commercial Photography?]
What’s the easiest way for you to receive images? Is a WeTransfer download link contained within an email sufficient? It is for many clients. Others prefer working with Dropbox and selecting just a few images from an online gallery, or selecting from a dedicated gallery on a photographer’s own gallery website. If you’re just providing one or two images, email might be fine. Alternatively media organisations might give details of FTP servers.
There are no rights or wrongs. It’s totally down to personal preference, but worth considering as part of a photographer brief.
This isn’t critical as most photographers will be experienced enough to judge what feels appropriate. That said, an indication can be helpful to avoid any confusion or disappointment later on. There are photographers out there who operate commercial models whereby they are paid per image. This is worth clarifying ahead of a job.
[Read the Composed post: 10 tips to better event photography]
Again, most experienced photographers will have their own standard sizes they deliver to clients so this is not necessarily a big deal. But if you know of certain painful restrictions like your website’s Content Management System failing to handle JPEG file sizes over 1MB, it’s worth mentioning in a brief.
Give an individual’s name, the official company name, company postal address, email address and telephone number for invoicing purposes. If your organisation has any requirements for suppliers to be registered on an internal system, say at this point.
This all assumes you’ve considered why you want photography and what the images will be used for. While it seems straightforward, this can be worth talking this through amongst a team before searching for and selecting a photographer.
If you follow these simple points in commissioning a photographer, everything should run perfectly smoothly. Then all that’s left for the client is to pay the photographer’s invoice!
Please get in touch if you’d like to commission Composed Images.
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