This is a really important first step for a brand to complete before contacting a photographer. I’ve written this article to help you navigate the process of writing a brief and how best to approach a photographer when commissioning work.
Your time is precious, so before contacting a photographer, prepare a clear and structured brief. This will help communicate your requirements and will start a constructive conversation between your business and the photographer from the get go.
My clients are better served when they provide a brief for the following reasons:
1. They spend less time answering questions to communicate the job requirements
2. They receive accurate quotes faster which include a detailed breakdown of costs - this will be very useful for comparison purposes and ultimately gives them more choice as to how their budget is spent.
3. The brief document can be updated, shared and viewed easily, making it a better tool to discuss and consolidate creative ideas and documenting them.
4. The brief is the reference point for the project and provides clarity and structure to a shoot.
Shot List - an itemised list detailing each shot needed for the project.
- Formats - Will the images need to work in specific layouts/crops. If so what are these?
- Usage - How and where the images will be used and for what duration.
- For Example: Location: UK & Ireland, Where: Instore Signage, Press Ads, and leaflets, Duration: 3 years.
- - Be very clear how these images will be used as this can change the cost significantly.
- Who will be attending the shoot from your team: this can allow the photographer to cost for food and refreshments.
- Shoot Date: When you require the project to be shot.
- Deliverables: How and when the finished images need to be delivered.
- For Example: File Format: Layered RGB PSD Files, Deadline: 23/05/2021.
- Budget Parameters- having a budget in mind can help steer the quote in your favour - as a photographer can advise on how best to work with it, and find solutions that help deliver the very best photography.
- Considerations - any other requirements the photographer should be aware of when quoting - Does a photographer need to book a food stylist, will props need to be sourced etc.
Completing a brief, will give you a clearer idea as to what the project requires to then go on and use to approach a photographer.
Commissioning a photographer can be a big step and I pride myself on making that as easy and transparent as possible.
Here are some typical questions/concerns a client may have:
- Is this photographer’s work right for the brief/project?
- I have over 13 years experience working with major food and drink brands, so I have most things covered, however if there is something specific you are looking for and can’t see in my work, please feel free to question me on this as I’d be happy to send you more examples of my work that may well demonstrate what you require.
- Is the photographers style right for the brand?
- My style isn’t right for everyone’s brand and if you or I feel I’m not the ‘right’ photographer, I will do my best to find you someone who is.
- How can I trust the photographer will deliver?
- I am an accredited photographer with the The Association of Photographers (AOP). They only award accreditation to photographers who have proven work that meets the expectations of commercial buyers and professional commissioners of photography. This gives my clients that additional peace of mind that I have the skills needed to deliver commercials briefs.
- Does the photographer have the right facilities for a food shoot?
- I have a beautifully kitted out studio which is ideal for most food shoots. However I’m used to hiring studios for large set builds and/or for the client’s convenience. I’m also happy to travel and shoot on location.
- Does the photographer have the right team?
- I’m proud to work along side some of the best stylists and assistants in the business. My agent also works tirelessly to help pull teams together to deliver the very best production for clients.
Commissioning the ‘right’ photographer should be an open and honest discussion. If you are not sure about anything please ask, I’d love to help. At the end of the day I’m about creating stunning images of food that are going to elevate your product or service to the highest level and my aim is to make the process as enjoyable as possible!