The initial photographic brief enables the photographer to provide an accurate estimate for the work. It will also help set the tone of the shoot.
[Note: This article is about briefing a photographer for headshots, product photography or fashion. If you would like to brief an event photographer please see our article, How do I brief an event photographer? It includes a helpful event photography brief template.]
An initial photographic brief should indicate the following:
The number of subjects to be photographed
How many people, looks, products or locations need photographing? This will affect the time needed for the shoot.
The length of shoot
Often your photographer can help here, once you’ve determined the number of subjects and style. Other times it might be down to the availability of the subjects, or the length of an event. If you need to photograph a lot of subjects in a little time, it can require more resources.
Photographic output requirements
Output refers to the finished product. The most common output requested of a commercial photographer is high-resolution digital files. Other examples of output include photographic prints, web galleries and photo books. The post production and retouching needed on the output is also factored into the quote.
Tell the photographer how intend to use the photos. For example, a web site, advertisement, report, brochure or other marketing material. Also let them know how long you plan to use the photos, and in what geographic regions. Depending on the nature of the commissioned work, usage can have an impact on the final fee.
Creative brief: examples / inspiration / style
The ‘Creative Brief’, provides direction to your photographer to make sure you’re on the same page. Sometimes you might have a very specific vision for the look of your shoot. Sometimes a designer or art director might have established style guidelines for you. And, then there are times you don’t know what you want, and that’s okay too.
Photographers are very visual people, so when communicating your ideas for a shoot, it’s helpful to provide visual references. You can even reference film, popular culture and other art-forms when briefing. Cues such as emotions and character traits are also useful for setting the tone.
A good photographer will be able to work with you to translate your brand into a visual style if you’re unsure.
Commercial photographers can achieve all kinds of looks, and work to briefs. Different photographers have different styles, so it’s important to find the right fit for your project. If you like a photographer’s style, you can elaborate on creative briefs once you’ve engaged them.
Start the conversation about your photography requirements today
Hopefully the above gives you enough to start the conversation, and to find the right photographer for your job. If you’d like to start that conversation with us, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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