Tips for choosing a Commercial Photographer
Choosing a good commercial photographer can be difficult so we have complied our top tips to keep in mind when you are searching for a photographer to help showcase your business and services.
With the economy improving companies are beginning to realise that they need every advantage over their competitors and one of the best ways is to have their products and services shot by a professional commercial photographer. This will be the most cost effective route in the long run as many have paid previously for photography which is not up to professional standards and are in some cases unusable.
So below is a list of question’s to ask as you try to select the best photographer to suit your needs. Don’t forget that many photographer have various different skillsets so choose one that will make your products or services look their best.
Are they insured?
Mark is creative,good with people, reliable and a problem solver, but most importantly he is full insured. Most people don’t realize that professional photographer’s should have full public liability insurance unfortunately it’s not compulsory. So if you are employing a photographer after you have seen samples of their work and read reviews recommendations the next question should be are they insured? Don’t be afraid to ask for proof if in any doubt. Like any trades person photographers will have stands cables and ladders and they should be used in a safe manner so that they are not a safety hazard to anyone. After you have done all this you should arrange a meeting in your premises if necessary to discuss the shots needed.
Have you Prepared for the shoot?
Be sure that on the day you get what you need from the shoot. A shot list is essential so that on the day as the images are taken they can be ticked off. Be sure to keep in mind what the shots being used for and do they have to fit within a fixed format or size? Are they wanted on a white background, within a styled set or on location ? Don’t try & rush and shoot everything that you have. It’s best to take your time if you can and get great shots first time without having to spends hours later editing & retouching. Plan your shots work out physically how long it actually take to get your products ready for photography. If possible get as much prep work done beforehand. For people shots they may need hair make up and a change of clothes. Its quite common for people to have shiny skin so most photographers will avoid harsh strong light and will opt for shaded areas or they will bring their own lights. For food photography its important to plan it out carefully always make sure there is plenty of the product available as quite often it may take a few set ups before its just right. If there is a particular style or backgrounds needed let the photographer know beforehand. A good chef with a great sense of visual food preparation is great and ideally a food stylist is recommended. A food stylist is trained to make food look good and quite often can be seen placing bits of food into dishes with a tweezers or even spray painting a half cooked chicken. Which is why its always a good idea to check if food that was prepped by a food stylist is edible. Mark can recommend a food stylist if required
What you need to ask!
Don’t get caught up in how impressive their work is that you forget to talk logistics. Be sure to ask the following questions so that there are no hidden surprises. What is the turnaround time for delivery of images? Check with the photographer as to how they charge? Is it by the hour? Do they charge per image? Do they charge per cut-out and is retouching extra? Will you have unlimited usage for the images and receive Hi Res copies?
Location, Location, Location
For shots on location its best to do a recce beforehand so that if anything needs to moved/tidied staff will have ample time to do it beforehand this will save time and money on the day (especially if photographers charge by the hour or part off). Machinery should be cleaned, floors swept, painting to be done if necessary, if the shots are of products brand new/fresh are best, check labelling packaging for print consistency and for rips tears. These advance checks will save time and money as photo shopping later can be an extra charge.
For location shoots will they be setting up lights if so they may need power and extension cables. If it is in a factory / industrial setting this may not be possible and would need to be discussed with the relevant staff or health and safety personnel. Also on the day the photographer may need a hard hat, safety boots, Hi Vis jacket etc. to meet safety requirements.
For exterior shots of premises check signage and lighting, do the green areas need tidying up? Driveways should be swept clean and if you have branded vehicles in the shot they should be clean and in good order visually. Check to see what time of day the building looks best preferably when it’s not in shade. However if its permanently in shade with the sun behind it may be best to shoot it on a cloudy overcast day.
Is the team involved?
For location shoots involving staff members it is better discussed in advance so that they are wearing fresh, new uniforms or work gear also if it’s branded even better. Staff used in photos will also need to sign a model release form for use of their images. If you want to get shots of staff in an office environment it should be decided before if there is a preferred dress code for example shirts and ties with jackets look best as shirts tend to get creased.
OK folks so to summarize it briefly for a successful shoot it is best to plan and prepare for all eventualities. If you follow these guidelines you will end up with great images that will showcase your products / services giving you that competitive edge.
For any photographic inquiries contact Mark at 087-2240869 or send him an email with any queries. For samples of his work you can visit his website Trinity Digital Studios.