How to find the pearl, the unique person to create something just right for you, “The One”, here is my 5-point system to book your photographer.
In a visual world, where users need images to maintain a sufficient level of visibility through social media, communication campaigns, website content and public relations, here are some essential elements that can help you find the photographer you need.
1. Define your vision for your brand
This may seem obvious, but an essential part of this 5-point system to book your photographer is to define your needs. Many customers ask me directly the price. Dear Olivier, we need visuals for our company. What is your daily rate?
Unfortunately, this will create a long email and may not provide you the right photographer at the end.
First of all, set your style, there are 1000 ways to photograph something and the photographer must match your vision. If you are looking for something colorful and that the photographer is only black and white, it’s like wanting a gourmet meal from KFC, you will not get it because it’s not the same kind of cooking and KFC does not do not gastro, and vice versa.
Hiring a photographer is a collaboration, it’s not just a customer relationship. You must both be on the same page, on the same boat and if you are not sure what you need, it can be difficult to ask your photographer to do what you want.
2. Define your needs
Another essential element of the 5-point system is defining your needs. Why do you need these visuals? Some might answer that they do not know, that it’s for “everything”, trying to stuff as many pictures as possible into a shot for the next 10 years for web or print.
By doing so, you risk losing your focus and diluting your message and weakening your brand. It would be useful to think about what you need and why, then you can discuss it with your photographer, he will be able to help you out and provide a stronger, more powerful message for your brand, with an Art Director or alone depending on how you are planning your shoot.
Here are some questions you might ask yourself to ensure accurate quotes and detailed quality work with your photographer.
- What are the images used for (web, print, public relations, banners, social media, catalog, etc.)
- Vertical or horizontal?
- Define your style, create moodboards with pinterest for example and share them with the photographer
- How many images do you need?
- Deadline for shooting?
- Do you need models, styling, accessories, a studio?
- Who are you targeting?
3. Ask for samples of work
A key element of the 5-point system is that we all belong to a certain industry and most photographers cross these barriers regularly based on their skills and knowledge, dealing with advertising, commercial work, corporate headshots. Websites focus on the most recent work when we can take the time to update them (we love photography and like to offer work to our customers and we are our worst client ourselves).
It’s quite possible that you can not find the type of visuals you’re looking for on their website, but that does not mean they’re not doing it. For example, if you are looking for an advertising lifestyle when the photographer only has outdoor portraits and an outdoor lifestyle portfolio, does that mean that he does not practice lifestyle? No, of course, he just made the decision not to focus his website on this type of work, so do not hesitate, ask him and ask to see samples of the work. You could have the surprise of a life in the best conditions.
4. Clarify your copyright needs
Your brand is valuable and it is important to define the copyright with the photographer. The 4th point of the 5-point system is based on your needs and the value you put on your brand. For this, you may want your images not appear on the first page of your competitors’ website. A photographer will most certainly use the work he has done for you on his own website, for personal promotion purposes, but that is a whole other subject when it comes to selling it to others.
Exclusive rights or “full buyout” come at extra cost, but it’s certainly worth it, making sure your visuals are secure for the duration of your distribution needs.
5. Skype call, Facetime, or just an old fashioned phone call
Last but not least, the last point of our 5-point system. What’s better than a Skype call or a phone call? Just organize a call with him, discuss openly, define your needs, ask questions and do not hesitate to ask him his point of view. His knowledge of photography, as well as your knowledge of your brand, make you an excellent team looking for success.
By avoiding 20 long emails, you save your time, time, and you really get to the bottom of things before your photo shoot.
Nothing beats human contact and you will also learn about the photographer’s personality. Is it fun to work with? Does he seem interested in your brand? Does it get on your lash or does it provide excellent information? This will make you feel good and confirm that it is the right choice for your project.
With this 5-point system to book your photographer in mind, you have several elements in hand to choose the right person for the job, and everything will be more enjoyable for the shoot … for us too!
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