1. DEVELOPING A CLEAR VISION
The first thing you want to do is to start with your vision. What is the image of the organization that you want to present? What is the message you’re trying to convey? These are important questions that will help form the vision of your photos. Ideally, you want to compile a list of the things you’re going for as that will give me a clear idea of the direction we’ll want to move in.
Some concepts you may want to capture include ideas like being the approachable authority in your industry. Or perhaps within your teams you take your work seriously but have fun doing it and that translates into results. Maybe you want to ensure that the photos reflect equality as opposed to hierarchy. Sure, these are ideas that do not specifically tell us what to shoot but we know what kinds of expressions and model interactions to focus on while shooting.
The next thing to start thinking about is the context of the photos. Are they going to be used for the corporations’ website? In print collateral? Will the photos be used strictly for a social media campaign? The context is very important as it will determine how we layout and frame the image. Is there going to be a narrow banner or slider that we need to fill on the home page and interior pages of the website? Are the headshots going to be cropped as as portrait style, meaning verticals or landscapes meaning horizontals? These are just a few considerations we’ll need to cover.
2. MAPPING OUT THE PLAN
Remember that your vision is there to guide your ideas. Research your competitors, industry and marketplace. Look for photos that are in line with what you’re trying to convey so that you can use that as inspiration. Note what elements you like about these photos then let’s figure out how we can take all these elements and integrate them into your corporate campaign.
I always like to meet onsite prior to doing corporate lifestyle projects so that we can go over the concepts and visuals together in order to map out a plan. It helps to scout the location, find the best places to stage the scenes and create a schedule for our shoot days. As many companies use their own staff as opposed to paid models in their rebranding campaigns and website photography, it’s also a great idea to be able to meet onsite to talk with the employees and lay out the groups that will best illustrate the vision you’re going for. I also will be sure to share a link to information that can be passed along to the employees and leadership team that will be featured in the photos, offering some tips on how to prepare themselves for the day. The prep material includes advice on what to wear, wardrobe patterns to avoid, complimentary color palettes and hair/make-up tips.
3. WORKING AS PARTNERS
I like to think of my clients not as clients but as partners. You have a vision and we’ll execute it together. We can be much more productive, working in tandem when we are on the same page. I like being involved in the your process so I can let you know how your ideas or our collectives ideas translates through photography.
On shoot days, we always tether. Meaning as we are shooting, you’ll see the images as they come up on the laptop. Once we get beyond testing the lighting and begin shooting, I can tell when I am getting to where I need to go but I’m always open to suggestions and love to have my partners chime in. If the direction I’m moving in is not consistent with what you envisioned, I need to know and welcome the feedback while we are onsite. We’ll tweak each scene as we go and the inout I receive from you is crucial.
4. OPEN COMMUNICATION
I would prefer to have my clients ask me many questions rather than not enough. The more work we put in to this project prior to our shoot day, the more prepared we’ll be the day of. Also, because there are so many logistics that we need to plan for, quickly responding to emails and phone calls is really important as there may be times I cannot take the next step in planning or follow-up on post-production without your conformation. So, the more we are in communication and keep those lines opens for questions, ideas, feedback and direction, the better the end product will be.
By keeping these points in mind when preparing for your next photography project, whether it’s a rebranding campaign, corporate portraits or a new website, you’ll not only ensure that you and your team have an awesome experience from start to finish but the final product will reflect the ideals and vision that truly represent the best of your organization.