At this time of year many companies commission photography for their Annual Report, consider rebranding, want to update their website or refresh marketing material. In these austere times there is a temptation to reign in, so here are a few do’s and don’ts and observations to consider –
1. Choosing a Photographer
Always speak to a professional photographer first. Don’t ask an enthusiastic employee to ‘bring in his camera’ this ALWAYS ends up with a reshoot.
2. Photographing Busy People
It’s imperative that the photographer has had experience with, and an understanding of, directors and business people as they are often busy with work and consider at that precise moment, portraits to be a hindrance to their daily toil.
He or she must strike up a professional rapport with the subject and visualise a strong image within moments of walking in a room.
3. Being a Professional
A photographer should have a complete understanding of their camera and lighting equipment, its not an option to fumble with a dozen baffling different program modes and settle for ‘auto’. Don’t get me wrong ‘auto’ always works and will produce an average or lesser quality image BUT ‘average’ is hardly how you would like your company to be perceived.
4. Sticking to and Understanding the Brief
It’s important to stick to the brief, and not re-imagine how the shoot could be interpreted. Again, I re-shot a company’s new brochure after the fashion photographer friend of one of the directors felt the brief wasn’t his style and would shoot everything ‘his way’. The brief needs to discussed and fully understood long before the big day.
5. A Sense of Urgency
Post production and turnaround times are at least as important as the shoot itself, the very hi res files from the cameras need to be carefully processed to get the absolute best from them. This requires powerful computers if, as is typical, clients would like to see the results the following day. Choices are made and files colour corrected and resized, then sent out to printers and designers in a timely fashion.
6. A Sense of Levity
Lastly corporate photography should definitely not be considered a chore, it is a few moments away from the daily commitments and responsibilities to achieve the best possible images for the company. The photographer should be personable, well dressed and smile a lot.
Oh, and never ever forget to offer the photographer a coffee; it’s our lifeblood!