An image bank is an incredible asset for a business. Evocative photos that capture it’s essence, it’s strengths and it’s point of difference can be used across a multitude of tools and tactics for a multitude of sins…or not…

I shared the amazing images from two recent client projects in this post and in this one. Both projects were supported by a Shoot Brief that I gave to the photographer pre-shoot which gave information about the business, the proposed uses for the images as well as some set shots I was after.

I love a good brief- and in the case of getting a good result for my clients I believe it is essential to clarify expectations with a service provider (graphic designer, web developer, and in this case a photographer) in terms of the style of photography and the feelings to be conveyed. Hence, a killer brief, and below in italics are excerpts from briefs I’ve written for projects in the past.

I provide details about the client, their background and what the images will be used for; marketing, promotion, online and printed publications:

A promotional brochure will be a key tool for marketing. The brochure look and feel will encapsulate the school’s spirit- warm and friendly, inclusive and an innovative, exemplary learning environment.

My number one factor in briefing a photographer is always providing images that reflect either key strengths or key messages. I emphasise the key points of difference of the business and give examples of shot ideas that could reflect these:

Happy, smiling kids are key, but is also important that we showcase the wonderful facilities the school has to offer. The school has made considerable investment into facilities and thus facility images are required, but in the context of the people who use them. Thus, I would like to inject life into them via the children.

I include details such as shots, set ups, and staff/key people that are required. This may include specific headshot that will be used for media kits, staff profiles and annual reports, or facility shots that include exteriors of buildings and signage- again, I take the client’s key messages, and request shots that address these.

Another inclusion in my brief is a list of words that describe or reflect the desired branding and communications for the business:

Specifically, images that reflect the following words:

positivity, healing, compassion, confidence, fun, energetic, professional but not overly corporate. 

For a big shoot with lots of staff and changes of venue, a running sheet might be required, which I develop in consultation with both the photographer and the client.

Pre-shoot,  I always have a quiet word in my client’s ear to encourage them to be open to spontaneity and flexibility during the shoot- inevitably, the photographer will capture details that we hadn’t considered, and will unearth some amazing images that no brief could have anticipated.

Finally, and almost always impossible at first, I tell my clients to relax and let the photographer do their job. Shoots are fun!

I’ve worked with a ton of photographers over the years, and while I don’t think it’s nice to play favourites, my favourite is Nerida Phelan Photography. Just sayin’…

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This is a post in my blog series  about My Communications Toolkit. Each month, I share insights, hints and tips from my communications and copywriting bag of tricks. I’ll show you how to rock copywriting a range of products, tactics to communications glory and how to use communications and PR to solve your business marketing problems. If there’s something specific you’d like to know, please shoot me an email or give me a buzz, and I’ll do my best to help, or address it in an upcoming blog post or on my social media platforms.

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