Congratulations! You’ve gotten the green light to do a photo shoot for your new advertising campaign. Now, all you have to do is book a photographer.
But before you hit the Rolodex or call your contacts for recommendations, do you really know what you should expect from a quality corporate photographer?
Here’s a quick checklist of what to look for, and what questions to ask.
1. Experience. Logical enough, right? Your photographer should be a professional with experience in their craft. More to the point is number two:
2. Area of expertise. All photographers are not the same. You wouldn’t hire an electrical engineer to build a bridge. Don’t hire a portrait photographer for your product shots.
3. Strategic input. A knowledgeable photographer will add value to your strategy planning session and bring up ideas you may not have considered. When there is true creative collaboration between photographer and art director, art happens, even in the commercial realm.
4. Flexibility. Do you need to shoot at night? Does the shoot involve children or animals, or a secured facility? Your photographer should be willing and happy to accommodate your needs.
5. Accessibility. Can you meet with the photographer beforehand to get a feel for their approach, style and personality? Can you call and ask questions?
6. Imagination. The best way to find out if your photographer is an imaginative sort is to view his portfolio and ask questions about how he approached a specific shot. Why was the model posed in a certain fashion? How was the lighting effect determined? You may already know exactly what you want your finished photos to look like, but if you would like another opinion, be sure you’re hiring a photographer who has ideas and can think conceptually.
7. Willingness to take direction. You’ve got your marketing director, art director, models and possibly a difficult client to contend with. Make sure your photographer is comfortable taking instruction, and let him or her know beforehand whose input they need to heed most.