How to create a photoshoot brief to send to photographers
How to prepare your photoshoot brief
The first thing you want to do is schedule some time in your diary to answer the following questions:
What is the purpose of the shoot?
What kind of photos are you looking for?
What style of imagery are you looking for?
What’s the vibe of the shoot? What are you trying to convey to your customers?
Where would you like the shoot to take place?
When are you hoping to have the images by?
Before you think uhhh I don’t know how to answer these, let’s disect them.
What is the purpose of the shoot? Are you just starting out in business and need visuals for your brand? Are you a product business that needs launch content for a new product? Tell your photographer the main reason you need new images.
Types of images
What kind of images do you need? Are they for the website, social media? Where will the photos be used? Be specific with this as it will impact how the photos are shot and cropped in post-production. Think about if you need banner images, detail/filler shots, email marketing content, blog imagery, social media photos etc.
Style of photography
Be thorough with the style of imagery you’re looking for. If you’re in need of portraits, then figure out what kinds of portrait images you need. Do you want action shots, lifestyle images, headshots or a mix of all?
If you’re a product business, get familiar with the different types of product photography that is out there. Do you need e-commerce shots (products shot on a plain backdrop with no props), lifestyle images (products shown in use, on location) or are you looking for still-life shots (stylised images shot in a studio setting with props and creative techniques). Do a Google search for the style of images you’re looking for and make sure to communicate this to your photographer using common search terms.
Try and describe how you want the images to look and feel. Think about if your clients/customers were to describe you or your business. What adjectives would you hope they would use?
Where would you like the shoot to take place? If you’re service based, consider – outdoors or indoors? Do you need to hire a location house, studio or workspace? Equally if you’re product based and you’re looking for lifestyle images, the photos will be shot on location, possibly with models. If you want stylised studio images then a studio will likely need to be sourced. (For small products where the client isn’t required on set, I shoot from my home studio. For bigger projects, I know of some great studios near me where clients can come with).
Do you have a soft or hard deadline for when the images need to be ready and delivered? Make sure to include this on your brief too. My final edits are delivered within 4 weeks from the shoot date so make sure you’re getting in touch with photographers in enough time to plan the shoot, photograph the images and edit them as well.
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can then start to put the information together in a shoot brief.
It’s helpful to put the information together in a PDF and you can create these in easy-to-use platforms like Canva, Adobe Creative Cloud Express or even Powerpoint. Don’t just create a text based document though, be sure to include image examples and maybe a mini mood board so the photographer can get a feel for the project upon the initial enquiry. They’re visual people don’t forget!
I’ve created a Powerpoint template that you can download and customise to save time and make it easy for you. You can find it here.
For me personally, I like it when an enquiry comes to me and already knows what they want. It makes the discovery call more efficient, no-one’s time is wasted and I’m able to give a clear quote because I’ve got most of the information I need to provide one. So if you can, before reaching out to a photographer for your next shoot, write out a brief and get clear on what you need.
Once you’ve done this and had a chat with a photographer, you can start to flesh out a shot list. I’ve got a great new blog post on this too, be sure to check it out. It’s 5 must-have shots for your next brand photoshoot.
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