You have a great handmade crafted product, you have a huge project that is related to some serious money, it doesn’t matter the size, but you need to have a visual asset surrounding your product or your service, so you decide it’s time to hire a freelance photographer to do the job. It doesn’t matter if you are a big client or a newly entrepreneur with a fascinating start-up, you have to keep in mind certain things to enhance your ground as a client when looking for photographs as assets for your business.
The first thought of somebody with a business might be to get a stock photo, but then the stock photo would look clichéd if you are a picky person, and then, the necessity of a different asset, will see the light. There is a huge demand from sellers and producers in our organic globalized market of today, ruled by e-commerce for Great Product Photography.
Is not a secret that products tend to get their desire from customers thanks to their visual attractiveness. The experience here comes into two ways, of course, the principal actor of expertise, is the photographer, but I think, clients need to get their selves some level of expertise as well. And here is a simple way to hack into it.
There are certain things that you, as a customer, need to keep in mind before calling a product photographer. We as photographers, have niches, and you need to know this because photographers tend to specialize in a certain niche, so not all photographers will deliver a pleasant job when you relate a certain type of professional with your product or service. The most basic thing you need to keep in mind, is your product or service. You know this by instinct, but there are certain kind of products that need some special treatments.
Type of product or service that need a special focus:
- Fashion: You’ll need to have a staff of models, or ask for a photographer with plenty of experience in this field. You can skip the responsibility by trusting the job to a photographer that can handle the whole project from models and stylists, to lightning and catering.
- Food: You will need to go beyond the photographer, and you’ll have to ask for, or hire, a food styller. There is a somewhat huge problem when it comes to food because the chef is going to be aware of the taste, and the looks will come to a second plane in his priorities. You’ll have to get a food styller. You’ll have to be prepared to invest in ingredients and other things that will work as props for this job. I can state an advice here, and is to plan ahead the dishes that are going to be shot, your star products might be the way to go. There is no necessity to shoot the whole amount of plates on the menu.
- Patented products or patent related products: You’ll have to consider certain legal credentials, since you want to protect your intellectual property. I highly recommend you to get some information about intellectual property and patents, since it would be very desirable for you to be the owner of the entire amount of files or negatives that might be produced in the shooting. Of course this would raise up the price of the photographer’s quote, but it’s a great way to keep your intellectual property protected.
- Product: There is virtually an endless list and categories of products, but the only advice I can give you, is to define a scope in which you will include the stars and certain specific products. There are certain cases in which you’ll have to get a huge amount of photographs, like an online store for hardware, but this can fit into a rare case.
- Product as a Service: The only thing that would really be helpful, would be to do some research before calling a photographer. You need to analyze trends by doing some benchmarking job online.
- Staff: Sometimes you need to show to the world why your business family is different, and why they can trust you as business partners.
Other things to keep in mind regardless the product:
- Rents: You’ll have to keep in mind on your budget to invest in several kinds of rents. This can go from Props and specific architectural locations, to helicopters for aerials.
- Setting: There are certain kind of settings that the photographer would suggest for the project, and you’ll have to keep in mind this because of transportation and logistics.
- Legal stuff: There is a great variety of contracts you can arrange with a photographer, and they all depend on the level of ownership of the negatives and photographs and the period of time that this statements would be valid. You can consider Creative-Commons as a way to go if you are a small entrepreneur.
- Extra Skills: We can do multitask, we are used to do a lot of things that excel our scope, you can ask for some extra skills related to post-production or graphic design as well.
It all comes to a certain point in which you have decided exactly what you are looking for, and you now, can plan a meeting with some photographers. Be sure to be very clear on what you want for your photography asset. There would be a huge difference between an unexperienced clients, and a client with experience at the moment of the meeting. We all need to get experience when it comes to business, and both clients and suppliers can grow their expertise. You need to have a repertoire of references so you both can work in a more organic way. It is your business, you’ll enjoy doing some research to get the perfect mixture of references and own vision to get a visual product that will fit all your needs. For me this is the most valuable moments of this process, because all the background effort of yours, will be useful when stablishing the desired objective that you want to achieve.
Things to ask to the photographer
Ask for a portfolio: There is no better way to share experience than by showing clients a portfolio. Ask the potential photography partner to show you their portfolio.
Ask for a formal quote: Please do it, this will keep things traceable and it pushes us to work in a more professional way.
There can be moments in which you realize that you need two or three different kind of images, and it is not crazy to request different photographers to work together to get the project done. We as photographers tend to be kind of loners, but trust us, we can work in teams as well. For example, you own a restaurant and you want to show not just your products, but also the ambience of your place. You can hire a food photographer, and a photojournalist.
Said and done, you’ll begging to include this in your natural workflow if you practice this advice’s, and this will maximize time, and believe me, time is money.