Top 11 Tips for booking a photographer.
A couple of blogs ago I promised a quick guide to choosing a photographer for your project. Then I forgot and instead wrote something terribly witty about Leonardo da Vinci and infinite monkeys. I know it was witty because somebody said so. “That’s witty”, they said.
Getting back on track, here is the blog I originally promised. As a bonus I’m doing it in a top ten list sort of a form. As a double bonus, and in the style of Spinal Tap, my top ten list goes to number 11, so it’s one better than all the other top ten lists.
So here, in roughly the right order are your top 11 tips to finding, briefing and booking the right photographer for your project. This is only a rough guide of course, but it should help you with the basics.
1. You need to start by defining what the project is, and what style and quality you’re looking to achieve. From this you should be able to construct a rough brief, even if it needs adjusting later.
2. Start by looking for the photographers who can help you; specialists in the kind of photography you’re after. With each field of photography well catered for, there’s little point looking for a wedding photographer for a corporate shoot, or an interiors photographer for press shots. It just happens I don’t shoot underwater pet weddings, so please don’t ask.
3. Talk to a few photographers and get an idea of the different rates and approaches they have.
4. It’s only fair to get firm quotes based on a clear brief, so whittle down your choice and start to talk about fees, either with a couple of photographers or with the one who shoots to the style and quality you need. I went into more detail about how rates work in the last-but-one blog. The photographer can often help develop the brief at this stage.
5. A brief consists of the date, time, location, what the pictures are to be of, how many pictures are required (approximately if necessary), your contact name, email and mobile number.
6. The brief also includes what the pictures are to be used for. This also helps define the likely fees, as well as informing the photographer on certain technical and artistic considerations.
7. You will need to know the photographer’s terms and conditions. These should be pretty standard, but check them all the same. Mine stipulate a bowl of M&M’s* on arrival.
8. Allow the photographer to liaise with your designer (if you’ve hired one). It can save a lot of time if the photographer knows how the images are to fit within the design.
9. Agree how the pictures are to be delivered, what file sizes are required (the photographer will advise you on this) and how soon after the shoot they are required.
10. Make sure you liaise on any special instructions that will help the photographer – props, access to the building, parking. It’s easy to forget that photographers need equipment, some of it heavy, so a nearby parking space makes us feel valued. We have such simple pleasures. Oh and don’t forget the M&M’s.
11. Finally, you should enjoy the day. It’s a break from the office routine, and I promise I’ll share the M&M’s. Mmm M&M’s…**
*Apostrophe police, please note the apostrophe in M&M’s is there because the manufacturer put it there, though it begs the question “M&M’s what?”
**I am not paid by Mars confectionary (manufacturer of M&M’s) to promote M&M’s, however if Mars would like to make a donation of M&M’s to me, they should contact me first for my address.
Article and photos © Tim Gander. All rights reserved 2009