5 Top Tips on How to Brief a Photographer

Do you worry about spending money on getting images that just miss the mark? Perhaps you’ve had that sinking feeling when the images have come back and they’re just not “right”? How you brief a photographer is the key to a successful shoot or project, and writing a photography brief ensures a clear and consistent approach to delivering those instructions and will make sure you have images you can be proud of.

Why write a brief at all?

Photographs are used in many different ways: for selling stories, for highlighting your brand, for professionalising your image, or even to inspire.

But how do you get that down on paper so that a photographer can understand what it is you need?

A well-structured brief will help you share your thoughts, plans and needs with your photographer so they can understand how they can help you.

Not only that, it will help you develop a great working relationship with your chosen photographer.

Here are 5 top tips on writing a photography brief that will give you the confidence you will get the images you need for success.

How to Brief a Photographer

1. What are you hoping to achieve?

The first question you need to answer is: what will the photographs actually mean to you and your business?

  • Will they help promote your business?
  • Do you want to inspire people from them?
  • Do you need to sell a story?
  • Are you building your brand?
  • Are you trying to professionalise your look?

Letting your photographer know what the purpose is for your images, and what you hope to achieve from them, will help them better understand and plan the photoshoot. This will also you help you choose the right photographer for you who has a style that reflects your needs. Because, let’s face it, not every photographer will be the right fit for you.

2. What are your plans?

When do you want the shoot to take place? Let your photographer know:

  • The location
  • Times and Dates
  • Contact details of anyone who may be on site if it isn’t you.
  • Key information about the site which may effect health and safety.
  • Do you have a backup plan if it rains?
  • Do you have a deadline? Perhaps a print date or schedule. Does your team need these images before they can work on the next part of the project?

The key to good communication is to make sure you have all the details written down so that nothing is missed.

3. Where will the images be used?

You want to maximise the use of your images so that you can get the most from them and improve the cost-benefit balance. How do you do this? By letting your photographer know how and where you want the images to be used.

Photographing for a website banner will often need a different composition to say the square or 3:4 image ratio of Instagram. But if a photographer knows how the images are to be used, they can plan images that can be used for multiple purposes.

Talk to your photographer and let them know if the images will be used for:

  • Social media (which platforms?)
  • Press/Media
  • Magazines
  • Print
  • Websites
  • Promotional stories

4. Who will be there?

Let your photographer know who will be at the photoshoot.

  • Are you going to be at the photoshoot?
  • Your colleagues?
  • Will it be an event with members of the public attending?
  • Do you have or do you need models?

It’s important to let the photographer know who will be present and what, if any, their roles will be. If you’re not present, who is the point of contact?

If you are arranging an event and there will be members of the public present, you might need to consider GDPR issues.

Letting your photographer know about this ahead of time means that they can provide model release forms if they are required, and provide you with any advice that you might need.

5. Include your details.

Last, but not least, don’t forget to include your details in your brief.

This should include:

  • Your name
  • Email address
  • Contact Address (and invoicing address if this is different)
  • Phone number/Mobile number

How you brief a photographer will be the key to giving you photographs you can be proud of.

Writing a great brief to give to your chosen photographer is the best way to make sure that you get the most from your photoshoot.

It could make the difference between meeting your budget or overspending, and it can help you and your team feel more confident that you will get the images you are hoping for.

Want to know how to brief a photographer at LLE Photography for your project?

As part of my service, I offer a free phone or video call consultation together with my photography brief template.

To deliver the memorable photographs you are looking for, ones that show your story and help you promote your brand, I believe in capturing the finer detail to make sure that you are happy with the images you get.

Let me help you tell your story.

Resources from around the web

The Photography Style Guide by Kibwe Brathwaite

Hiring a business Photographer by Disruptive Advertising.

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