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5 Top Tips on How to Write a Great Photography Brief

5 Top Tips on How to Write a Great Photography Brief

Do you need to know how to brief a photographer to make sure that you get what you need?

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?

Being able to write an effective brief is key to being able to get the photographs that you and your team will be proud to share.

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.

5 Top tips on how to write a great photography brief

How to Brief a Photographer

1. What are you hoping to achieve?

There are many reasons why you might be looking for a professional photographer. Of course the main reason will be that you are looking for quality images that will help you succeed. But what does that actually mean for you?

Are the images that you want for promotional purposes? Do you want to inspire people from them, or perhaps you want to sell a story. You may even be looking to improve your professional image or to work on building your brand with a dedicated style of photography.

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.

And if you are trying to sell a story…and even working on a brand involves story-telling, what is it that you want to say?

If you aren’t sure by what is meant by a photography style, you can read a handy guide here.

2. What are your plans?

This is perhaps the most obvious, but it’s important to let the photographer know the precise details of when you want the shoot to take place, the location and the contact details of anyone who may be on site if it isn’t you.

Not thought about a location and were hoping for the photographer to suggest one? No problem. Let them know if you have any ideas that you have, or provide them with a picture mood board and they may well know a place that would be perfect for the shoot.

Planning an outdoor shoot? Do you have a backup plan if it rains? An all important step to consider.

Perhaps you have a deadline in mind. Do you have a print date or tight schedule? Does your team need these images before they can work on the next part of the project? Let the photographer know.

How about how you need them to be delivered. Does your team need digital format delivered by a file transfer or do you need a longer term file storage solution that your photographer can provide?

3. Where will the images be used?

Images can have a single purpose and you want it for a promotion, or perhaps a professional profile. But if you want the images used for multiple purposes, you do need to tell the photographer who may need to take this into consideration when they are taking the shots.

For example, many websites use narrow image formats that are best served with centralised horizons or items of interest. But if you’re using that same image for social media like Instagram or Facebook, then the crops of the photos will be different but still need to look great.

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

  • Social media (which ones?)
  • Press/Media
  • Magazines
  • Print
  • Websites

4. Who will be there?

Are you going to be at the photoshoot? Perhaps your colleagues as well? Will it be an event with members of the public attending? 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. Images of individuals can be considered as special data under the GDPR rules, and that means you have to make sure that you have permission to use the images in certain circumstances. 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

The best way to brief a photographer is one that gives you success

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 get the images that you and your team can be proud of.

Of course, if you are looking for a photographer here in Cornwall and you would like to have a chat about your project, then I would be more than happy to talk with you.

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