With the proliferation of stock images and the immediate nature of digital photography, the need for a good, well thought-out photoshoot is more important than ever if your brand is to stand out.
When it comes to stock photography I think we can agree a picture is worth about…6 or 7 words.
The tangible value of well-planned, relevant and quality content should never be underestimated. It will fuel conversion. It will tell your story, and it will build your brand.
Whether we’re working with our clients to support a digital strategy or creating a concept for a high street retail campaign — we know real pictures do speak a thousand words.
No one likes a Colgate smile!
There are a number of reasons why a creative and well thought out photoshoot will benefit your brand:
The images are unique to you — you need never worry about seeing your images being used by a competitor.
They can depict something very specific — by definition, stock images are generic so they attract the maximum amount of downloads from a variety of industries.
They are an investment — Over time they can be used across all platforms and media—from large format print to small screen sizes, the images are of high professional quality, flexible and yours to use across your business.
Good photography inspires — there is nothing that spurs a designer on more than using professional images that are created specifically for the project in hand.
So how and when does art direction fit in? Over the years, the FortyTwo team have gained extensive experience in this and we’ve put together a little check list to ensure you get the most out of your shoot:
Art direction doesn’t start when the shoot does — It starts from the very first conversation. What images are needed? Why are they needed? What do they need to convey? The choice of photographer, locations and models are all part of the ‘art direction’ role and making good choices early on, makes it easier later on.
Get it right on the day — Although post production technologies are incredible and give you the power to change and improve any image, don’t rely on it to rescue a bad image. Post production at its best enhances an already good image into a great one, so make sure you have the best images possible.
Don’t talk in riddles — “Make it pop!”, “Think of your favourite animal.” Helpful? No. Give real direction that clearly communicates what you like, what’s working and what’s not. Models and photographers want to make sure you get the shots you want, explaining things plainly will do this.
Know what you want — It seems obvious, but having a clear idea of what constitutes a successful shoot is vital—amount of images or composition that fits its eventual use — manage your expectations and that of the client and decide what you need from the shoot and keep that in mind throughout the day. Don’t turn up and think you can ‘wing it’.
Pick a photographer that suits the brief — Most photographers can turn their hand to any situation but they all have specialisms and strengths. Choosing an appropriate photographer is better than choosing someone you know and asking them to mimic a style of another. When chosen, trust the photographer and give them room to create, they have the eye and the skill to exceed your expectations, so let them and don’t over manage the scene.
Trust your judgement — This comes with experience but gut wins over BS every time. Take the time to understand all the elements that need to be aligned for a good image to happen — stylist, model, location, weather, photographer, lighting — then over time your instinct will kick-in and good images will follow.
Get in touch
FortyTwo Studio are an Aberdeen based design agency with vast experience in designing for brand, digital and print. So we know a thing or two about art direction and making images.