Making Your Photographer a Partner

I’ve been a Boston based corporate photographer for a decade and have been fortunate to work with so many different companies.  I am grateful to have such variety in my work.  One day, I can be spending a full day at the Intercontinental Hotel Boston on an architectural shoot, the following day I can be shooting employee event for Bright Horizons, and the next day I can shoot a head shot for someone starting their own small business or blog.  I have no preference on the size or type of company I work for.  But I do love when a business allows me to become their partner.  It takes a lot of the guess work out of my creative process.  I know what type of images my client is looking for (light and airy, vibrant and crisp, portrait or landscape, detail or big picture, edgy or safe, and so on).  Therefore I can create images that are perfect for their specific needs and target market.  Through the years, I’ve been lucky to work with several companies and business people multiple times.  They’ve allowed me real insight into their business goals and culture and have allowed me to be a partner in those goals.  Here are the top five ways to make your corporate photographer a partner in your business.


1. Tell your photographer where you are going to use the images.

Will your images be in print or in social media?  Are they used in a magazine ad or at a kiosk?  Are they used in newsletters or emailed to prospective clients?  Answering these questions will help determine a lot about how your photographer frames your advertizing images.  If they are for a very specific use, they’ll want to know the dimensions required.  If your marketing images will used in several places, they’ll want to leave room for cropping or take images from different perspectives.  If your event photography is to be used in social media, turnaround time may be very important.


2. Tell your photographer about your target market and business philosophy.

If your business prides itself on being tried and true or sturdy and reliable you may not want to show images with a trendy photography style.  However, if you attract clients because you are cutting edge, you should avoid traditional imagery on your website.  It may seem obvious, but sharing your company target market, mission and philosophy with your business photographer will really help them decide on the creative direction for your employee head shots or product images.


3. Share with your photographer your marketing goals and priorities.

A special event photographer may take a gorgeous photo of your event space, but if the room is half empty it may appear that your event was not well attended.  If your goal is to promote next year’s event, those beautiful images are useless to you.  Make sure you tell your event photographer that goal.  They will be sure to photograph large groups of people having fun.  If the main purpose of your conference is networking, they can concentrate on people shaking hands, exchanging business cards or in intense conversation.  If the main purpose of your company event is to honor specific guests, they can focus on those guests and their interaction with others at the celebration.  Alternately, if you are a real estate photographer, what do you want to highlight about the space?  Is it all about the view?  That room shot will require a very different exposure than if you don’t want anyone to see the overgrown yard out back.  Are you advertising the home as large and airy or cozy and comfortable?  Photographing those rooms may require different angles or different lenses all together.


4. Let your photographer know about the people they are shooting.

If your CEO is having his head shot taken and hates taking pictures, this is important information for your studio photographer.  A photographer can take special care to make the CEO feel at ease.  They can also have a stand-in do all the lighting tests so your boss does not have to spend any extra time having his or her head shot taken.  If your event photographer is shooting your company holiday party tell them about the people working at that company.  Are they outgoing and fun and love to have their photo taken?  Or are they going to be spending more time in quite conversation and will not want to be bothered?


5. Communicate your needs with your photographer prior to your shoot.

The sooner your corporate photographer knows your needs and priorities, the better equipped they will be to meet and exceed your expectations.  I recently had a meeting with the TJX Corporation about their event photography needs.  They did not have a specific event in mind when we met and we had never worked together before.  They just wanted to make sure I’d be a good fit should they need a photographer for an employee outing or event.  I can’t tell you how grateful I was for that opportunity.  I was able to learn about their events and company culture.  I had the opportunity to ask them questions about how they use their images.  We’ve just booked our first event together and I know  I’ll be prepared to capture exactly what they need.

About the Author:
Photography by Nikki Cole is a full service corporate and commercial photography studio. We provide professional head shots and portraiture in studio or on location, architecture and product imaging as well as special event coverage.


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