Content Creation Series : Photography

As a digital media strategist I often have to send multiple emails asking some clients to send me content. Please keep in mind that digital strategy and content creation are two separate roles not the same (yes this is shade to anyone who is currently hiring a digital media strategist/social media manager and asking them to do the work of two with the salary of one). Content creation is a multi-layered work process with different ways of creating content. There is video, images, written and audio content options. Therefore the person who is hired as a content creator often has a full workload and it can be an additional work burden to think about the strategy side of things as well.  However a  content creator can have input on the content creation strategy or the content calendar but shouldn’t have to do this alone. Over the next few weeks I want to share tips on making sure you go about creating content the right way whichever method or platform you use.

Let’s start with Photography. It’s important to always have a conversation with a client about what sort of content they currently have and what sort of content they can supply you with. Here are some of the things you need to consider when your strategy is heavily reliant on images:

  • Does the client have a photographer? If they don’t have a photographer check your network and see if you have a photographer whose work, work style and personality will be a perfect fit with your client.
  • It’s good to have several photographer options for clients especially if a client has a specific way of working. Some photographers are great at food, lifestyle and weddings or only one of those. Others may be well versed in taking portraits, high fashion or business shoots. The main quality a photographer should have is reliability and quality.
  • Never force a photographer to give you discounted work unless you are clear and fair about the situation. If you tell the photographer what your budget is and they agree to that budget for a client even though their normal rates are higher don’t assume that, that is the price for ALL clients even the ones whose budgets are higher. Also budget for the photographer, long term the images can be used consistently over a period of time.You may be able to splash out once and use the images for multiple uses.
  • Whenever you have an event for a client and a photographer is there ensure you maximise on their presence. Event specific pictures are great but also think long term. what pictures can you take on the day that can be used beyond the event. Do not surprise photographers with extra work, be clear in your brief that although the event may be the focus you may require a different set of shots/style of shots.
  • Communicate with your photographer throughout but also give them room to do their magic. Once you are comfortable that the photographer understands what you are looking for, you can check in once in awhile to see that they are on track.
  • Make sure images fit in with your content calendar and strategy. Using a different photographer is ok but make sure there is consistency in the quality.
  • Create image content for dates in the calendar year in advance (Christmas, New Year, Valentines Day, Easter  etc)

Photographers:

  • Always ask for a detailed brief from the client (written). Verbal instructions can be forgotten by yourself and the client. Having a brief that is clear and written ensures that there is less room for misunderstanding and having to re-shoot images.
  • Have a rate card that is clear and easily accessible
  • Ensure you ask clients every possible question that could impact the quality and style of images. If you are the photographer for an event, ask to do a walk through of the event. What time is the event?  Is there enough lighting, natural light or will you need to bring extra equipment? Once an event is over you can not re-shoot that event. You may edit the images as much as possible but even then the client may not be happy.
  • Make sure you show the client (on-site) the quality of images you are taking for approval or sign-off. If client is not on-site email or whatsapp one or two sample images and ask for feedback or if they are happy. Again this covers you if a client comes back and says they are not happy with the photos.
  • Give realistic time frames when informing clients about when images will be ready.
  • Don’t over edit images, again send one or two for approval
  • Ensure that any images that need to be revised, reshot etc is covered prior to shooting. How many revisions or reshoots can you do before you charge extra?
  • Last but not least? When handing over the images to a client ensure that it’s an easy hand over. I was recently introduced to Pixieset by Namukolo of Eness Photography (https://pixieset.com -Beautiful client photo gallery designed for professional photographers to share, deliver, proof and sell online.) Alternatively WeTransfer also works for larger files (
    https://wetransfer.com –WeTransfer is the simplest way to send your files around the world. Share large files up to 2GB for free.)

What advice do you have for photographers or for clients who may need a photography project completed?