One of the questions I am often asked is ‘What makes a great photography experience?’
Over the years I have worked with many clients, art directors and industry people. Having had many years of photography experience behind the camera and dealing with both simple and complex projects, I have come to realize that there are a few key things that will make any photography experience one that is incredibly satisfying and rewarding.
Here are five simple tips for a great photography experience.
1. Know what to look for in your professional photographer.
A GREAT PHOTOGRAPHY EXPERIENCE is what people look forward to the most when taking on a new photography project. Who you work with is very important.
Creative collaboration can be rewarding if you know how to make it possible and choose your team carefully. That first starts with the photographer:
- Do they have a portfolio that includes projects like what you are looking for?
- Do they have references/social proof of what they are like to work with?
- Can they show experience in the project you want to accomplish?
- Do they understand and agree to your budget, requests or restrictions?
Even if it means working one on one or as a team you need to be clear on your role and their style of work so that the team can perform as efficiently as possible. Do your research. Sometimes old teams can bring you the same old result. Look at any publication and see if you can spot the same teams all over again. Make sure the photographer you are choosing has experience and will not crumble with insecurity when the demands start coming in. Or simply will say no to your requests because they are a big deal and you should bow to their greatness.
2. Set your schedule ahead of time.
The hours in a day become minutes when a well-scheduled project is planned properly. This is why it’s so important to choose someone that has your best interest when working with them.
When you are working with a true professional, they can also help you be realistic about your project. This includes budget, helping to manage your expectations around what can be accomplished during the time you will be working together and how to create a great photography experience.
3. Determine what your end goal is.
This may sound obvious, but is it obvious for your project? If it’s all in your head, make sure you share that idea or have references ready to be followed.
Don’t be scared to paint a very clear picture. Sometimes an end goal can be as simple as deciding if you want light or dark. However, without deciding the end goal, your photographer and team can’t read your mind.
Planning and having precise examples of what you need will leave no grey areas on what the end result should be.
4. Ensure there are breaks scheduled in your work day.
This is something that I have found to be really important, especially with longer projects. Time is of the essence, but I have learned that scheduling a break in advance will give you advantages.
This includes keeping everyone energized and comfortable. A break can also help steer the ship towards the original plan if things didn’t start how you intended. Your team will also feel ready and eager to get back to it and after chatting and getting to know the other people, you will feel more connected.
Also, never underestimate the power of a great playlist! I have personally always made this an option for my clients and it has made our time together even more productive and enjoyable.
5. Lean into it! Sometimes the unexpected will blow your expectations away and get you a great photography experience.
Life happens; sometimes all your planing doesn’t go as expected. Sometimes your samples wont arrive on time or your model may cancel last minute, or even the weather may get a bit dicey.
Expect the unexpected and roll with it. You may just be surprised at how spontaneous events can produce great work. Good Luck!
Stay true and consistent to your self and look forward to creating a great EXPERIENCE no matter what your project, cause or needs are. Be open minded and don’t be too hard on your self.