Print & Web Photography – the pitfalls

Umbrellas at Sunset
An image created for an insurance clients web site to illustrate cover and protection.

So you want to book photographer for a brochure or web photography you are organising but what are the pitfalls? Maybe you have designers involved in the project and they are organising the imaging as part of their services. Maybe their advice and long experience maybe of use to you. One thing you can be sure of is that any services they subcontract will contain an element of risk to the supplier and therefore a cost to cover that risk. The further you are from the source of supply the greater the cost.

On the other hand you may want to organise your own photographer and have a greater hand in the decision making, design and concept. If so, what are the pitfalls and problems you may come across?

First you must have a clear understanding of what you are trying to achieve. Either a style you want, a quantity of images required or a clear idea of the theme you want the photographer to follow.

That all sounds very obvious but you wouldn’t believe the number of clients that really don’t have a clear idea of what they want and end up gathering a selection of images harvested from a multitude of sources – what’s the problem with that? Well would you decorate a room with 10 different colours of paint you found laying about?

One brochure or one web site, one photographer is the ideal, if that is not possible then all contributors must be shown the style of the other images you are using so they have a chance to try and match your style. This is especially important where you intend to sit several portraits on the same page – a consistency or theme is vital.

If you see images you like cut them out and show them to your photographer or put togeother a Pinboard digitally using a a service like Pinterest (see an example here ). A good photographer will be able to look at any image you give them and understand how it was lit and then hopefully be able to reproduce it!

If you have already had the text for the brochure written you can begin to get a good idea where and what sort of images you want to compliment that text. Being able to tell the photographer how many images you require is going to get you a better estimate of costs. Don’t forget all photographers price their services in different ways be absolutely sure you understand what a quote includes and doesn’t include. Some offer only rights for one time reproduction others will let you use the image for all future purposes. And don’t forget that final question – “Is there any other extras you haven’t mentioned?”

Having said all the above you still need to be flexible, most photographers are artists or at the very least imaging specialists. Where possible brief your photographer in person, ideally where they will be shooting so you have a chance to both view and discuss problems, concepts and ideas of the images wanted. Many times a good photographer will develop your ideas or image requirements in a way you hadn’t thought of either simplifying a potential problem or adding some creative flare to your ideas to lift the image to a level that will enhance your viewers enjoyment.

Which at the end of the day is what adding images to your documents is actually all about! Making your brochure or web site easy and a pleasure to read will increase you clients good will to your company and we all know that happy customers spend more money with you if they enjoy your services.

© Brian Russell

BRD Associates