How To Best Decrease The Cost Of Hiring A Photographer

You do not want to spend a lot of money on a photographer, here are a few ways you can potentially decrease the time and expense of hiring a professional photographer while improving their ability to produce the results you are looking for. 

Decide What You Have In Mind, And Set Priorities 

Create a shot list of what you would ultimately like to have images of. Think about how you plan to actually use the images, this may help determine how many images and even the camera orientation on them all. Once you have the end photos in mind and have created a list of what you would like photographs of and particular angles or perspectives that are essential, set priorities so that you know you will end up with the essentials if the others do not work out for one reason or another. 

Take Or Find Reference Photos

If you would like images that look a particular way, find references that show those qualities. Specify what it is about them that you are looking at specifically, it could be perspective, focus, colors, lighting, composition, or some other aspect that really holds the image together. If you can reference an image taken by the photographer previously, that would probably be even better as they will have an idea of what went into creating that image. You could also take some quick photos that give the initial general idea of what you are looking for in the end images, they can set the photographer on a path that may be harder to find otherwise, even with sketches and hand gestures. If you can, provide references with qualities you can identify as being valuable to creating your final images.   

Decide What You Do Not Want Or Need Photos Of

I often find it easier to start by figuring out what you do not want, or need. This can certainly be applied to photography as well. When you know you do not want a final image to look a certain way, and you can identify the qualities that you dislike, you are on the right path. It also really helps a photographer narrow things down when they go into a shoot knowing that a set of looks, perspectives, or details are either unwanted or simply unneeded. When you have your shot list, with priorities, you can almost create the reverse of that for what you do not want or need. Maybe you are working with a less than perfect situation or a wide array of other possible obstacles that you really do not want to over emphasize or even deal with at all, you could have a “definitely do not shoot this way” list. This mainly is to help narrow down what you have in mind, and then you’ll be better able to have time left over to get in the other lower priority shots or more time can be spent getting things exactly right.  

Don’t Try To Get Every Angle And Detail

This may be essentially a way of determining what is and is not needed, or wanted. Being conscious of all the possible angles and details, you can work to eliminate the non-essentials and decrease the amount of time that a photographer takes to get in ever photos.  

Prepare

By creating shot lists and setting priorities, you are helping to increase efficiency and decrease the time and expense put toward a photographer. Of course being prepared also entails having your subject, whatever it is, ready for the photographer as best as possible. It is possible that you will not be ready fully for the set time, but you can at least be partially prepared by having part of the shoot ready while you finish up the rest. certainly a photographer might be coming in to do photos that are a little more on the candid side, but you still want to know what kind of images you have in mind. It is also important that the photographer is able to get any references or shot lists ahead of time so they can be prepared and know where to begin and where to end. 

Do not Throw Something In Last Minute

Lastly, try not so throw something in at the last minute. It might seem like something simple to pull off, but it can become a distraction for the photographer from the current shot list or general plan. This can result in the photographer taking longer to stay focused as they think about the solutions to the new problem they are presented with. The last minute image might also require a different camera, lens, or lighting setup. Also you basically already decided it wasn’t that important, but seeing as it might be something you had not thought of before and you can see if it is at least possible to pull off after the other images are shot. 

In Conclusion

Ultimately, if you want to be able to hire a photographer that will get the images that you actually are after in a timely manner, preparation is key. Preparation can come in the form of a shot list, having your subject ready, thinking of and narrowing down all the possible details and angles, and avoiding throwing last minute ideas at the photographer. You may be transferring the time and preparation over to yourself, but you are also the one who is hoping to get the most out of the images in the end.   

Reasons Why Your "Before" Photos Are Important

Gives Perspective

Photographs taken before a project has begun can prove to be very valuable in the future. They are able to give a grounded perspective of what had previously existed. The scope of a project seen through the final result only shows a small, but vital, glimpse into all the time, effort, problem solving, and creativity that lead up to that point. By giving a customer, investor, or any other type of client, a grounded perspective of what existed before you put your hand to it, you are showing them proof that you have created something significant and new. You are not just “repackaging” or “rebranding” something, you are creating something new. 

Find The Difference

Once the project is completed, you have a point of reference on what was actually changed. You provide the viewer of the photographs with an opportunity to find the difference and see how it looks significantly different. There is a considerable amount of fun that can be had through this type of viewer engagement, they really become more involved in your process as they see what details went into the transformation. You might have a great end result, but without the before photograph we really do not know at which point you started creating and changing things for the better. We find value in something that has actually been changed, making our lives better or at least better looking. 

Problem & Solution

In a similar manner to before and after photos, these photos can serve as “problem and solution” photographs. The before photograph establishes or illustrates the problems and the after photograph established or illustrates the solutions. This could be a great way to show off most products and services in a way that customers can understand and relate to. Most businesses are out in the world trying to create solutions to problems on all different levels of life and industry. However, if customers do not see the problems, which could be shown through photographs, there is a strong possibility that they will see little to no value to the solution being offered. 

Historical Reference

Once you have made a change to something, there might be no going back. Products and places fade from our memories without historical documentation of them. Why do we care what something or somewhere once looked like? History gives us a sense of our place in the world and in time, something that is important to individuals and businesses that are out in the world trying to create solutions to relevant problems. There is no point in trying to create a product that is no longer relevant or has been tried and failed before. These photographs can be a source of inspiration, to anyone really but especially to designers and all kinds or creative individuals and businesses. Maybe you will get an idea for the name of a place or business based on the type of business that had previously existed for decades. Maybe the architecture can be integrated into new structures. Maybe you want to use an old product as a reference for the styling of a new one. Maybe you can learn something from an otherwise forgotten product. Without photographs of places and products before they have been drastically altered or lost to time, they become simply a fragment of a memory.

In Conclusion

When photographs are taken before a project begins, you are creating a grounded perspective on the understanding that you are creating something new, and doing something significant. You are providing a customer with an opportunity to engage with your process and results, showing the changes you have made or showing the problems you have solved. In creating these photographs you are building a valuable historical reference, one that can inspire and truly capture the valuable transformative powers of your time, effort, craftsmanship, imagination, and your creativity.


7 Practical Types of Behind The Scenes Photos To Share

At Work

You spend almost every day of the week working, that could include any number of things really, but you are busy keeping things going. You may not believe it is all the exciting, or maybe you do, but other people will appreciate seeing you at work. By other people I mean customers. Photos of you and your team at work show that you are on a path of forward momentum, that you are keeping things running and that your customers will have you to buy from or work with in the future. It is fun to see behind the scenes, it helps to increase transparency and trust between you and your customers. 

Process

With behind the scenes in mind, it is worth considering getting in some photos of the process. If you make a product, consider including photographs of the manufacturing process. This is where you go beyond the “before and after” and get what is in between. This can really support building upon trust and transparency with your customers. Seeing the process, or even a portion of it, helps elevate the value that you are providing to your customers and clients as they can see the time and effort that went into making the end result. 

Unfinished Product

You might not be finished, but if you are willing to give a glimpse of a new product to your customers you will not only benefit from the same results as in showing the process but also you can gather interest as they await the final result. You can certainly hold off on actually sharing the photos until the product is finished, but have them available to get people interested as you systematically release the images. If you do not have them, you cannot really build upon anticipation of customers. 

Experiments 

If you have a business where you experiment, on any level, this could be a great way to garner interest and anticipation. Like the above types of photographs, you are building upon an idea of trust and a level of transparency with your customers. You could also simply share a photograph of some of the tools or machines that you use in developing new products. Experiments imply new products and new products get people excited. Experiments can also imply innovation, something a lot of customers will be interested in if you are the type of business that tries to innovate. 

Whole Team

There are many people behind your business. You might have a few people or hundreds of people all doing different things to further improve and grow your business. If you can get photographs of these various different teams, groups, or departments they could help showcase the wide variety of talents that are brought together to make your business as strong as it is. Each individual plays a vital role, uniting together. If a customer can see the real team behind your business, the people they talk to through customer support or the executives and everyone in between, they are better able to trust you and want to be your customer and actually spend money on what you are offering.

Workspace, Factory, or Warehouse

Your business might be out of a large factory or warehouse, or a small office in a business park somewhere. Wherever it is, it is a big part of your business. People want to see what kind of work environment their product or service is coming out of. They will probably never come to visit you but this way they can see that you value how your workspace looks and that you create an environment  that is comfortable and practical for your employees. People also find factories and machines really fascinating.

 

Equipment & Tools

Seeing how a product is made can add a great deal of value to a product from a customer’s perspective. Equipment, tools, and machinery often captivate the imagination as you often imagine how someone came up with ideas behind their purpose and how specialized they are. You might be using highly specialized state of the art new equipment, which could draw people to your business as they know they will get the best and only available of your product or service. You might also be a business that has gone in the other direction, utilizing old equipment for it’s original purpose or even a novel new one that you have capitalized on. Your business might be emphasizing the hands on approach that you use to create authentic products and services or fully automated computer programmed. Either way, or even in-between, showing the equipment that you use can add to the value you are bringing to your customer. 

In Conclusion

By showing photographs that give customers a behind the scenes look at your work, process, experiments, team, workspace, and the equipment and tools that you use, you are helping to increase desirable transparency and trust with your customers. All of this adding up to an increased sense of value that you bring to your customer, giving them more reason to buy whatever you are selling. 

How To Best Use Photos In Printed Materials

Business Cards

Business cards are a great place to start to use photos. Go into this with the intension of actually getting them out into the world and not just having them on hand when needed. Depending on the type of business you are in it might be worth getting a new set for each new collection, season, or quarter to keep things updated. Try creating a layout that uses multiple photos of your work, your logo, and contact information. You can, and probably should, also have a card that does not have any photos but is your standard card you use all the time. It might be worth thinking of the photo business card as pocketable, visually oriented and descriptive, postcard.

Postcards

A postcard is a great way to put a selection of photographs to use in a neat and engaging layout. A postcard does not ever need to be sent to anyone, think of it more as a reference to a general size of a piece of printed promotional material. These are a great place to showcase a particular project, a product line, various aspects of your business, or a single photograph that represents your business. You will also want to include some degree of contact information, even if it is simply your logo and website address. Though they would not have the same layout, you could think of a photo based postcard or business card as playing the same role in different sizes and shapes. These are of course a few of the many creative possibilities that can come about through the use of photographs in printed layouts.

Brochures

Moving on up in detail and size, along comes the brochure. People expect to learn, gain insight, or become curious about your business when they read through a brochure you have created. You can use a lot of photographs to illustrate the ideas behind your business, with a greater amount of text to bring it all together. Brochures are an opportunity to really engage with a potential client. You can use the experience of reading though the brochure to your advantage. The united efforts of graphics, photos, and text can lead a reader on a journey as they unfold and flip over the brochure.

 

Booklets 

Another great opportunity to really engage a clients’ attention is through some kind of booklet, be it a catalog, portfolio, look book, or a couple of pages on a single product line or service your business offers. You can still create a journey through the layout with the arrangement of photographs, text, and other graphic elements. A journey and story that tells clients what is important to you, and what you will provide them with. This could also be for a purely practical purpose of illustrating individual aspects of your business in a systematic way. You will want to create new ones for each new season, quarter, product line, or any kind of offering. This booklet does not need to be large or have hundreds of pages that take hours to arrange and finalize, you can keep it simple and to the point. 


How to Quickly Increase Consistency With A Photo Style Guide

In order to create a cohesive look to your photographs, you should consider setting up a style guide to keep a similar look to all future photographs that you use. The following are some aspects to consider including and defining for consistent results.

Color Palette

There are many ways you can go with your color, but you first have to decide if you want color at all. If you go with black and white photographs, you will focus on levels of brightness and contrast as your defining look. Assuming you do not go in that direction and head towards color, you have a few additional variables to consider. Mainly you will be deciding on colors, do you want a warmer or cooler color palette? Greener or more magenta? Ultimately you want to choose a look that you know you can replicate consistently and easily, consider including examples for reference. Also remember to choose a level of brightness and contrast that can be replicated also. If you are conscious of maintaining these few variables, your photographs should be on the right path to consistency.

Composition

There are a few sides to the decision you must make on composition. First, you need to consider if you want to have all your images composed in a very similar way. If so you might want every shot to have the subject centered and any horizon line at or below the lower third. Secondly, if you do not want to be so restrictive consider setting at least one variable. It could be having a similar horizon line, never cutting off part of the subject, not having anything obscuring the subject, or any other aspect that could remain constant. Thirdly, consider the foreground, background, and anything in the middle. This could make a big impact, especially if you always want them to be similar and if they take up dominant part of the photograph. There are a lot of variables to composition that you can consider specifying including leading lines, balance, scale, hierarchy, and contrast. 

Subjects

This is mainly to help you create a list of possible subjects to get photographs taken of, relevant to your business. This can also help you to know what does not belong, knowing what does and does not get people's attention and engagement also helps to adjust this section. Technically, if you follow your color and composition guide lines, you should be able to make any subject fit in with the rest. It is then up to you to give it context in relation to the other photos. See this as a place to create a list of possible ideas beyond what you think of right away, consider looking at other businesses for ideas also. Then apply your other guidelines. 

Perspectives

Perspective is a great way to establish a uniform look to your photographs. If you were to choose one or two perspective that you stick with it could be only using photographs that look straight down on your products or straight at a subject using the product.  You do not want to have photographs where you are looking slightly up at your subject then down and then from the side next to each other. You also probably do not want to throw in an unrealistic and disorienting perspective that distorts reality. As with everything else above, if you are very restrictive with perspective, you can ensure consistent photographs. 

Interaction Of People

If you have people in your photographs, be aware of how they are interacting. Consider if you want them to appear to be aware of the viewer, as if they are in the scene, or have them in their own world doing their work or having fun with the product you are selling. The same applies if you are providing a service to your customers, the way the people in any photograph are interacting with one another and the viewer is very important to be aware of. It is worth establishing general situations when they should be interacting one way or another. 

In Conclusion

Consistency might not guarantee great photos, but setting restrictions for the above guidelines will set you on a better path. This way if you are not taking all the photos yourself, The people that are will be able to follow your guidelines and get you the results you want. Consistency builds trust, customers want to see that you take your image seriously and that you are not throwing unwanted content at them that has no relevance and doesn’t look like it belongs. Put down some ideas for each of the above sections and try keeping them for a month or so and see how that goes.  

How To Best Compose Multiple Photos Together, In 3 Ways

Grids 

A great starting place to bring together multiple photographs is to utilize a grid. This could be a simple arrangement of photographs of the same orientation and aspect ratio in a two by two, three by three, or any number of photos by any other number of photos. Or you can take the layout further, arranging the photographs on an unseen grid that holds together the layout but can utilize photographs of different aspect ratios (1:1, 3:2, 4:5, etc.) and orientations (vertical or horizontal). There is a considerable amount of freedom allowed by utilizing a grid, but the constraints that do exist really help create a cohesive layout. This underlying grid can also help integrate text within the layout alongside the photographs.  

 

Shapes

Putting a photograph within a shape is a great way to go beyond the grid. The shape may be as simple as a circle or a complex repeating geometric pattern. Shapes are a great way to utilize a logo or graphic element that goes with a your branding. The arrangement of these shapes, holding photographs, can take on a structured grid like form or carefully composed freeform composition integrated with text and other graphic elements. There is a wide array of creative possibilities when it comes to using shapes, probably too many. There should be intension behind your decision to go with this approach, especially if it can be seen and understood.   

 

Collage

Ditching the grid and confining shape approaches all together leads you down the path to a place where all rules and structure can seem to be thrown aside. At the end of that path you can see a nearly infinite array of possibilities when you take on a collaged approach to utilizing multiple photographs. You can take a cut and paste approach, as rough or refined as is appropriate. You can simply overlap multiple images in a manner that gets across the ideas you want to express with the combined photographs. With this approach, you can bring together various elements of varying size, color, texture, and perspectives in unique ways that can help tell the narrative of your photographs.