Make sure you get the best out of your photographer by following my 12 simple pointers (things you might already know, but with everything else it’s nice to have them clearly listed).

  1. Before the day make sure your commercial photographer and you have spoken about the style of photography required.
  2. Make sure you send or bring with you the very best of your products, and if you send them make sure they’re well protected and, clean. Where possible make sure the ones you send have the labels on straight, labels on lids on top are aligned with side label. So many times I’ve received products where the labels aren’t straight, and that means extra time in Photoshop, which may in turn cost you more depending on your photographer
  3. Also where possible if your product requires assembly, ironing, or has lots of packaging layers, let the photographer know so that they can allow extra time for this, alternatively any photographer would be happy for you or colleague to attend and help with this process, so that the photographer can concentrate of making the products look amazing. The less time they spend sorting out the products, the more time they can spend making them look WOW!
  4. Bring eveything you require. That’s kind of obvious, but forgetting just one product can delay everything, especially in group shots, or where you have a set up and are just the products in and out. If that same set has to be matched at a later stage that can again take extra time.
  5. Also send more than one of each product, especially if it is a creative brief for social media or lifestyle advertising photography, so that the photographer can pick the best one, with least amount of scratches scuffs etc, also have one out of focus in the background etc. So if you are shoot a bag of say nuts, and you want to show them spilling out of the bag, it might take a lot of attempts to get the right opening of the bag, if we only have a couple of bags, that might cause a problem.
  6. If you have decided to supply some props, it sometimes makes sense to bring extra. For example, you require strawberries as props. In a single punnet there might not be the required amount that are the correct shape and size for the area of the shot. So get two or three. You also might decide to show an out of focus bowl in the background and a few in focus in the foreground. So spending a few extra pounds to have extra can make a good lifestyle shot great!
  7. If you want the shots labelled specifically, let the photographer know and send through a list, or label the backs of the products. Avoid sticky labels on the front of the products or where they will be visible in the shot. It will take time to remove each label from each shot, either physically or after in Photoshop.
  8. Have an idea of the dimensions you require the photography to fit. If it’s for a top banner on your website, then all the important parts need to be present when cropped. If it’s for Instagram then all the important bits need to be in a square. If different aspect ratios are required then be prepared to have to shoot several different shots, so that the product is in the correct place for all dimensions. Of course this will take more time, but it’s essential so that the shots work for your needs.
  9. If you have sent your products and you aren’t present at the studio, let the photographer know which days you will be near your desk or available to check images quickly especially when dealing with food such as salad or ice cream that will start to wilt or melt in a short space of time!
  10. If you are unhappy with any aspect of the shoot, let the photographer know ASAP. I pride myself in making sure the client is happy, I love knowing that my client gets everything they need and walk away happy with a load of images they can start working with, if you’re not happy then I’m not either and will work tirelessly to ensure you are.
  11. Postproduction. Depending on how many and what is required for the images shot, say in a day, if you need a quick turnoround please let the photographer know before the shoot. So they can ensure you get your images to meet your deadlines. If you require extra work, major retouching, clipping paths etc, then make sure your photographer can provide these and are included in cost.
  12. Usage: Check your usage rights, don’t assume that the photographs are yours. Some studios charge usage, so if you tell them it’s for point of sale then you use the image in social media they may charge extra for this. Always double check the usage policy.