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Professional Photoshoot

How to Plan a Professional Photoshoot

Photoshoots play a pivotal role in helping a company or brand spread the word about their products and services. When properly done, one photoshoot can provide timeless content that can be used across multiple mediums for your business: social media, digital ads, website, and flyers. A professional photoshoot allows an organization to create a cohesive brand and ensures that all external communications and messaging are aligned. If you are overwhelmed when thinking of how to begin planning a photoshoot for your business- you are not alone! 

There are many factors that go into making your photo session successful. Often total photoshoot costs can vary from $500 to $5000, so when planning it is important to have a budget to adhere to that can help guide your photoshoot planning process. If time and budget permit, it may be best to enlist the help of a marketing agency near you that has connections to photographers and talent in the area.

Find a Professional Photographer for Corporate Photos

When looking for a skilled professional photographer for your photoshoot, it is important to first get acclimated with their portfolio. A photographer that specializes in event photography may not be the ideal choice for corporate headshots or lifestyle photography for your business- so it is suggested that you clearly understand what your goals are with booking a photoshoot. If you are looking for a photographer that can successfully capture people in a workplace setting with natural poses and minimal editing, a Google search for “business lifestyle photographer” and “branding photographer” will yield you plenty of high quality photographers to choose from. 

Many photographers will assist in the creative development of a shoot, but it is important to decide ahead of time if that will be something you need assistance with. Quality photographers can cost anywhere from $300 to $3,000 so be clear on what your photoshoot budget will be as this will be the largest expense. Four hours of shoot time can equip you with plenty of images, and allows you to work with a photographer at their half day rate rather than full day rate. While this will be the largest expense of your photoshoot, there are other costs to also keep in mind.

How to Find A Place to Photograph

One surprising cost associated with planning a photoshoot is a location usage fee. If looking to utilize private property, ultimately it is up to the property manager or building manager of the location who will need to grant you permission to do so. These property managers often have the ability to charge a usage fee, which can vary from $150 to $1000. This usage fee is often defended as a surcharge to use a property because it is seen as a disturbance for tenants. If looking to shoot in a location pre-designated for a photoshoot, is a great resource to find locations that can be rented on an hourly basis. It is a common requirement to sign an indemnity waiver and provide proof of liability insurance if utilizing an external location for a photoshoot.

Finding Talent for Your Photoshoot

If planning a corporate photoshoot for marketing and advertising collateral, sometimes it makes sense to hire professional talent. It can be tempting to recruit friends or colleagues to be the subject of the photoshoot but there are clear benefits to hiring professional models. When hiring models through a talent agency or modeling agency, it can be expected that they will show up on time, behave professionally, and take direction much easier. 

Talent agencies will ask what demographic of talent you are looking for and what the purpose of the photoshoot is to help you find the most ideal candidates for the job. Be prepared to know what ethnicity, age, and overall “vibe” is needed for the photoshoot and be able to communicate that to the agency. The price to book professional talent is widely varied, and most agencies will charge an agency fee that can drive the cost up 20% more. Some agencies will also charge an additional licensing fee for their talent being used in certain types of mediums, like print magazines or advertisements.

How to Prepare for Photoshoot Day

By the day of the photoshoot, the photographer and the subjects of the photoshoot should all be aware of what will be expected of them. Everyone should know what to wear and how to do their hair and makeup. If hiring a makeup artist for your photoshoot is necessary, make sure they know where and when to show up. While not necessary, it may be best to send the makeup artist photos of who will be getting photos taken ahead of time, so that they can bring proper makeup and hair products. It is customary to send a call sheet to all involved in the day so that everyone knows when they need to be on-site and what will transpire throughout the day of the shoot. 

All people being photographed should sign a model release form that outlines the conditions of the photos being used and ultimately protects all parties involved. For all those participating that are being paid for their time, it is best to collect their W-9 and invoice ahead of time to ensure quick payment. A shot list shared with the photographer will guide the day and ensure that all of the photos needed will be taken. If you are looking for a Southern California based marketing agency that can help you plan a professional photoshoot, Centric Marketing has a combined 60 years experience assisting our clients in strategic communications, branding, and content development.