With the increasing prevalence of online marketing and social media, many established photographers are discovering the benefits of getting in front of the camera with a professional photographer and the power of working with a creative team.
This trend is supported by a 2019 report from Adobe which found that 69% of respondents used marketing photography to attract attention to their products and services.
But how does one go about producing a marketing film or photograph? What are the essential requirements? What are the pre-defined parameters?
Here we answer those questions and more with the aid of an expert panel including seasoned photographers, award-winning production companies, and leading social media agencies.
What Is Marketing Photography?
Marketing photography is photography used in marketing strategies, generally to persuade consumers to purchase a product or service.
The imagery may be used to advertise products and services, promote a campaign, or communicate a message.
It can also be used to support other types of content, such as product reviews, case studies, or interactive tools such as FAQs or surveys.
Marketing Photographers typically work within a marketing agency or in-house within a brand or business. They produce imagery that demonstrates the quality of the products or services being marketed and/or supports other types of content such as web pages or advertisements.
Marketing photographers can tackle a variety of assignments including product shots for companies such as Coca-Cola, Cadbury, and Unilever; advertising campaigns for brands such as Heineken, Nestle, and Proctor & Arnesen; and editorial stories for titles such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Wired.
The Role of a Creative Director
The Creative Director is the senior member of a creative team and is ultimately responsible for the overall look and feel of the creation. In this role, he or she will work closely with the project manager to translate the brief into a cohesive creative vision.
The Creative Director will form the creative brief with the project manager and may oversee the project from start to finish. On larger projects, he or she may split their time between the office and the studio as required.
In addition to their oversight role, the Creative Director will play a key part in shaping the tone and content of the work through extensive editorial guidance. This involves reviewing the script, storyboards, and production designs to ensure that the final piece represents the client’s brand values.
The Creative Director is ultimately responsible for the success of the project and will be held accountable for its outcome. He or she will review the final deliverables and, as necessary, give feedback on each phase of the project. This includes the creative and the technical aspects of the work as well as the handling of any external teams or resources. Finally, he or she will be the face of the agency, regularly attending meetings and presenting the work to clients.
The Essential Photography Equipment
While every photographer is different, most marketers and creative directors will agree that good photography is mostly about having the right tool for the job.
With that in mind, here is a list of the essential gear that every professional photographer should have in their bag.
1. Professional Toolbag
Having the right toolbag is essential as you will need various tools to fulfil your assignments. A good, quality tool bag will depend on the type of photography you do. For example, if you are a fashion photographer, you will need a bag that can hold all of your essential fashion tool. This could include a macro lens, speedlite, monochrome print head, colored print head, and various lenses. If you are a food photographer, you will need a bag which can hold your essential food tool. This could include a wide-angle lens, a small soft bag, and a flashlight.
2. Bag For All Surfaces
Whether you are shooting on location or in the studio, you will regularly be faced with different types of surfaces. This is why you need a bag which can hold all of your gear for all types of surfaces. If you are on location, you may find that you are dealing with various types of terrain including mud, sand, snow, and/or water. In which case, you will need a bag that is water-resistant and has an outer shell that can protect your gear from getting wet or damaged. Make sure that the bag you purchase is large and spacious enough to hold all of your gear. In addition, you want to purchase a bag which has high-quality, durable straps so that you can carry the weight of your gear easily. Should you drop your bag, you don’t want to be struggling with the weight of it as you run after the take-away.
3. Right Lenses
A good quality 50mm lens or wider is all that is required to take decent photos. While the kit lens may be suitable for general purpose photography, it is only a basic lens and will not give you the level of control that a dedicated lens can.
The right lenses will enhance your photos significantly and allow you to apply your unique artistic vision to your work. When selecting lenses, consider the effect that different focal lengths have on your images. For instance, if you are a landscape photographer, you may want to consider purchasing a long lens to capture distant views of landmarks or to bring the features of landscapes closer to the viewer.
Although a good all-purpose lens may not exist, it’s worth searching for one that is designed for a specific use. For example, if you are a corporate entrepreneur who needs help promoting your business, you may want to consider purchasing a marketing lens for your camera to help you envision the types of photos you will need to produce to successfully communicate your brand.
4. Great Quality Prints
No photo album is complete without beautifully composed prints on classic white paper. If you are taking photos for an album or to send to family and friends as a keepsake, you will want to make sure that the prints are of great quality. This means that you need to invest in a printer which is capable of producing photographic prints of a high enough quality for an album cover. For instance, if you are shooting on a green screen, you will need to have great-quality print backgrounds for the scenes you are working on. This will ensure that the video and the images coordinate properly when put together.
The Difference In Quality
If you are taking photos for an album or to send to family and friends as a keepsake, you will want to make sure that the prints are of great quality. In addition, if you are on location and need to make a quick decision about what exposure you need to get the right effect, you may not have the time to set up your photo booth and have your photos printed. In that case, you will want to invest in a digital print system so that you can quickly and easily send the finished product to be printed. This will make a massive difference in terms of the time it takes to get your photos done. You won’t be able to tell the difference in quality between traditional and digital prints once you try them both. They are both great quality.
Aside from the above, there are several other things which you should consider before taking on a marketing project.
It is important to consider the budget of the project as a whole before starting to work on it. To put it simply, you don’t want to overextend yourself financially. When it comes to budget, more isn’t necessarily better. You want to secure a decent budget which can cover the overall cost of the project. This includes hiring talented and experienced personnel as well as buying necessary equipment.
Where you decide to shoot can be crucial to the success of your project. For example, if you are located in the United Kingdom and you are marketing a British product, you may want to consider shooting in Britain. This will allow you to access wider locations as well as different types of light which could enhance the final product. If, on the other hand, you are located in a small town in Sweden and you are marketing a product which is very popular in your country, you may want to consider setting up shop in a larger city in order to reach more customers. This may mean traveling to different locations to shoot, but it could also mean getting out of bed earlier in the morning to get the best shot.