Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Commercial Photography - Collaboration, Cooperation, and Collective Vision

Collaboration. It's not often a word used by photographers. For commercial shooting, it's a must. For, a recent shoot I put together, we needed 2 people for talent, our photographer for the day, 2 assistants, and an editor. 6 people for just a few images? Yep. Is this what corporate/commercial clients should expect? Yep. Nearly always. Here's why...

1 - Teams makes any shoot go faster saving money. Saving money by skimping on assistants doesn't make sense financially as a 2 hour shoot can easily turn into a 6 hour shoot without help.

2 - Having extra people to adjust lights, exposure settings, etc., allow the photographer to make the picture the best he can without running back and forth to adjust lighting. In short, a client gets better images.

3 - The talent waits less and can get into the flow of the shoot better as there's less dead time.

Better images created is the bottom line. If a client is already spending money for custom images, they obviously want to have great images that tell their story. I encourage my clients not to skimp, work within a budget, yes, but do have realistic expectations and goals. You should expect your photography company to be able to walk you through those.

Check out a few of my favorite images from this recent shoot...

All shots were the collaborative vision of a number of people. Without each vision and input, they wouldn't be what they are. Have a look at the behind the scenes images. This is what goes into every shoot (at least the good ones). Larger shoots may also include catering, art directors, additional assistants and shooters. The list goes on.

Bottom line. Expect more from your photography team. To get the best images possible, make sure your photography team understands and loves collaboration. Your images will be better for it. 

Special thanks to Rene Pirolt ( who is a very talented sports photographer (especially rock climbing and trail running) who captured the images. As I said, it takes a collaborative team.

Until next time...