Change your lens, change your story

Demand for great imagery and video content has increased dramatically over the past five years and is now crucial for businesses to effectively market themselves.

There are many factors driving this trend but, as we’ve mentioned in earlier blogs, the world has become incredibly content thirsty, including for photos and videos – and for good reason. We’re visual people, so visual attention gives businesses a better chance at connecting with their target audiences and of gaining traction with them. 

We’ve always recommended our clients embrace these tools to best visually represent who they are and what they offer, and that’s unlikely to change.

Harnessing the power of photographers & videographers

Getting the most out of these professionals is more complex than many people realise; you can’t just hire them and let them lead you.

Before you contemplate engaging a particular photographer or videographer, it’s essential to put together a very good brief. This brief, in fact, should inform the decision making about who will be best to work with. 

A brief also helps ensure whoever you do hire delivers what your business needs. The clearer the brief, the better the product.

What’s in a brief?

A brief needs to capture a company’s target audiences and detail what’s known about these groups.

It should include the latest brand narrative, what your business is trying to communicate to its target audiences and how the end-product photos or videos will be used.

It must be well put together and clearly articulated, so the photographer and videographer can closely align what they do with what you need, to reach your objectives. 

Good professionals of this type are actually looking for guidance and direction, and want to understand why a business wants what it wants.

Choosing the right person

Good photographers and videographers are like good designers; they’re highly visual and there’s a technical aspect to what they do; there’s more to it than meets the eye.

As demand has risen for these services, more people have come out of the woodwork to offer them, but there’s also a large variance in terms of quality. You don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of money, but there’s a big gap between good commercial photographers and videographers and amateurs, and it’s usually always best to opt for the professional.

Different photographers and videographers can be used to working with specific types of businesses and possess unique expertise, so it’s important to find the right match for the brief ie. who you choose will depend on the photos or videos you want to take.

Key Tips 

  • It’s essential to have a shot list for your photographer and videographer to work with – and it takes some smarts, a deep understanding of an organisation and time to come up with this.
  • Often, a photographer and videographer will want to check out the workshop or environment they’ll be shooting in ahead of time, to assess light and consider what equipment they may need to do the job well.
  • Increasingly, people are required in photos and videos and this needs to be planned for, as not all staff will want to be in these. Working ahead of time to get clarity about who can participate in a shoot (and arrange written approval for this) is vital.
  • It’s also a good idea to have a marketing director at the shoot to stay alongside the photographer and/or videographer. This is to provide some creative direction and ensure they’re sticking to the brief.  This person also then knows, when looking at the edited product sent through, what other more appropriate footage or images may be available to use.
  • After your creatives have edited the footage or photos, there will be a selection process. This also requires some time and smart thinking to get the best results.
  • At the end of this process, businesses have a solid library of assets to use. However, it’s wise to have an annual budget for this type of marketing because companies burn through these assets quickly and new content will be needed faster than you think.

A note about videography

Videography may require more of a team than photography (usually at least 2 people) and this means the contact you brief will need to be good at relaying this information to the person doing the filming and/or editing. A brief clearly comes in handy for this.

It’s also important to ensure you have a good editor who understands the brief, the company narrative and how to pull it all together cleverly, so the content can be used over time (not just once). This includes looking at how to edit something into different versions, such as a longer two-minute narrative, a 30 second cut and perhaps a number of shorter 15 second edits. This takes creative skills and understanding that it’s not a good idea just to edit all the footage together with a soundtrack from the 80s!

Often when creating video content, there’ll be a need for interviews. You will need to ensure there’s a skilled person on-hand who is going to support this to go well and put the person being interviewed at ease in front of the camera (not always easy!) so they can represent the business in an authentic way.

The take-home 

While some of this might seem straightforward, it requires a bit more thinking than meets the eye – and our clients are busy doing what they do best.