The Business of Making A Client Look Good

What is the object of a photographic commission from my client?

When my client decides to ‘show’ their ‘world’, as I like to call it, by advertising in print i.e. brochures, magazines and on-line to increase awareness and obviously generate sales.
My primary aim is to make their ‘world’ or product look good, if I can do this, my client is happy and I’m satisfied.
For the above reason, good quality images are necessary as these will be the window to any business, by creating a ‘want to need it’ with a consumer.

My client and I have decided to meet over coffee where we discuss the brief in detail and put the production into place. Here we write a ‘script’ that outlines the ‘theme’ or simply how the images should look.
This step is one of those where creativity can run wild, and usually does.
The most important factor in putting the package together, is our friend ‘LIGHT’, when we get this right, all else falls into place and we’re smiling. i.e. source, intensity, effects etc.

Once we have agreed on the brief, the set-up stage arrives, with attention to detail being critical.

I urge my clients to be present during the shoot, we are able make minor changes if necessary, as this is where the ‘story’ is being made.
With the many technological aids available to photographers (manufacturers need to come up with the next best thing too…..) Two of these, have helped me cut shooting and editing time.
Tethered shooting, my camera is connected to a tablet or monitor via a USB cable using specific software, we can view each image on a larger screen immediately post shot, which is far better than viewing it on the small screen at the back of my camera.
We decide which images stay. This helps for composition, lighting etc. and cuts down on the number of images we need to meet our goal.

With the ‘money shots’ being a priority and done, we are now able to ‘play’ by experimenting with more artistic set-ups producing some interesting results, in some instances we are surprised by some of the results, these ‘surprises’ sometime end up being preferred to those originally planned for.
I can’t imagine a client that does not appreciate this process, they experience first hand what it entails to get the desired results, AND they are a part of the process.
We are able to interact as the shoot progresses, making it a collaboration!

When we call ‘it’s a wrap’, and we have covered the brief, I start with editing, where the material we have recorded is ‘polished’ and packaged. (This step will have been in mind during the planning stage).
My choice of editing software is Adobe Lightroom or Camera RAW depending on what I have to do, and Photoshop CS6 for those finer details.
The editing software and process is only there to aid/enhance, and not, as many would believe to fix bad photos! (that is another story).

All of the above is merely to record the characteristics of light on a subject! and how it appeals to a viewer.
My Client Looks Good!

Some thoughts on Photography:

“Photography, as a powerful medium of expression and communication, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation and execution” – Ansel Adams

“Photograph: a picture painted by the sun without instruction in art” – Ambrose Bierce

“My first priority when taking pictures is to achieve clarity. A good documentary photograph transmits the information of the situation with the utmost fidelity; achieving it means understanding the nuances of lighting and composition, and also remembering to keep the lenses clean and the cameras steady” – Sam Abell, Seeing and Shooting Straight by Sam Abell

“This profession [photography] is deserving of attention and respect equal to that accorded painting, literature, music and architecture” – Ansel Adams

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