Commission a pro

By Adrian Toon, director of a2n

In this column, we have talked about how to take your own PR and marketing photography, but what should you do if you want to commission a professional photographer?

The need does arise, for example, when you are producing literature or require studio shots.

The key to success is knowing, as a client, what you require. Find examples of the pictures you want, a quick search on the web will give you lots of ideas.

Once you have the style, produce a ‘brief’, a short document which outlines what images you want, with as much detail as you can think of.

Next, identify the genre of photography you require, such as staff photography, product photography or architectural photography. Each have their own equipment and experience for the photographer.

Choose your photographer and study their work to see if they the experience you require. Ensure they offer you high quality images in TIF format, not JPG, and that they fully understand the brief you have produced and that they will offer you a license for unlimited use of the work completed.

If the costs and timings for completion are acceptable, you can then place an order with them.

Alternatively, building up a relationship with a photographer who understands your business and what you seek can also work well, especially if much of the photography required is of the same genre on a regular basis, such as architectural photography of completed projects.

Problems using a professional photographer tend to arise when this basic dialogue is broken – a little preparation goes a long way.