I blame Eastman Kodak. They came up the tag line,”Just push the button and we’ll do the rest” in 1888. Sure, eventually it sold a lot of Brownie cameras and prints. But, it also totally glossed over the backbone of any great, story-telling photo: the base concept that the photo illustrates to a specific audience.
If every picture tells a story and is worth a 1,000 words, what is the story that your clients are coming to see?
I get a call about once a month that starts off with “Hi, how much for you to come in a shoot for a day at our offices?”
Since every project I take on is customized to the client, I respond with, “What are we photographing?”
“Oh, I don’t know yet. We just want to get some photography done.”
This is a little like going into a grocery store without knowing what you need to get. You can grab a dozen eggs. Throw in some flour, sugar and vanilla. But, it won’t make a cake until you remember to get the icing. Wait, what kind of a cake do you want to make? Who’s coming to dinner? Do they even like cake?
“We just want you to make a bunch of pictures and we will pull what we need from the set.”
Ah, so are we going to bake every cake recipe in the book and throw away 90 percent of the work because our audience only likes cheese cake? This seems wasteful, but it happens all to often.
I have a better idea.
Baking the Perfect Photoshoot
Planning prevents poor performance, as my teachers used to tell me. And, they were right!
But, here are our challenges: I don’t know what you know about your product, your services and your audience. I don’t know about the resources you have on hand or even how much you have thought about where you want these photos to appear. Or, how much time, energy, resources, money, etc you want to invest to get the ultimate photo(s) that will tell your story about your company to your clients.
To go back to our cake analogy, I have a lot of recipes for photos that can be customized for a wide variety of stories (marketing messages), and audiences (your potential clients), at different investment levels (how much you are willing to invest in your marketing).
Let’s have a frank discussion of what kind of “cake” you like, how much of it you really need and who you will be serving it to.
Then, the answer to the question “how much?” will already be baked in!
Now, who is hungry?