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Commissioning a Commercial Photographer, a Customers Guide.

Find out how to commission a commercial photographer, help elevate your company image and basically drive new sales. Everything you need to learn including deciding on the right photographer, usage, copyright, getting a estimate, groundwork for the shoot and post production.

So your fab newly released product range is fresh from the factory or your new fancy restaurant has had its final lick of paint and is looking damn cool! What next?  A brand new brochure, a phone call to your local journalist, a full page advert in your trade magazine, a beautifully designed email campaign or just a homepage update?  All of these tried and tested selling strategies will certainly help raise your company profile and eventually generate fresh sales, especially important in our current economic climate.  So do you dust down the trusty Nikon, throw back the curtains and give it a bash yourself or do you bite the bullet, call the bank manager and call in a professional?

Digital cameras can undoubtedly help novices take superior quality photographs but using an amateur to photograph an important photograph can be unproductive. The clout a commercially shot photo has on a customers marketplace is so much healthier than that of a swiftly aquired snap from a digital camera. Professional photography will promote your product or your company, half-cocked photography will only lower it.  So rise above your competition and call for the pro!

Not every commercial photographer can expertly execute each kind of photography. A photographer who photographs family portraiture and weddings is hardly the one to photograph a picture of your new product range.  Do a yahoo search, thumb through your local directory or even ask your fellow business associates who they'd suggest, research fully now and avoid any expensive pit falls later.

Estimate usage.  What's the work to be utilized for (packaging, press, website, etc), the territory in which the work is to be used (UK, Europe, International) and the length of time the project is to be used by you(one year, two years. etc). All these elements will assist the photographer to present you a realistic quotation.

Understanding copyright. Quite a few customers don't appreciate copyright concerns and assume that because they've commissioned the images that they own them.  As a matter of fact the photographer always holds copyright of the photos and simply grants you release to make use of them exclusively for the requested time period, territory and media.  Photographers will always strive to offer you a licence that befits all your demands and unless you intend doing global advertising this will be incorporated in their fee.

Make contact.  Get in contact with potential photographers, discuss your expectations in as much detail as possible and if possible seek to meet them.  Meeting face to face will give a great chance to really  state  what it is you need, peruse through their printed portfolio and see if you really get on with them!

Ask for a quote. Nearly all commercial photographers will charge a day rate, half day or hourly with costs (travel, digital file processing, retouching etc) added on.  Quite a few however will propose all inclusive quotes for specific types of projects, such as  pack shot photography.  Try to give the photographer as much detail as you can as this will give you the most appropriate quotation with no nasty surprises.

Organize the shoot.  If you have not already had a meeting with the photographer it is usually a good idea to do so before the actual shoot day.  Show the photographer your product or the location you require shooting, discuss precise demands and any special arrangements needed.

Prep.  Is your product looking a little frazzled, has the cleaner polished the floor, or has the caretaker moved that unpleasant rubbish bin?  If not sort it out prior to the shoot and don't leave it to the moment before the shutter is released.  Details really matter, you'll be astonished what modern digital cameras can pick out and you don't want trivial things bugging you for years to come.  The photographer will make the best from any situation but can't do magic, so try and help them out with the prep.

The big day.  Unless of course you are 100% convinced that the photographer fully understands your brief try to be available throughout the day to add direction, help with questions and just make sure you really get what you require.  If you can't make it to the shoot ask your photographer to email over some test shots and at the very least be readily available to take a call.  However tight the brief is most photographers worth their salt will be able to add their input to a shoot, frequently these off the cuff shots are the award winners so don't stifle their creative juices too much!

Post-production.  Many digital photographers will be in a position to preview/edit your pictures on the day but the highly skilled process of processing your raw files, plus any agreed retouchingFree Web Content, is ordinarily carried out subsequently.

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Northamptonshire commercial photographer Andy Nickerson, specialises in Product and pack shot photography from his studio in Northamptonshire.  Check out for more information.

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