The Brief: What is it? Why is it Important? How Does it Benefit the Client?

The brief is quite simply a set of instructions for the photographer that outlines the scope of a particular job. These instructions have become a necessity lately due to the fact that fewer clients or decision-makers are attending photo shoots, and also with the flexibility of digital imaging, briefs help to narrow down the variables of a particular project.

A good brief helps in many ways. It allows the photographer to understand your needs as the client. This in turn enables us to provide an accurate quote for the job, eliminating surprises and providing you with peace of mind.

So, how do we get there and what makes a good brief?

In basic terms, the brief is the ‘What, When, How, Who, Where and Why’ that best defines all the variables that make for a successful photo shoot.

  • What: This is the product, or products, you are looking to have photographed. The best case scenario is for the photographer to see the actual product(s) or subject before the scheduled shoot. Any images you have, whether on your website or photos you’ve taken with a camera or phone, are very helpful in understanding the size, shape and nature of the product. Is it packaged? Does it require assembly? Is it part of a group of products? Any extra information you can provide the photographer that will help us understand the use and benefits of your product will greatly help in forming a creative approach for your brand.
  • When: Let us know if you have a specific date or deadline that you wish to work towards. The photographer can then look at your timeframe and be honest about how best to provide you with the services you require.
  • How: As photographerswe are looking for your vision, to see how you, as the client, see your product or brand. In a lot of cases, you may have seen photos of similar products or subjects that you would like to use as inspiration for your shoot. Send us links and/or visuals, and the photographer can discuss how best we can achieve similar results before the shoot begins.
  • Who: Once you have decided to go ahead with a project, it is helpful to provide the photographer with all the contact details of the decision-makers. It’s good to know all the people involved in the project. If there are any questions, changes, or complications during the shoot, the ability to contact the right person to discuss any issue saves you both time and money and keeps the project on track.
  • Where:  Studio or on location? At StudioSteele Photography, a lot of our clients send their products to the studio to be photographed, but sometimes due to the sheer volume or size of the products, we come to you. If you have the space, the photographer can bring their equipment and expertise to your place of business. Working on site allows us the ability to work with you and your team in an efficient manner and deliver images that you can approve in real time.
  • Why: You’ve decided that you need to move to the next level and be more competitive in your visual marketing, but you are not sure about how to go about it. A good photographer can guide you through the process to help you get to where you want to be. At StudioSteele Photography, we have over thirty years of experience to help you achieve your best results.

At the end of the day, we take great pride in how we treat our clients and their projects. At StudioSteele Photography, we will not do what is easy, but what is right for your product and brand. There are no shortcuts to quality.  If we don’t deliver a quality shot in line with your brief, then we won’t charge you a penny! After all, we are old school. It’s all about you and we want you to become a regular customer.

Creative Testing

Testing is an important part of a photographer’s creative development. It offers an opportunity to explore new ways of looking at something, or lighting it in a different way. It’s about finding out what works and what doesn’t. It is also a lot of fun to work on a project with no set brief, a blank canvas so to speak. Creative freedom is always a challenge.

With our studio now settled in Collingwood Ontario, I was looking for a local product that had a connection to the Community. That first test subject turned out to be Canadian Mist Distillery’s launch of a new whisky – Collingwood Double Barrel Whisky. The first instalment in “The Town Collection.”

After considerable study of the bottle I decided to view it from a lower perspective to offer some stature and place it on a solid textured wood.
I kept the background dark with a subtle warm glow behind the bottle to help it stand tall and proud.

For my vision of the final image I broke it down to eight separate elements, all lit differently and combined in Photoshop to create one unique image. In addition there was retouching to blend all the elements and repair any defects in the bottle and labels.

1) Bottle liquid content
2) The main label
3) The bottle edge hi-lite
4) Top seal
5) Top hi-lite left
6) Top hi-lite right
7) Main background
8) Wood

The final result has to appear natural to the viewer as a single image.