- So you’ve checked out some Newcastle photographers websites You’ve seen some nice commercial and product images in their galleries, perhaps even met the photographer in person and you’re sure they’re a good fit for your business, so what now? What other things do you need to know before booking your session?
Here are 5 questions; some that I frequently get asked and others that are equally important but sometimes overlooked when choosing a photographer.
Q1: How can you help me make my product stand out?
Getting the right professional photographer will definitely make your products stand out against your competitors. It might sound obvious, but make sure you choose a commercial photographer who is experienced in……. commercial photography. Don’t go for the great newborn or wedding photographer who your friend has recommended as it’s really not the same thing.
A commercial photographer will have all the right equipment and skill set to ensure your products look amazing.
Ask whether the photographer has a studio setting or shoots on location. There are many ways you can showcase your items and this can alter the look and styling of the images. Some commercial photographers have a very distinct style – consider if that style will work for your brand – Do you want natural or styled, dynamic or simple? It’s important to get the right look for you and your brand.
Q2: What are the prices?
It’s not always an easy question to answer. Some photographers have an hourly rate, some have a daily rate. At the consultation, I ask my clients to give me a detailed list of what they want photographed with any ideas they have regarding the styling. This allows me to give a good estimate of shooting time and I can give them a ballpark figure to go off.
Sometimes the client has a budget in mind, in which case we will chat about what key images can be achieved in the most cost effective way.
You should also check if there is a license fee to be paid on top of the cost for the shoot. Which takes us to…
Q3: Who owns the usage rights of the images?
You may be surprised to know that the photographer automatically owns all the images that are taken. The photographer is the copyright holder which means some commercial photographers will ‘rent’ you the images for about 1-5 years, whereas others will allow unlimited use.
Licensing fees are sometimes only an agreement between the photographer and higher turnover businesses who have larger marketing campaigns, but it’s best to check.
It’s very important to understand how your photographer will grant use of the images before you go ahead with the photo shoot.
Q4: How long does it take to receive the images?
Each photographer can vary so it’s important to discuss your needs with them. A reasonable time to expect your files would be within a week of the photo shoot. However, do discuss if you need the images urgently i.e the same day, or outside the normal working hours of the photographer, as it may mean an extra surcharge.
How will you receive your files? Cloud is the popular option i.e Dropbox or We transfer is what most people are familiar with. But some photographers may have other ways to transfer the files.
Q5: What are the best ways to use images in my business?
Can your photographer help advise you on how you can use your images in the best way? If you have a pre consultation to plan the shoot you can discuss with your photographer all the ways you need to use the images. This ensures that they know exactly what aspect the shots need to be and if there should be any negative space included (where you may want to add you logo or some text onto the image later).
A lot of startup businesses begin their campaigns on social media and websites but there are many other ways to use the images too. A website is like a virtual shop window so professional images are a must if your want to wow your customers and prospective business connections.
Check if the photographer can give you web-ready (72dpi) versions that are optimised for online use and won’t have huge file sizes that will slow down your website.
You can use the high resolution images in brochures, posters, flyers, huge banner ads and point of sale stands, it depends on what is right for your business at this point in time.
If you have any other questions and to find out more about my services I’d love to chat.
Rachel McClumpha, commercial photographer – credit Anita Nicholson.
Rachel has been a portrait and commercial photographer since 2006. After originally studying dark room photography at college. She now has a studio in Bedlington but enjoys working with families and businesses on location shoots throughout the North East and in some cases further afield..
Rachel was very pleased to win a best home-based business award in 2016.
Note from Amy: I’ve personally asked Rachel to take commercial photographs for clients and for my own business and she is BRILLIANT. Here’s the recommendation I wrote on LinkedIn in February 2017 “I think really fantastic photography is very important when you’re selling a product online. It’s so hard to really tell what it’s going to be like in real life without it. Rachel provided some fabulous photographs for me of my subscription box. I gave her some specific information for images I needed and she massively over delivered at record speed. The images are far better than I could have achieved myself (as you’d expect) not only in quality but in the way she laid the items out to make everything look it’s best. I knew they’d be good, but I was blown away! I’m looking forward to more photographs in the coming months. Thank you Rachel!”