Nonprofit Director: We just budgeted funds to build an image library reflecting our mission and vision. What are the best ways to maximize this opportunity and communicate with a pro photographer?
Alright, so you just got a creative budget for the quarter and want to hire a photographer to load up on imagery you can use throughout the year, now what? Here are a few tips on what to think about when planning for future content creation in order to end up with better brand photos.
First, take a look at your mission/vision statements.
Your creative should ALWAYS be reflective of who you are as an organization, not necessarily who you wish you could be. Start from a place of authenticity when it comes to hiring photographers, models etc. If you are authentic, then your audience (aka brand connectors) will respond positively.
Second, look at your calendar.
What are some of the campaigns coming up in the year that you need content for, plus what are some rhythms you’ve already set that you want to have a backlog for? This could be visuals to go with blogs/newsletters, client highlights, testimonials and much more!
Third, hire the right people.
When it comes to photography you want to hire someone that aligns with your core values so that when you are working with them they understand the end goal. Hire someone that has experience shooting the type of content you are wanting, look at their portfolio before signing a contract with them. Things to look for:
- Have they shot branded work, editorial, headshots etc before? If you don’t see it on their website, ask! This will avoid receiving event style photos when you wanted editorial or vice versa.
- Do they know how to shoot on multiple skin types? Chances are if you don’t see it in their portfolio they aren’t sensitive to the fact that every skin tone looks different on camera.
- Look at their about page! Get to know them, meet with them and understand that your first meeting is an opportunity to see if your values align and they understand the work you are wanting to create.
Four, find the right context.
What story are you trying to tell? Allow that to inform where you shoot, how you shoot and what your subject matter is. Are you wanting to send a message of empowerment? A message of vulnerability? Or light-heartedness?
And finally, photography is innately emotional.
Like any other art, the intention matters and it comes through to the audience. If you are shooting content about people vs places make sure you aren’t picking somewhere that will end up distracting them from the people. On the other hand if you are getting images of a place or an action, the model should be secondary. Close-ups portray action in a great way, versus a wide shot gives you a sense of place.
Remember you are hiring the photographer to support your brand and vision. Be confident with your ideas and lead the shoot it is important to find someone who works well with your goals and is willing to collaborate with you to help you get there.
Hopefully reading this sparks ideas around different brand photos to add to your library. Let us know in the comments what stood out to you and what you would like us to answer next!