Brand Photography: How to Maximize Your Investment
How Can I Make the Most of Creative Content?
Today's story is #6 in my 7-week series on how to put your "best foot forward" in your small business so you can attract more ideal clients and customers.
My story today is about best practices for preparing to have professional photography or videography for your business.What can YOU do ahead of time to make the most of your investment?
FYI - I'm doing this series to give you a sneak peek at my first-ever complimentary seminar on branding your small business - now underway in NC this month - Small Business: Best Foot Forward - 7 Steps to a Profitable and Relatable Brand. (We had a blast in the Triangle and there are 3 seats only left for Fayetteville on Tuesday 2/21! RSVP here.
Investing in Creative Content
At Greatest Story Creative, we partner with local photographers and videographers to help our clients create some form of creative content to market their business and extend their brand beyond just graphics.
In this process, we act as producers and directors, helping clients plan what kind of photography or videography they need to reach their audience and physically coming to their shoot to ensure they get the most from their investment.
Whether you partner with us on a professional photography or videography project or tackle it yourself...
Here are our 5 favorite best practices for making the most of any creative content investment.
1) Understand who owns the copyright and commercial rights of use to your content.
Make sure to understand how you can use your video and photography and any editing restrictions the professional may have. You want to ensure you have the commercial rights to what your investing in and that you are significantly limited in how you use assets like your new photos. Every photographer and videographer is different - so make sure to understand this before signing a contract - which should spell out your rights and the professional's rights on this front.
2) Prioritize and choose 3 goals for your project. Share those with your creative content partner ahead of time.
Even when I produce full-day photography shoots for small business owners, it's most feasible to have about 3 priorities for what we are trying to accomplish. Come up with these goals - the 3 things your photography or video need to communicate - and make sure to share them and discuss them with your professional ahead of the shoot.
For example, for H & Arrow Fitness' shoot - we prioritized images that showed 1) Hannah teaching group classes, 2) Hannah providing one-on-one personal fitness support, and 3) headshots that presented Hannah as friendly, knowledgeable and approachable. You can see these images in action at www.handarrow.com or read more about her shoot here.
3) Give your professional partner a good understanding of your business and invite their perspective.
Along these lines of choosing goals, you also want your professional partner to really understand your business and your overall vision. If you have a brand guide, a website, and even client testimonials - share these with your professional ahead of time so they can make suggestions to you from their expertise on how to tell your story well.
4) Get the most "bang" for your buck by maximizing your professional's time where you can.
When we partnered with Big Dog Little Bed Productions last year on our business video, we could have easily only created one 3 minute video about what we do. This would involve hiring Janice and team to interview myself and clients in a one-day shoot, then editing it into one video.
But because I came from the film industry, I knew that I could get more value from Janice's time interviewing and get more videos for less by maximizing the project. Instead of creating one video, we had Janice do her interviews with myself and our clients, and then we had her cut the footage in various ways - yielding:
- A video about our overall agency
- A video about our business side
- A video about our life side (launching this year)
- A video about my speaking services
- 5 Social Media / Newsletter Video Posts (like this one)
- 3 Teasers of the longer videos (for social media like Instagram)
- 2 moving backgrounds (like shots of branding from my desk)
While we paid more than we would have for just one video, we were able to maximize that overall investment by getting a lot of content out of a day's worth of shooting. This saved us a lot in terms of having to go back later to create more content to tell the important stories about our business, and this strategy ensured that all this new content was very consistent across our brand!
We've since employed this strategy again to shoot 15 (!!) new video blog posts coming to the newsletter this year. We shot them all in one 3-hour session and I can't wait to share them with you soon.
5) Prep as much as possible on your own!
Along the lines of maximizing your professional's time creatively, I want to stress that you can get hundreds of photos or tons of videos created out of a reasonable one-time investment IF you're prepared! This is so important as a best practice that I actually create a checklist of "things to bring" for our clients whenever we do a creative content project.
For example, I have about 30 photos of me holding everything from my Duke diploma to paging through my first screenplay to holding the Disney coffee cup featured below.
I was able to capture these images and about 20 more of different objects in about 20 minutes with my photographer, Faith Teasley, simply because I'd spent time framing things, gathering pieces, and thinking about what I might want a photo of / may talk about on the blog. I gathered all of these things in a giant pile on my desk - that way - during the photoshoot, all I had to do was grab them one-by-one for Faith to get the shot.
In Faith's photo delivery, she called this folder "Annie Holding Things" and it's awesome. I still have a ton of photography from that session to use for the foreseeable future thanks to being really prepared and ready to use Faith's time as my photographer really efficiently.
If you have questions about story-in-action photography or videography, shoot me a reply to this. Whether you partner with us or tackle a project yourself, these are all great things to keep in mind and make the most of the investment you're making.
If you enjoyed these tips, you might also like reading:
Our Insider Look at Story-in-Action Photography, "Why You Need More Than a Headshot"
Looking to Next Week
Next week is the final story in our "Best Foot Forward" series and I'll be looking at tips for your website. If you have specific questions about small business websites, reply to this and let me know!