CREATING A STRATEGY FOR YOUR VISION: THE IMPORTANCE OF PRE-SHOOT PLANNING


One of the most rewarding aspects of this job is working with small businesses. Contributing to a process that supports and helps develop a new venture is incredibly satisfying.

Over the years I have worked with clients from a range of different industries – finance, broking, law, personal training, executives – and each session brings with it its own unique challenges.


Firm deadlines. The scope of the brief. Turnaround times. And, of course, the weather.


Yet what I have learned is that the most daunting of challenges can turn out to be the most rewarding of commissions.

And for me the key to any successful session is the pre-shoot planning.


Managing expectations


By anticipating potential issues and working out the logistics beforehand I am focus on the job in hand: taking photographs.


And with that comes managing expectations.


This is rarely more important than when my client is a new business. It can be all too common for assumptions to form – perhaps due to a fear of asking ‘basic’ questions – which can result in different expectations about what can and will be achieved.

My job is to ensure everyone is on the same page. By having a consultation with clients ahead of the session I am able to to distil the brief into a succinct prioritisation of shots, from the essential must-haves to the optional extras.


Sometimes this means pulling back on some ideas if there are time or budget constraints, but doing so gives me focus and the client confidence that we are working towards the same goal.



Communicate in both directions


In order to be most effective, communication has to be a two-way street.


I am regularly working with clients who are launching a new business and therefore starting out with a completely blank slate. They may not have a live website, a social media presence in its infancy and no pre-existing style of imagery to be guided by.


By speaking (and listening) to the client in advance of shoots I am able to better understand what they have in mind: the type of images required, their target audience, and the message they are trying to convey.


Creative license on behalf of the photographer is all well and good but communication from the client helps me visualise the end product and know which way to steer the session.

“A vision without strategy remains an illusion”

Pre-shoot planning is essential, which is why I am committed to having pre-session consultations with all my clients. In instances where a potential client is eager to jump straight in I encourage them to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.


Essentially I want my clients to really consider how they are investing their money.


They may (or may not) have the vision but without underpinning this with a proper strategy the execution will suffer.


To help with this I even ask some clients to complete a branding questionnaire to enable me to get a better idea of their business, where they are at and where they want to go.


It may sound like homework because it is! But the benefits are definitely worth it and ensures that you, the client, have confidence that I am on the same wavelength as your business when it comes to the day of the shoot.


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If you’re a new business I’d love to hear from you. I can provide a range of imagery to support your brand so book a consultation call and let’s get to know one another better.