Step 2 | How To Provide Shooting Direction
Clearly communicating the client's vision to the customer is the most important but difficult part of any photo shoot. We require basic shooting direction in order to qualify for free reshoots or redos. This does require a little bit of work, but customers who take time to provide thoughtful direction and follow the directions below have a great experience with us and get the photos they envision.
There Are 2 Ways Provide Match Images
Show Us With A Cell Phone Photo
Set the product on your desk and take a cell phone photo (it doesn’t have to be nice). When we get your products we’ll match your camera angles or group arrangement, but we’ll light it & retouch it to make it look awesome.
Match Existing Images
Find existing images online and we’ll match them. Reference the URL that they're on or take a screenshot and we'll match those angles.
Providing Direction Is The Best Part!
Art Directing Is Important But Expensive
On a normal photo shoot, you would be on set making changes or you would hire a firm to art direct the photoshoot for you. This takes a lot of time and it cost a lot of extra money. We figure that since these images are pretty straightforward, you can figure out what needs to be done beforehand. This is why our pricing is so affordable compared to a traditional photographer.
You Get To Decide Your Photos
With most catalog photography companies like us, they decide the angles and lighting. It's usually all the same cookie cutter lightbox setup. Our process is designed to allow you to provide direction which would fluster other companies. More direction means more communication and they just can't handle it.
You know your product and marketplace better than anyone because you're in it every day. Only you know what arrangements and lighting that will make your product stand out from the crowd.
Get Sophisticated With Your Match Image
We're the masters of matching inspiration images. If you see a product photo online that's similar to your product and think it looks awesome, we can usually match the lighting style and give it that pop that makes it look cool.
Need some ideas? Check out Inspiration Pinterest Boards
How To Provide Direction Walkthrough
1. Visualize Your Photos & Make A List
Imagine your listing & what photos you want for it. List all the photos in the spreadsheet linked below. You may have already done this when placing your order online.
Let's pretend that we're selling a makeup brush set on Amazon. We want 3 individual photos of each brush & 1 group for a total of 4 photos. List them in the spreadsheet, like in the example below.
2. Tell Us How To Shoot It
Two Ways To Show Us Your Vision
Take a cell phone photo of the arrangements you're looking for on your desk like the example above. It doesn't need to look nice we just want to know in general what you're looking for.
You can also find existing links on other websites and we'll match it. Just copy and paste the website's URL link in the corresponding cell in the spreadsheet.
Take A Cell Phone Match Image
(Recommended) Set up the arrangements on your desk & take a cell phone photo. It doesn't have to look good, we just need to know how to position them.
Provide A Link To A Website Image
You can also find images that exist already and ask us to match those. If you have previous photos you want to be matched, reference them.
Cell Phone Images Tell The Story Quickly & Clearly
A quick cell phone photo can easily explain all 3 of these things at once. It's faster & more clear than trying to describe this arrangement in words.
What's In Each Photo
What's Are The Items Are In The Photo?
Are the products rotated in the photo or straight on?
What is the camera height?
3. Add Photos To Your Shotlist & Reply To The Email
Now simply drag and drop the images into the spreadsheet. You can annotate the spreadsheet with any extra notes you might have.
When you're done, reply to the confirmation email and attach this spreadsheet.
Common Shot Direction Questions
What if I don't want to provide direction? You decide.
For direction we have a simple rule, if you show us how to shoot it and we don't do it that way, than we'll redo it for free. If you don't tell us and waive the right to direction than reshoots based on positioning are not free.
In our experience, customers usually have some sort of vision in mind but they don't trust their own judgement. Nobody knows you're product better than you do, so trust yourself. Customers who follow the process and provide direction have the best experiences with us.
I don't know what the best photos to do are...help me!
If you don't know what photos to request start by looking at Amazon of what others have done in the past with similar products. There's probably lots of different photos that could spur on creative ideas. It's not stealing to be inspired or do something similar to another photo as long as it's a new photo created especially for you.
If you still don't have ideas, feel free to setup a meeting to discuss some ideas. Ultimately, you are responsible for deciding the final match images, but we're happy to help out.
Can I give you a bunch of match examples and you decide?
Sometimes instead of giving no direction, customers will provide lots of different photos and tell us to pick one. This can be very confusing for our Photographers. If you have several ideas, please only commit to one. Otherwise you won't qualify for free reshoots.
Do I need to provide lighting direction?
We're experts at lighting, which is probably one reason why you hired us. So when I comes to providing lighting direction, we typically don't hear guidance on this and that's fine. If you like the images in our portfolio, this is how we try to light most things.
However, there are instances where our customers have very specific lighting requirements, like matching past photoshoots so that the images blend in. We can do that! You just need to provide us a match image for the lighting & if the product is similar we can match the lighting.