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Managing a Photo Shoot


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Nothing brings life to a design like custom photography.
Having a photo shoot with a professional photographer can be an extremely enjoyable and enlightening experience, when you are prepared and the process is well planned. The following presentation will explain how best to approach managing a photo shoot.

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Managing a Photo Shoot

  1. 1. White paper | March 2012 How to plan a photo shoot TeamClient Design Toolkit
  2. 2. Shikatani Lacroix is a leading branding and design firm located in Toronto, Canada. The company wins commissions from all around the world, across CPG, retail and service industries, helping clients achieve success within their operating markets. It does this by enabling its clients’ brands to better connect with consumers through a variety of core services including corporate identity, naming and communication, brand experience, packaging, retail, wayfinding and product design. About the Author Rhianna Padamsey, Account Manager at Shikatani Lacroix As an account manager at Shikatani Lacroix, Rhianna is responsible for managing packaging design projects for the PepsiCo Beverages account, which includes top national brands such as Tropicana, Brisk, 7UP, Mountain Dew, Aquafina, and, of course, Pepsi. Prior to joining SL in 2010, Rhianna worked as a media relations specialist at Business Wire, the world's leading news distribution service. Toolkit | May 2013 | Photo Shoot | 1
  3. 3. Planning a Photo Shoot There are many elements that make up successful and impactful package designs. Fonts, colours, textures and stock images or illustrations can elevate even the smallest and simplest packaging from mundane to spectacular. That said, nothing brings life to a design, particularly a packaging design, like custom photography. Having a photo shoot with a professional photographer can be an extremely enjoyable and enlightening experience, while providing a level of customization that is not possible to achieve through the use of stock photography. Though package designers can repurpose existing imagery, or source royalty-free stock photography, you may decide during the design process that custom photography is your preferred direction. In this case, it is best to alert the agency as soon as possible so that they may make arrangements to tentatively book a photographer. However, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that the process is as smooth and effective as possible. Toolkit | May 2013 | Photo Shoot | 2
  4. 4. We Love It! Design Frozen The most important step on the road to a photo shoot is the Design Frozen stage. Once a design is refined to the client’s satisfaction, a PDF is sent to the photographer so he/she can get a feel for the products that need to be shot and provide a cost estimate. It is important to avoid any major changes after this point as the choice of products, props, stylist, and the estimated number of hours required to shoot are all based around this design. With this in mind, if there are minor changes, both the agency and the photographer will try to accommodate the client’s requests to ensure the final product is to everyone's utmost satisfaction. Let's Do This! Set The Date Once the photographer has reviewed the design and the client has agreed to the cost estimate, the photographer will provide dates that work within the client's supplied timeframe. Keep in mind that it is best to secure these dates with as much notice as possible to ensure a stylist is available. These dates will be kept on hold for a short time, during which the client can confirm internally. Once the client provides a confirmation, the dates are then booked firm. This means that should the photo shoot need to be cancelled for any reason, the client will incur a financial penalty. In a fast moving industry, it is inevitable that things may change unexpectedly, but if possible, cancellations should be avoided once the dates have been solidified. Toolkit | May 2013 | Photo Shoot | 3
  5. 5. Let's Talk it Out - The Pre-pro Call In preparation for the photo shoot, the agency account manager will schedule a pre-pro (pre production) call between all parties — client, account manager, art director, photographer, photographer's assistant, and stylist. These calls last approximately one hour. These calls can be extremely productive and allow everyone involved to discuss the shoot before the big day. The photographer and stylist will discuss each shot, lighting, angles, and any props that may be required. They will also request that specific amounts of products be sent to their studio in advance of the photo shoot. The stylist will do the prop shopping and this cost will be reflected in the estimate provided by the photographer. For the call, everyone involved should have PDFs or printouts at hand, and should come prepared with any questions they may have as this is the last opportunity for the client to speak directly with the photographer before the day of the shoot. The photographer's assistant will also provide everyone on the call with the start time, address and directions. Say Cheese! The Photo Shoot On the day of the shoot, clients usually arrive at the studio around 9:30am. The stylist, photographer, photographer's assistant, account manager and art director will arrive earlier to prepare. Though the photographer has his/her own area, a separate seating area with tables and comfortable chairs is often provided, and clients and account managers alike are encouraged to bring their laptops and iPads. It is important to note that a typical day runs from 9:30am to 5:30pm but may go longer if necessary. Toolkit | May 2013 | Photo Shoot | 4 For the call, come prepared with any questions as this may be the last opportunity to speak directly with the photographer before the day of the shoot
  6. 6. Once the shot is ready, the art director and photographer will ask the client and account manager to come forward and review. At this point, the client can ask questions or make requests for changes either directly, or through the art director or account manager. Clients are encouraged to speak with the photographer. However, the art director and account manager are happy to communicate between the client and photographer. Any areas that may require adjusting, such as dark spots, light spots, etc., are noted so they can be retouched at a later date. Once all the scheduled shots are completed, the client will have the opportunity to review and select the images they would like to move forward with. Within a few days, all the raw shots are transferred to the design agency. Toolkit | May 2013 | Photo Shoot | 5
  7. 7. Now What? Post Production Shots are transferred electronically (or on a disk) to the production team and Photoshop experts at the design agency to begin final artwork and digital retouching. Although final artwork time is always estimated initially, the digital retouching process can take hours or days, and is always quoted as a separate cost. Depending on the number of images, SKUs, and the extent of the retouching, costs and time required can vary. Once the images are retouched, cropped and placed within the final artwork, final PDFs are sent for client approval. Sometimes, additional retouching may be requested. The End of the Road - File Prep and Release Once the client approves the final artwork, and the PDF has been accurately checked and proofread, the artwork is prepped for release. When files are prepped, all elements are checked to ensure everything is perfect. Layers, colours, fonts, UPCs, ingredients, NFTs, etc. are all verified prior to release. If any elements are missing or have not been supplied, notes are made on the files to notify both film and print suppliers. The file is then released to the film house before it can begin its new life on shelf! Toolkit | May 2013 | Photo Shoot | 6
  8. 8. For more information contact: Jean-Pierre Lacroix President Shikatani Lacroix 387 Richmond Street East Toronto, Ontario M5A 1P6 Telephone: 416-367-1999 Email: Toolkit | May 2013 | Photo Shoot | 7