The task of viewing the diverse landscape of photographers and choosing one based on their presented work can be a lot like window-shopping. Out front and in clear view is the carefully selected work and persona, but behind the scenes is the reality of their business, personality and professional interaction. In a desire to remove the difficulty and ambiguity of this process, as well as strengthen the efficiency and ease of every project, I’ve carefully created a process that I walk through with each client. From initial contact to project completion, this process provides clear communication, upfront expectations, and a roadmap by which each project is executed and all parties involved are clearly informed and up to date. The goal is simple: clarity, efficiency and professionalism.
Initial Contact & Consultation
Upon initial contact, whether by phone call or email, a client consultation will be set up to discuss the project details and needs, answer a customized project questionnaire that clarifies details like project crew and production, necessary equipment and timeline, project due dates, the need for specific locations or talent and more, and provide a project overview that will aid in creating a project estimate.
Project Estimate & Contract
Following the client consultation and completion of the client questionnaire, an estimate will then be created that will include the project’s details, requirements, dates and other important information, along with an estimate of project costs and an example contract. The estimate will include an itemized list of the project’s costs, a-la-carte versus bundled item costs when available and the final cost estimated for the project as discussed in the consultation.
Project Initiation & Pre-Production
With a signed contract and 30% down to secure the shoot day and project requirements, pre-production begins. Every project is different in regards to it’s pre-production requirements, and can include things like meetings, conference calls, location and talent scouting and approval, project schedule creation and more.
A week out from the photoshoot or shoot day(s), a shoot-day packet is emailed to everyone involved on the project and provides a quick-reference overview of the shoot-day details including arrival times, location address, crew and talent information, an hour-to-hour schedule and more. This packet is designed to clarify and confirm all of the project details leading up to the shoot day and is sent with enough time for clarification, correction or adjustment.
Photoshoot & Equipment
On the project shoot-day, equipment will be loaded in, set up and prepared for the photoshoot or filming. Gear for each project will usually include up to 4 strobe flash heads, multiple backgrounds and set props, light modifiers, light stands, a camera-tethered computer monitor for on-set viewing and photographer assistants when needed. Equipment for the project will be outlined in the project estimate sent to the client before project initiation.
Once the project is photographed or filmed, it enters post-production which includes image selection, initial image editing, skin retouching, compositing, and color grading. Editing and production deadlines will be clearly outlined in the project estimate and contract, with regular updates to the client and/or producers throughout the timeline.
Project Completion & Evaluation
The project will conclude with high-resolution and meticulously-edited-images being provided via download at a client-specific and safeguarded link. Along with the images and files, each client will receive a survey for evaluation to guarantee quality and satisfaction.