Advertising Photography – Tips and Tricks
At Blanc, we absolutely love the opportunity to get creative with our Advertising Photography, so when we sat down with the Longwater Living Team to discuss the concepts for a Fitted Kitchen Advertising Campaign, we were seriously excited. Advertising Photography uses photographs and images to promote a certain product or service and the brief for this Advertising Photography Assignment was quite straight forward.
How do you show kitchens as a modern, attractive space that are not ‘Just’ a place to cook food?
Usually, people’s eyes do not gravitate towards lots of text. Much like food photography, people eat with their eyes and advertising photography reflects this beautifully. Images draw people’s eyes towards things, whether it is on a book cover, a magazine advert, a large scale billboard or the side of a vehicle. Because of the way our attention works, the use of high quality, professional advertising photography can greatly increase a potential customer to look at an advertisement. Naturally, this, in turn, will increase a business or company’s chances of getting people to buy what they are selling.
The Longwater Living Team had requested a mixture of two distinct styles. The first, would portray modern family life where entertaining centred around life in the kitchen. The second aspect, would provide subtle humour where clear strap lines and hooks would reflect the content of the Adverts.
The photography was shot entirely on site in the Longwater Living Showroom in Norwich and an advertising campaign followed through a number of established Publications including Norfolk Magazine, Places & Faces Magazine and large format imagery used on the side of Longwater Construction Vehicles.
So now you have an idea about the brief for this project, let’s move on to the all important Advertising Photography Top Tips.
1: Know Your Target Audience
Shooting professional Advertising PR isn’t luck. A good advertisement, regardless of where it’s being placed will have a purpose and should have a clear, clean message. It’s important that the shots meet your target audience without them having to stand back for 10 minutes to try and fathom out exactly what that message is. Attempting to multi brand across a campaign will inevitably lead to mixed messages and a diluted campaign. Don’t confuse.
2: Discuss the Brief Fully
Successful advertising Photography will only work if you can communicate with your client. You may have an awesome creative streak, but this isn’t necessarily going to fulfil your clients criteria. There is literally nothing worse than receiving a brief, shooting Advertising Photography without any direction from your client, only to fond out that your ideas have clashed and they hate the images you’ve shot. You waste time, the client loses money and you won’t ever get in the door again or build a relationship with that client for the future. Shooting Advertising is delivering your customers vision, in a way that will reach their target audience, convey the right message and benefit your customers business. A well planned meeting where you can brainstorm ideas and reach a vision that is achievable will pay dividends not only to your creative portfolio, but throughout the whole project from creation to delivery. Think about the budget and the setting that you could potentially be working with.
3: Think About the Budget
We all love to shoot internationally, in great locations across the world with breathtaking backgrounds with professional models and medium format cameras.. But the reality of this happening when you start out in the world of Advertising Photography are slim. Advertising campaigns are expensive and unless you are working with an international, household name, the chances are, is that your budgets clients will be far less than you would like to see. Aim to deliver realistic Advertising Photography images, that is going to streamline the whole process. It will maximise your earnings if you can save you and the client time. Save the client some money and there’s good chance that they will use you again. Stitch up a client with an over inflated fee and you will lose out in the long run. Once you build up a reputation in the business, you will be in a far better position to negotiate more favourable rates.
4: Stock Imagery
Use Stock sites to generate ideas if you’re really stuck. Don’t worry about re-inventing the wheel. There’s very little across the market that hasn’t been done before. The idea is to put your own personal stamp on the subject you’re shooting. Speak with clients about the downside of choosing stock imagery over your work. Does your client really want to use an image that’s been seen on on numerous websites.
5: The Photo Shoot – Lighting
Depending on the complexiy of your shoot, if you’re new to the world of Advertising Photography, you should be keeping it simple. Don’t bite off more than you canchew, promising clients the world, with elaborately lit epic locations that you can’t deliver. The biggest piece of advice is “If you can’t manage the assignment, walk away.” Your reputation will stay in tact much more than undertaking a project that you are then unable to deliver. It will leave your client with a sour taste and your image as a professional photographer could very well be damaged. Present your commercial portfolio to your client at your initial meeting so they are fully aware of your Advertising Photography experience. Tone down the amount of lighting when you shoot and opt for the most natural imagery as possible is a good start. Simple lighting can help you better show off your product and service without overpowering it.
6: Copy Space
Always one to remember on Advertising Photography. The chances are, your imafe will be accompanied on the advert with text of some description. Make sure there is enough space for Copy. Shoot too close and you will remove the chance to tweak your crop in post production and your client may end up with unusable images Make sure that you have space in your advertisement to properly layout your photographs. In advertising photography, you want to look at photos from various angles before you print it to make sure that you have enough space to work with.
7: Contact Sheet
A straight forward one here. Once your initial images are selected, a Contact Sheet of Proof images is a great way to deliver a first look to your client. It enables them to choose the images they wish to use for the campaign and reduce the need for you to edit every image from the shoot. Try and ensure that the out of camera images are professional as tghere is nothing worse than a client looking at your proof images and regretting that they’ve used you for the project.
8: Edit The Photograph
Editing can make or break an Advertising Photography image. Never allow an image to be sent to a client with out having first been retouched. You will be sadly mistaken if you think your images can be sent out straight for camera. Generally, there will be time spend in post-production cleaning, tweaking, and photo-shopping the image to ensure that everything is perfect. This can include air-brushing, brightening or increasing the image’s contrast to make certain areas of the photograph stand out more. If you don’t know how to retouch, then use a freelance retoucher to do the work for you. Incorporate a retoucher into the price of your assignment. It will be money well spent and will save time on anything complex. You are a photographer, retouchers work on images for a living, so it’s sound advice to let them take the pressure from you.
9: Delivering Your Images
Finally.. How you deliver your images will depend on the finished advert. If the Advertising Photography is purely for Web and Social Media, then there’s no point in sending over images at 5MB because this will simply cause you more work when the client requests they be re-sent at a smaller size. A good rule of thumb is (72dpi / 1920 px minimum & under 1MB for web use), 1MB-3MB for print depending on the publication requirements and seek advice from the client if the imagery is to be used for LArge Format Printing or 48 sheet Advertising Boards
As with any industry, there will always be photographers who read this blog and have their own ideas and working practices. This is something that will develop over time and this article is my own interpretation form seven years working with commercial clients. To view our extensive Blanc Creative Portfolio, please visit our site by Clicking BLANC CREATIVE.
To find out more about the Advertising Photography services provided by Blanc Creative, please contact a member of our team on