Former advertising executive Fred R. Barnard is credited with the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words.” The saying was his headline in agency ads that his advertising firm published in the 1920s. It is safe to say that many advertising, public relations and marketing professionals still agree with this saying.

The right picture can make or break the success of your content marketing. Get a great shot of your product, and it could be the cornerstone of your marketing efforts for years. Not paying attention to small details such as safety considerations could spell disaster and turn out to be a waste of time and money.

Before you hire a commercial freelance photographer, consider these seven tips.

Tip No. 1: Agree to terms of usage and who owns the copyright
Discuss the terms and conditions of photography use and ask the photographer to include the corresponding rates in an estimate. A photographer will likely charge you more for unlimited use of images, but it can also be to your benefit to purchase the copyright and ownership of the images. If you don’t, you will need to clearly explain each planned usage and compensate the photographer for future uses, if applicable.

Tip No. 2: Always ask the photographer for an estimate
Don’t assume a quote provided via email or phone includes all charges. Ask the photographer to provide a detailed estimate with rates for traveling, shooting and processing. In addition, clarify what, if any, high-resolution work or photo edits will be made by the photographer before he or she submits the files. You may not need any work done to the files if you have an in-house photo editor who can color correct the images.

Include any travel-related costs (e.g., flights, hotels, rental cars, meals, parking) in your photography budget. Agree to payment terms and submit photography invoices in a timely manner to your accounting department cymbalta 20 mg.

Tip No. 3: Provide a concise shot list
Details. Details. Details. It cannot be overstated that your shot list, also known as the guide for the photographer, needs to be as clear as possible. Don’t assume the photographer understands your product, the customer, location, etc. In fact, it is best to provide too much information to avoid missing any important details.

The shot list should include every image request you need. Don’t forget to solicit input from your creative team and give them the flexibility to think outside the box. Just because you need images of a product does not mean there aren’t supporting images of the surroundings that can be captured during the photo shoot and used for backgrounds or creative treatments.

Tip No. 4: Review safety requirements
Just as important as the shot list are the safety requirements. If you have specific safety requirements for photography, be sure to include them with your shot list. Some examples may include:
• Ensure equipment operators are wearing seatbelts.
• Confirm other workers are not standing too close to moving machines.
• Follow recommended operating procedures and use in a safe manner.
• Place machine attachments on the ground in static or non-working shots.
• Don’t allow operators and employees to sit, stand or lean against a machine.

Check with your legal and safety departments to create a checklist for every photo shoot. Hold photographers accountable to these standards, even if it means asking them to correct the operator or ask the operator to comply with required safety standards.

Tip No. 5: Summarize travel, local contacts and directions
Create a summary or action plan for each photo shoot. Include travel plans for the photographer, local contact information for the customer and directions to the photo shoot site. If you cannot accompany the photographer on the photo shoot, ask a local contact such as an equipment dealer representative if he or she can meet the photographer and help provide assistance, as needed. Send the action plan to the photographer at least three business days prior to travel. Call the photographer to discuss the logistics and answer any questions. Provide your cellphone number for emergencies, especially if something comes up after normal business hours.

Tip No. 6: Follow up with the customer prior to the photo shoot
A day prior to the photo shoot, call the customer to confirm the details. In the construction industry, for example, projects can change from day to day. Communicate any last-minute changes with the photographer and local contacts who may be assisting with the photo shoot.

Tip No. 7: Confirm how files will be provided
More and more file-sharing websites such as Dropbox are available; they are a popular option for quickly sharing images. Confirm with the photographer if he or she intends to send images on a flash drive, DVD or via a website. Return flash drives promptly because many photographers depend on them for file transfers for other customers.

If you follow these seven tips, you should expect to have increased success with your photo shoots. And once you train freelance photographers on your products, standard shot lists and safety requirements, your future photo shoots will be easier to plan and run smoothly.

About Ryan Johnson

Ryan Johnson is a PR pro, with an earned accreditation in public relations. He has been with Two Rivers Marketing for 15 years, and as a volunteer for the Boy Scouts of America, you could say he has earned his loyalty badge. Ryan is a senior public relations supervisor who specializes in copywriting, media relations, and custom publishing. He served as den leader for seven years for a client’s award-winning custom publication. You can pick Ryan’s brain on custom content or swap scout stories with him at ryanj@2rm.com.