Pay Attention to the Model’s Rights

Images always belong to the copyright holder and like described in Tip No. 33 the ownership cannot be transferred to anyone else. When it comes to images of people, though, these persons have rights to their own pictures too. In commercial photography, this means that a license and buyout fee isn’t only due for the creator but also the model who is generally represented and managed by an agency. You won’t, therefore, only pay for their performance on set but additionally for them supplying your campaign with their visual identity.
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Dismantle the Sharing Dilemma

ou manage to target it correctly. Furthermore, ads on social media can be designed in a variety of ways from classic banners to branded content, dropped in feeds, stories, or popping up on the edges of the users’ browsers. And don’t forget the fact that their performance is constantly tracked and it can, therefore, be analysed more precisely than e.g. a printed campaign. This is giving you the chance to optimise your strategies from time to time and reach more people. All the latter being said, you can probably imagine that obtaining a photo license for social media use is crucial for it represents an important sector in the marketing of your products.
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Buy it out, Baby!

A regular license for commercial photography is usually two years tops. With the launches of more and more off-season capsule- and pre-collections plus the concluding requirement for more marketing material it has even become a standard to buy out images for a couple of months or weeks only. This brings along a constant change on the platforms of the respective brands. Yet, more traditional brands and those who are smaller equally undergo a cycle of permanently replacing their photos along with their product range, although following a slower rhythm. Therefore, a usage right of two years or fewer should be, mostly, sufficient. 
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Don’t rush the deadline

As Tim Urban explains in his TEDx Talk “Inside the mind of a master procrastinator” a healthy and more successful way of going about a project is to give all phases enough time to be worked out. And although for you, the work reached the climax on the very day of the shoot, if you’re a good planner – or want to become one – you need the providence to set a deadline that leaves a margin time for the post-processing of your images.
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Retouching is a Real Job

It’s a wrap and we’ve finally reached the last chapter of this column – the post-production. But don’t crow too soon! There’s very much to learn about the different aspects of post-production… We’re in fact going to deal with three different sections composed of several articles on A. the photo editing, B. the buyout, and C. the data-handling. So relax your shoulders, take a deep breath in and press your worry stone, because there’s work ahead of us. As the client, your part in the editing process will mainly be to judge the results, select which pictures need to be retouched, and instruct the editor about the formats and style you wish to have as well as pointing out the flaws that need to be corrected. Doesn’t sound too hard of a task, right?
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Simulation of a typical photo production day

So the shooting day has arrived and you’re as good as certain excited to go about the production. If you feel any nervousness, don’t worry as you’ve probably done a good job with preparing and hiring a professional team who has your back. Even if unexpected obstacles occur they can probably be solved if everyone keeps calm and uses their expert brains. And hey, even in the worst-case life goes on. A photo shoot won’t cause your whole business to go belly-up, however, you can learn from all mistakes that might happen (now or in the past) to do it better next time. Therefore, transform any feelings of tension into motivation and cheerfulness. Your positive vibes will certainly rub off on the team and remove some of the pressure.
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Let’s say it loud and clear

As I’m praising in tips No. 21 and 22 where it’s about creating and verifying a mood board that illustrates your concept communicating with the team is the way to get the results that you want for your campaign. From the visuals to the negotiations and booking based on contracts to the clocking of the day’s routine, everything is a way of providing information but can sometimes be subject to misunderstandings when lacking personal communication – be it verbal or written. This article is, therefore, devoted to the importance of transparency and dedicated talking. Eventually, the photo shoot can only go according to the proposed plan if those who are commissioned to fulfil it know every aspect of what you had in mind. Integrating this inherent part in the process of preparing the production will prevent time-consuming and stressful discussions on set as well as keep up a good atmosphere of friendly co-working on top of a flawless photographic result.
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Why no commercial photo shoot will work out without a proper schedule

As you’ve probably read my last tip on the booking of the ideal team constellations you might now have a sketchy idea of how many people there are going to be on set of your campaign shoot. Thus, you can possibly imagine that all these people will need guidance throughout the day in order to avoid some sort of chaos taking place – especially when you don’t like to answer questions all the time. It might not be news to you that briefing your team is essential. But it can turn out that informing them about what is going to be done isn’t enough of a plan. Likewise, shall it be important to communicate the how and when because they enhance the logic and logistics of the whole production. It’s, therefore, smart to give all tasks and scenes definite time frames in advance by which everyone can repeatedly check if they’re able to accomplish the workload in time.
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Book your storybook team

With your concept in the shape of a mood board and as soon as you have a clear notion of the budget that you’d like to spend on your new campaign photos you can begin to book your professional team and everything you’ll need for the production additionally. Like it’s described in tip no. 4 there’s more to include in the calculation than just the main players (which are the models, the photographer, the hair & make-up artist, the fashion stylist, and possibly an external art director). After all, they could certainly all use assistants and some set runners who are there to help wherever they’re needed. In specific cases location supervisors or security guards are necessary, the latter especially when you shoot with valuable products like jewellery. And as we’re dealing with humans who have basic needs there’s no way around organising catering for the day. On top of all the fees for the people involved there possibly are equipment, location, and prop rents to be paid, or other things to be bought. Last but not least a fair part of your expenses are flowing into your license that allows you to actually use the resulting photos for your purpose.
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Let your mood board undergo a reality check

Following the guidelines of my last tip, your mood board may by now be ready to be seen by others. At this point, always be careful with the copyrights of the mood material because sharing will be a form of publication for which you actually need a license of each copyright holder and the models shown (and on top of that the legal prerequisites are different in every country). In order to be on the complete safe side here, you can find a good range of useful creative commons photos on stock photo platforms some of which even offer images for free, e.g. Unsplash, Pexels, or pixabay. If you’re seeking even more professional content that was for example published in fashion magazines earlier, you can find a good variety on gettyimages, however, you’ll need to invest a bit of cash in it. Besides the copyright aspect, this article treats a few further stages where you’ll be able to touch up the mood board and make it a masterpiece. 
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Mastering the art of mood board creation

After reading the last article’s advice you might be eager to finally learn how to create a mood board by yourself, according to your own shooting idea. Ultimately, it’s the most creative part in a campaign shoot and it secretly makes you the true artist. Yet, for some, it might not be clear what a mood board is exactly, let alone what to consider a good versus a great mood board. By definition, mood boards can be different kinds of presentations that combine images, text, etc. on a topic to convey a feeling about it. Such a mood board can serve as a script that, at first, wins over a good photo team and then functions like a briefing that everybody draws on during the preparation and the production day. Therefore, mood boards are communication tools and a superior one clearly distinguishes which pictures are describing what elements of the photo shoot resp. which guidelines are who’s cup of tea. After all, you certainly want to avoid that the hair & make-up artist styles a model after a mood picture that was actually just there to characterise the light situation you wanted. 
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How to get inspired for a campaign shoot

The last three tip articles have revealed to us who is needed to execute a photo shoot successfully. Now, as we know that we’re dealing with a team of at least 4 people (a photographer, a model, a hair & make-up artist and a fashion stylist) we want to make sure that everyone shares the same vision of what is going to be produced so that they can do their best in their fields. Therefore, this article and the following two are going to treat the most important puzzle piece of any photo shoot: the concept and its making.
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Hire a fashion stylist and your products will look their best

In the fashion industry, we usually say ‘stylist’ when we’re referring to the fashion/wardrobe stylist. Therefore, they are often confused with the hairstylist or even the make-up artist by non-professionals. Many people aren’t aware of the fact that a photoshoot with people requires a fashion stylist but they are indeed a necessity even if you advertise a car or a new toothbrush – not to mention when you want to sell the fashion itself. In the following, I’m going to name a couple of reasons why hiring a stylist will make the photos you commissioned look as professional as you imagined them in the first place.
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The importance of the model for a successful campaign

In this chapter, we’re focussing on the team and its importance for your photoshoot. We can agree that we need a professional photographer (at least I hope you do) and this is why I’m just going to elaborate on the roles of professional models, make-up artists, hairstylists, and fashion stylists with the next three posts. This article is explaining what you need to know about models and why your campaign can be more successful when it’s photographed with a professional one who is signed at an agency. 
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Tip 16 for Better Shoots by Heidi Rondak

Directions of light – Why you shouldn’t always look on the bright side

By reading my last three tip articles you had the opportunity to gain basic knowledge about different kinds of light such as natural light, flashlights, and continuous light. By bringing reflectors and diffusers into play the possibilities of modifying light beams to be soft or hard, wide-angle or focused, direct or indirect are game-changing. However, there’s one thing left to be discussed: the effects of the light’s direction on the model and fashion. 
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Tip 15 for Better Shoots by Heidi Rondak

When to use continuous light for your campaign photography

It’s almost needless to say but for the sake of completeness: continuous light is designed for film making. For photography flashes offer the most efficient way of lighting a set – they save energy due to releasing light for just a short amount of time, yet they are powerful and furthermore do they come with plenty sorts of light shapers, which are mostly easy to build up and attach. However, continuous light has one very clear advantage: you can see the light of the setup even before the first photo or footage is taken and it’s, therefore, a good way for non-professionals to start understanding light – or at least to be confident of the light situation created.
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Tip 14 for Better Shoots by Heidi Rondak

The power of using flashes for your campaign photos

In the absence of natural light, we are required to add artificial light to illuminate a scene, usually in the form of flashes. Clearly, this is mostly the case when we shoot indoors and don’t have enough daylight coming in through the windows or we don’t want to rely on it. Besides brightening the subject, flashes have another feature, which is the ability of “freezing” movement in a photo, because the period of time passing by during the lighting is very short. However, for super-fast movements special high-speed flashes AND cameras are required in order to capture the right moments with no blur. Flashes are either synchronised with the camera through a wire or radio, or they react to other flashes if they are in range. This is why e.g. a simple smartphone photo taken with a flash can at once trigger all studio flashes – so make sure to always take your making-of images without using the flash mode. 
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