Tip 40 for Better Shoots by Heidi Rondak

Hit the Bullseye in terms of Colour Representation

We have managed to go through 39 tips and are finally reaching tip no. 40. In this last of articles belonging to this series, we continue talking about colours on screens and printed mediums, albeit a little more detailed. We will meet the challenges of different displays in order to make elaborate decisions in the post-production of campaigns and marketing content with no nasty surprises. However, we should always keep in mind one thing: Colour can be very subjective.
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Tip 39 for Better Shoots by Heidi Rondak

Understand image resolution and dimensions like a pro

If you’ve been with us from the beginning of this series of articles you might remember tip no. 3 advising you to think about the formats of your future images first. It can be essential for the photographer to know about your printing and web publishing plans – not only for granting adequate usage rights as described in tip no. 34 but also to get the dimensions and resolutions right, as well as the colour spaces. If you’ve never heard about RBG and CMYK before, forgot what the letters refer to exactly, or never understood the difference between 8-bit and 16-bit pictures, keep on reading – you will also be shown the differences in sample images. For those with more advanced knowledge, the following paragraphs might hold new and surprising facts about image resolution that disprove the ’300 dpi for print’ and ’72 dpi for web’ rules.
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Tip 38 for Better Shoots by Heidi Rondak

Manage the Data Logistics with No Trouble

Other than in analogue times when contact sheets and larger prints were produced in the laboratory and mailed to the client, nowadays, there are many different ways of sending digital images. This also results in other selective approaches as opposed to grabbing a red felt tip and scribbling on the prints. Two main methods are to be mentioned here: 1. the option to list the file names in your communication channels with the photographer (or retoucher) and 2. the creation of folders containing the selected previews. In both cases, leaving the file names unchanged is essential because it will help the photographer to find the associated raw files.
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Tip 37 for Better Shoots by Heidi Rondak

Keep Track of the Digital Data

When it comes to the creation, transfer, and storage of data, one sort of photo file is not like another. Images can come in many different shapes and qualities which you’ve probably once learned painfully when using a too-small image for a platform that required higher resolution. But don’t you worry because “mishaps” happen to the best of us and they make us learn from them. However, there are more harmful ways of mistreating images that you might want to know how to avoid. Hence, with the last four articles of the “Post-Production 101”, including the present one, we’re devoting our attention and final sprint through “Tips for Better Shoots” to data handling. From the explanation of raws and previews via the final files to the resolutions and colour spaces of web and print – part C is all about data, preventing you (or your staff and interns) to publish a wrong version of a picture and get in trouble for it.
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Tip 36 for Better Shoots by Heidi Rondak

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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Tip 35 for Better Shoots by Heidi Rondak

Dismantle the Sharing Dilemma

Social Media platforms are secret weapons for advertising your products effectively. The apps are opened by billions of people every day and you can place your ads with them in a way that will touch the perfect audience if you 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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Tip 34 for Better Shoots by Heidi Rondak

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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Tip 29 for Better Shoots by Heidi Rondak

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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Tip 23 for Better Shoots by Heidi Rondak

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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Tip 22 for Better Shoots by Heidi Rondak

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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Tip 21 for Better Shoots by Heidi Rondak

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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Tip 20 for Better Shoots by Heidi Rondak

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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Tip 19 for Better Shoots by Heidi Rondak

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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Tip 17 for Better Shoots by Heidi Rondak

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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