How To Hire An Industrial Photographer
Maybe you’re getting ready to launch a new website or unveil a recent rebranding campaign for a new product or process. On the other hand, perhaps you’ve just taken a look at your product images and realized they’re painfully out of date. Whatever the reason, you need industrial photography, and you need it quick.
So how do you go about hiring an industrial photographer? Using your smartphone and attempting the photography yourself, while cheap and easy, may leave your customers underwhelmed. It would be best to have dynamic professional imagery, brings out the best in your products and encourages your audience to dive a little deeper into your organization.
Below are a few helpful steps for finding the right industrial photographer for any industrial project.
What Do You Need Photographed?
Before you reach out to industrial photographers, make a list of absolutely everything you need photographed. Creating this list may sound like an unnecessary step; however, it helps you not forget or leave out essential images you may need. You may think that once the industrial photographer is on-site, you’ll be able to walk them through everything you need.
Don’t take this risk. It would help if you were extra thorough when putting together your shot list to ensure you don’t forget about a whole list of images that you forgot you needed.
Think about everything you might need imagery for to complete your project. Try to pre-plan for the year for social media images as well. Make your list, ask others to look at it, then make additions or cuts. Below is an example of an industrial shot list to complete a manufacturing client’s website redesign.
- Shots of manufacturing machines
- Special process
- New technology
- Product coming off of the press
- Exterior of building
- Photos from high points looking down on the facility
- Packaging shots
- Warehousing or storage shots
Headshots & Group Shots
- Professional Headshot of each employee with an environmental or solid background
- Sales Team, Engineering Team, Groups of Employees with the factory in the background
- Shots throughout offices, people working
- Company culture shots, meetings, laughing, happy employees
Products in Action
- Photos of welding, sparks are always cool
- Shots of your process step A-Z
- Pictures of items after being cut/grinded
- Specific finished product-focused shots
- Close up macro images for backgrounds and filler graphic material
- Employees working, using products
- Employees using equipment, creating products
- Lifestyle images of products in end-use may be at alternate (client) locations.
Note that this list isn’t too specific — you want to rely on the industrial photographer’s eye to uncover exciting photos. So point them in the general direction and give them a sense of what you need. Having a list like this will also allow you to receive more accurate quotes, letting you easily compare pricing between industrial photographers.
Research Industrial Photographers
Now that you have an idea of the types of images you need. It’s time to research industrial photographers. The easiest way to find the best industrial photographers in your area or a nearby area is to do a quick google search for industrial photographers or commercial photographers. You will find hundreds of photographers from weddings, babies, portraits, and everything in between. However, you are looking for someone specializing in industrial photography, also known as commercial photography. If you do not see examples of this type of work on their website, keep looking.
Sometimes you feel like you’re looking for a needle in a haystack, but using the right keywords in your search will help tremendously. Photographers near me each might net you a hundred photographers, but industrial or commercial photographers near me will get you better results for the type of images you are looking to create. So be very specific in your search criteria. In a smaller market or town, you might look to the next largest city close to you or even a few states away. You are looking for the best of the best; in the end, it’s worth it to pay a little extra for travel, knowing you will be investing into your business, and the final image quality, in the end, will be worth the extra cost. You will be saving thousands by hiring the right photographer the first time.
Once you’ve settled a few potential industrial photographers, please look at their portfolio sites and check their reviews and social media platforms for any red flags. Ideally, you want to find industrial photography in their portfolio that closely resembles the style of industrial photography you would like to see on your website.
Schedule a Call
Before you ask for an estimate, schedule a call with one or two potential industrial photographers and make sure they fully understand your project, the shots list, and your timeline.
- Double-check they fully understand your project and needs
- Make sure this is someone you’d like to work with in-person
- See if the industrial photographer has any additional thoughts or suggestions you might have missed
- Please make sure they are available and can deliver the job on your timeline
- Discuss your budget
Even after spending all that time putting together your photography list, there may still be something you didn’t consider. Your professional industrial photographer should offer suggestions, and it’s an excellent idea for you to rely on their expertise, enhance your project, and think outside the box. Once everyone is on the same page, ask for the proposal. Having the call will ensure that if you have more than one industrial photographer quoting your project, they all have the same guidelines, making your bids easier to compare. Although an excellent industrial photographer should give you an idea of cost during your call, the proposal should not be the first time you have seen or discussed your budget.
Reviewing Your Photography Proposal
The final step before scheduling your photoshoot is to review and confirm the proposal. The proposal or estimate should include the cost for your project, details about your usage rights to the images, and usage timeline. Ensure everything aligns with what you discussed and that there are no unanticipated costs. For example, you want to be sure editing is included or know the limits of the editing and if there is any potential for an extra fee.
Once you’ve signed the proposal, you should be all set. Work closely with the industrial photographer during the photo shoot. Be on-site so that you can work as a team with input. A great industrial photographer will show you the images along the way to offer feedback to help create better well-crafted images. If you have followed this outline, your result should be a great experience with quality images that will add enticing new photos to use in all your marketing collateral.
If you’re looking for an excellent industrial photographer for your next project, give kp studios a call at 205.410.0688.