How to Speak to Photographers
Working with a professional photographer can be a considerable asset to your brand. It's essential to find one that matches the style and vibe of business. Be mindful that not all photographers are commercial photographers or content creators.
Communicating with your photographer about where the images will be used on social media will help them use the correct orientation. An IG story will need to be vertical, but a Twitter cover photo should be shot in a wide landscape format. If you don't know where the image will end up, let them know you need various options.
We could get very technical here, but for the sake of keeping it straightforward and informative, let's run down the key terms. Framing refers to what is in frame or what you will see in the final image. When planning shots, it's best to refer to them as follows:
Not all social media content is smiley. Let your photographer know how these images are being used. If it's for a blog about mental health awareness, you likely don't need an enormous grin on your subject. Make a shot list before the filming date and record all the shots you hope to achieve. Use basic descriptions to minimize confusion.
For example: 3-4 full and medium shot photos of a man looking concerned (header image for the blog).
During your photo shoot, you should trust your photographer. Standing over their shoulder, asking to see each shot over and over, or giving excessive direction is going to kill the creative process quickly. The time to plan is before the filming. Once you are on location, you need to give some freedom to the photographer. If you can't trust them, don't hire them.
Explaining artistic concepts can be tricky. Your definition of specific terms may not be the same as your photographer. Visual references are always helpful, like creating a Pinterest board. You can also reference other IG accounts and websites that inspire you.
With a little bit of research and some simple planning, you can be sure to create a strategy that will keep your project on track. Then you can enjoy the filming process more while the professionals do the work.
Why I Hate Video.
Everyone says video is the answer to everything, am I right? On social media, it has to be one of the most recommended formats. It performs better, it can convey emotion easily, and it builds trust. So here is why I wouldn't say I like it.
It's super hard.
The thing with speaking on video is that it's a learned skill, so it's not something that comes naturally to anyone. Like public speaking, there is a real art to it. You have to understand your intonation, control your breathing and know how your body posture is reading on camera. For many people, the idea of being on video causes a lot of anxiety. So much so that even with preparation, they buckle once the recording starts.
It takes planning.
Showing up for filming without a plan is the perfect way to set yourself up for failure. Thankfully you run the same odds of messing it up by over-preparing. Getting hung up on the perfect script can backfire if the nerves sneak up on you. With your shoulders creeping up to your ears and your tongue in knots, creating video content is never boring!
Putting yourself out there.
Believe it or not, very few people love putting their faces out there for the world to see. Gone are the days of drawing male genitals on your favourite realtor on a bus bench and welcome to the world of internet trolls. The fear of being judged or experiencing negativity can be very intimidating. We need to remind ourselves the reward is much greater than the risk.
Video is the best way to connect with your customers on social media. Be smart about it. Mix it up with other static posts that support similar content objectives. Video doesn't have to do all the work. Develop concrete strategies before you film. You won't get a better idea once the camera starts. Seriously.
Most importantly, get some sleep, eat a good meal, drink some water, and keep your head in a positive mental space. If filming late in the day is going to give you too much time to build anxiety, suggest a time in the morning. Give yourself the best chance to succeed by allowing yourself the time to breathe and come in relaxed. You are fantastic and believe me when I say you are going to do awesome.
Created by T Squared Social. We are a Saskatoon based social media agency with a focus on education, content creation and management. We love making great content and helping people with their social media.