The drawing on the left hand side was the sketch we were given, the image on the right is our product.

For a first-time advertising photographer, a brief can be intimidating. This is our top five tips that will walk you from initial concept to completion.

Shooting to a brief can seem like a complicated set up at a first, but breaking the process down to smaller parts can make the photo shoot run smoothly.

1. Keep in mind the mock up sketch (also known as scamp) may not have a perspective that is true to life. As the photographer, it’s important to choose the camera angle and lens that will come the closest to the sketch. It’s also your job to communicate to the art director why some things will work, and others won’t.

2. Depending on the production, the props and styling may be organised by the art director or could be left to you. Always be specific. 

3. Lighting can make or break your photo shoot. Choose the lighting type. Is it hard or soft light? Are there shadows that illustrate where the art director wants the lights to be placed? Take the time to think about the direction of the light and also take into account colour. Chat to the art director prior to the shoot about the look and feel they’re going for.

4. Often elements in the image are shot separately and combined in post. This is because of time constraints and sheer impossibility. In the above shot, we photographed the food and chairs at the start, then we photographed the women in the background and lastly, the main model, Sarah Wilson. All of this was layered together in Photoshop.

Before you go to your photo shoot, create an outline for what should be photographed first and what can wait.

5. Throughout post, make sure you continue to work closely with the art director. Send them what you’ve done intermittently and get feedback.  Most of these will be minor changes i.e. make the strawberry slightly bigger.

Studio Commercial has shot high-end projects for brands like Foxtel, Bluetongue lager, Coca Cola and Krispy Kreme.

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