Visual Communication

5 Ways We Keep Photo Productions Moving When Disruption Hits

By Miles Holder - 4 min read

EyeEm’s custom photoshoots are about making the whole production process as seamless and creative as possible. That’s why we know that when disruption hits it’s critical to respond quickly and responsibly. Our team shares our advice and top tips for making sure productions run even in time of uncertainty.

Travel bans, border restrictions, and social distancing have been just some of the unforeseen factors currently grinding production to a halt for companies across the globe. Even here at EyeEm, we’ve been making strategic decisions to pause some of our projects to ensure best practice and healthy business workflows. But we know that in the digital age, the show must go on.

We continue to see that with quick thinking, flexibility, and the continued determination of our amazing creatives worldwide, the show can go on at this time.

We’ve already focused on how we can all make better visual choices when it comes to COVID-19. So, in today’s article, we are sharing some of the best practices that we’ve been following here at EyeEm to keep production projects running and our clients pleasantly surprised.

How to Make Custom Photo Shoots Work Despite Travel Disruptions

High angle view of tomatoes and mug on table

1. Take a New Approach And Think Local

During this time, the risk of flying photographers and your creative team across the world for a shoot far outweighs the benefits that come from that extended travel. Instead, it’s time to narrow your scope and think locally. In terms of where you source your photographers or production managers, you have the chance to reduce the risks of travel by tapping into a network of photographers that can meet your needs minus the journey time.

Full length rear view of woman standing by tripod in studio

“…we love seeing new and alternative ways to approach creative projects”

All year we get to work with a unique creative talent working all around the world. The Collective, our network of our very best photographers, has allowed us to connect brands with the talent that are already based and working at the locations that need photographing or those with access to their own personal studio.

“Despite the current changes to our production planning we’re still able to proceed with a variety of lifestyle shoots” says Grace, our Head of Production. “Whether they be home shoots, smaller e-commerce projects, or larger shoots in private studios we love seeing new and alternative ways to approach creative projects - championing our creative community at every step”

Objects in kitchen at home

2. On-set Communication Is Still Key

With certain travel restrictions in place, we’ve adjusted a number of our shoots so that solo photographers are briefed to capture the images that our clients are looking for. In some cases this has meant facilitating direct contact with photographers throughout the entire shoot.

This being said, we work closely with our most trusted photographers, making sure that we have worked with them previously or go above and beyond throughout the workflow. In those cases, where direct contact isn’t required we simply request that the photographer sends us a selection of images from the clients shot list so that we’re able to sign off on the spot with confidence and allow them to move onto the next one effectively.

We know that every detail matters and so when it is essential that we oversee the entire production but are unable to be there in person we take a slightly different approach. For certain shoots, our photographers have been understanding and have allowed our team screen share online while they shoot tethered. This process has enabled us to make live suggestions and image selects while the shoot is taking place. Although this is not our ideal way of working, it does ensure that we can adhere to very specific requirements needed by some of our clients.

High angle view of wine bottle and camera

3. Thorough Briefings Make All The Difference

This should be a given right? Even when we’re not faced with the context of global disruption, every production has small inconsistencies that need to be ironed out with the client. At this time, however, we don’t have that luxury to clarify in person. To ensure that the production and the result is of the highest possible quality, we must make sure that we know exactly what our client needs way before the shoot.

While this may mean conducting an extra client call or adding another email to the chain, it’s this attention to detail that allows us to deliver exceptional standards and successful campaigns with different clients, individual photographers, and in locations all around the world. We’re currently working on resources for you and your team to create industry standard creative briefings so make sure to join our LinkedIn network to get your hands on it as soon as they’re launched!

High angle view of meal served on dining table during christmas celebration

4. Switch Your Setup

The majority of our productions are centered around capturing content that showcases real-life situations, emotions, and people. As we saw in our Visual Trend Report, there is a call for “commercial photography as believable and relatable in an era of socially-aware advertising.”

So with this in mind, we will often mirror home-like environments on an artificial set or in a studio. With so many creatives now working from home, we have the amazing opportunity of shooting a range of true lifestyle imagery that will connect with your audience and showcase the ‘Produced Realism’ visual trend we see as a must for any brand in 2020. Particularly at a time of uncertainty when brands are in a position to be more honest, transparent, and ‘real’ as ever.

Clothes and shoulder bag hanging on yellow wall at home

5. Be Confident in Your Decisions

It may sound counter-productive but all production companies will need to make bold decisions in the coming weeks as they prioritize the health and wellbeing of their staff. For example, when it comes to leading brands in fashion, beauty, and retail, having creative teams, models, hair and beauty artists on set for prolonged periods is a huge risk. That being said, that doesn’t always mean scraping a project of such nature.

It’s about first understanding the risks involved, and using these tips to find unique alternatives. Making these choices, even when it may include a ‘no’ here and there, could push your brand and your creative team to find a dynamic solution you would have never tried out before.

High angle view of young woman photographing toys on chair in studio

It’s this exact thinking that has allowed us to continue to take on large scale shoots and creative projects and turn them into an ecommerce product opportunity. Even at this time, these critical steps have allowed our team and our network of photographers to move forward with shoots that only require the product, a photographer, and a tried-and-testing workflow powered by our tool kit of digital solutions.

We know that for many brands, us included, the show must go on. We hope these key tips and advice will help your brand adapt to the current global context. Ensuring that your next campaign is safe, realistic, and also pushing creative boundaries.

Tripod camera and lighting equipment in empty studio

If you want to know more about what our production team can do for your brand, or have a request for a custom photoshoot then why not reach out to us directly!

Facing tight deadlines and looking for a quick fix so you don’t have to slow business down? We have an outstanding collection of images ready to license for commercial use and contributed by millions of talented photographers around the world!

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