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8 More Creative Director Secrets For a Fantastic Photo Shoot

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

Focused photography camera with blurry background of a man on a computer Recently I returned from a client photo shoot and drafted this list of helpful creative director secrets to help you produce professional and effective results. It's about details because the camera sees it all. Every photo shoot—from a big screen major motion picture, to images for your hospital or office—deserves careful attention.

It’s fun to watch one of those major motion picture extras that reveal “the making of…[this movie].” There may be one or two people in the scene. But just behind the camera there’s an army of professionals who look after every tiny detail. Really. Every detail.

After all, these big-screen folks are working with a budget in the millions, and nobody wants to waste a dime. Scale this over to your hospital marketing project. Typically, the budget is modest (from “a little something” to “D-I-Y-nada"). Nevertheless, there’s no margin for a waste of time or money. And the final product still needs to be first-class.

Creative Director photo shoot secrets…

Our previous article in this series created a list of secrets about How to Do a Great Photo Shoot. Here are more insider and professional tips and techniques for a fantastic (and low cost) photo shoot. (Most of these ideas are useful for both still and video shoots.)

Bring in professional help if you can. If the budget permits, invest in experienced help. A pro photographer has the equipment and skills. An executive creative director can help guide the project for marketing effectiveness.

Give everyone an early-warning notice. Let the staff and entire organization know which day or days you will be shooting. People appreciate the heads-up notice although it's bound to be a distraction. Remind everyone to look their best, and that desks, workspace and office environment need to be professional and shipshape.

Use your fresh eyes approach. Look critically at all your available spaces—from reception to treatment rooms, to exteriors. Look for open, attractive and inviting areas where patients would feel comfortable. Therefore, creatively consider how any given space can be used in photos.

Sometimes an area that you would not normally think of using can work. For example, on this shoot we used a nice looking hallway area that was previously ignored. As a result, this creative use added visual interest for the final product.

Spotless and professional. Critically inspect all spaces seen by the camera. You want areas that are tidy, clean and professional looking. Don’t take a photo in a room with clutter, with patient information visible or where old technology is evident.

Yes, “makeup and costumes.” You don’t need to “go Hollywood,” but be sure that everyone looks his or her best. Have sparkling uniforms or office attire, as well as makeup, hairspray so that your photos need minimum retouching. For doctors (and perhaps other providers in the office), take photos with a lab coat as well as regular clothing. Variety of attire gives you flexibility where you might need different types of shots of the same people.

Shoot the staff. Photos that include everyone in the office—individually and collectively—are great for morale and professional pride. People picture create a human touch. And they are always useful in “welcome to the practice” or “about us” marketing materials or website.

Ok, everyone…smile and look friendly. Enough said.

Technology and equipment photos? Yes. Be prepared to include specialized equipment, especially if your field or specialty relies on the latest technology.

Creative Director Secret #1: Advance planning...

Plan for a first-class photo shoot that presents healthcare delivery in a warm and welcoming point of view. Call experienced help if possible, and plan details carefully in advance.

As with any photo shoot, remember that the final quality of work is known by what you show. So, for the greatest professional advantage, take a lot of pictures. As a result you'll give yourself the greatest flexibility and options, and show the truly best images.

And please give me a call if you’re planning new photography for marketing. We’d be pleased to work with you for a fantastic photo shoot.

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