When we think of the messages we send out in the world, we always think about the words. But how often do we think of photography? Not enough. Your message is more than what you say with vowels and consonants. It’s also about the story you tell, the emotions you show, and the authenticity you create with photography. In this episode of Messaging on a Mission we speak with renown photographer Joel Benjamin on how to think about photography when telling your story.
Compile a library of ideas to help inform current and future campaigns and keep everyone visually on the same page.
Always start with a shot list. If you budget eight minutes per shot, that can give you a sense of how long the day will run as well as help you prioritize.
At events, get all your photos done in the first few hours. No need to pay a photographer for the last hour, because one wants to see what happens toward the end!
If you use employees in your photoshoots, you must have them sign release forms, because employees move on and they don’t always leave their goodwill behind.
If you have to use stock, seek out smaller stock agencies or really find a style of photography that you like and really pursue that, such as natural daylight.
When selecting from a group of similar shots, first weed out the ones that are not usable, then look for something special in the ones that are. Remember that there is rarely just one shot that will work better than all the others. Don’t worry about finding the perfect one every time.
During headshots, involve the subjects with the photographer’s work so they feel part of the process and are more at ease with the photographer’s work.
When looking for a photographer (if it’s not our guest Joel!), ask other people recommendations, look at websites and Instagram accounts. It’s always good to have a meeting or phone call with the photographer to make sure you’re all on the same page.
During a photoshoot, be open to where the day takes you. Maybe there’s going to be things more brilliant you haven’t thought of, and that’s really always a joy for everybody when you end up with something way more than you anticipated.
About Our Guest
Joel Benjamin is a commercial and editorial photographer, known for his bright, authentic and energetic images and ideas.
A former advertising creative director, Joel has been shooting for over 25 years and has a busy studio in the Fort Point section of Boston. Joel draws on his sense of style, color and honesty to compose striking images that capture the essence of the people and things he is shooting. Known for his ability to make everyone he works with comfortable, Joel works in a relaxed and collaborative way, ensuring images that tell a story and capture a moment.
His clients run the range from Drizly to Sara Campbell fashion from Biogen to Brown University.