Anatomy of a Photoshoot

Lesson 15 of 38

Exercise: Purpose Worksheet

 

Anatomy of a Photoshoot

Lesson 15 of 38

Exercise: Purpose Worksheet

 

Lesson Info

Exercise: Purpose Worksheet

So the first thing I want to do is I want toe work through, uh, this thing that's called marks purpose worksheet on and I don't know if you guys got a handout, but this is one of the download's at home, and I've got it here, my pee on my ipad, I trust you trust little ipad. Um, it's gonna roll this out here? Um, turn this on. So what we're doing here is, um, we're trying to figure out a few things, in fact, paul and I were talking about this quite a bit this morning, which is how do you know you think your wording was how do you know what your shooting is? Good, you know, how do you know? Uh, how do you know when you're finished? I think that's what I was asking, how do you know when something that you're doing is done? How do you know if you're on track? How do you know you're doing the right things? And so purpose has a couple of different ways of approaching purpose. And so specifically this discussion, what we're talking about is when we're interacting with our clients, so we have ...

a commercial client, they're coming to us to hire us for a job, how do we clarify the purpose of the shoot? Okay, so that's how I want to frame this discussion not what's the meaning of life but what is the purpose for a specific photo shoot? And so this is an exercise that we're going to be doing and we're going to expand on it as we go we're gonna grow it we're gonna grow it because you'll see in a little bit we have a wall over here of plans that came out of this specific exercise and that she too plans is what twelve feet of paper of plans so it came from this exercise so what? We're going to grow this through the day and so we're going to start with what's the meaning of life or what your artistic purpose but uh for a specific photo shoot, what is the purpose? Okay, so we're going to start with something and that is the very first thing what are you shooting? Okay, so I'm gonna put this in context and we're going to a real life. And so we had a client it's, an ad agency in phoenix that came to us it's not a factory and said we want you to shoot a proof of concept video for frye's food price food is a big grocery store in the southwestern united states and they're looking to do cem cem new video siri's so they came to us and said, can you develop some videos the feel the look we want you teo teo create the color palette the whole thing we want you to make these video so we can go back to fries and show them these videos and so we sat down with them and said okay what are we shooting that was the very first thing what exactly are you talking about? What are we shooting and so the response was well we really want to be specific they have a fish department and they have this expert who knows everything there is to know about fish we think that would be one of the best possible ways to start is to shoot fish fish are not very exciting to me right like that's okay, I know we're shooting fish exactly what are we shooting again? Well we're going to shoot the fish expert will do an interview with him and there's a fish counter your normal grocery store fish counter lobsters you know sam in the whole thing okay and how long is the video? Three minutes all right so we know what right? We have that in place we're shooting fish at this point it's not a very interesting concept, right? It's just fish um so the second thing we have to answer internally is why are you shooting and for this specific shoot we're shooting to make money very specifically we want to make some money on the reason we're making money is so we can pay all the rent and all that kind of stuff I think that's a far as it goes over oh no um another little mini failure sorry so yeah, the reason that we're shooting is to make money. Okay, now there are all kinds of different ways of shooting things um our reasons for shooting things for example you might be shooting something and the reason is not to make money but to learn a principle or you might be shooting something not to make money or to learn a principal but to document, uh event in your life there there are many reasons of of why and you have to know those two things are not the same right? I feel you have a question. I sense it the question of why are you shooting? You mean for you or for snap factory not for the client like what? Yes. So for you personally and that's a great distinction it's like for your company. Why are you shooting it? So for me, why am I shooting this thing? It had to be clear about that and you might have uh several reasons sometimes we shoot things specifically proof of concepts will shoot those things to make money but really we know that it's a proof of concept and if we nail it and we get it right we're going to gain a client and so the real purpose of that is we want to create a proof of concept video or still or whatever so that we can uh make future business happened so if that's the case it impacts your pricing considerably so if you're doing something in hopes of gaining business, you're going to give a price that maybe is just to cover your costs as opposed to pricing that is your costs plus a proper mark up because you don't want to pry something that's just a proof of concept that may or may not be used so high that they're like okay, we're not even going to consider working with you because we just want to see what you can do and so it's that y part is very important teo help with pricing and all kinds of different things it also helps with understanding the priorities of your work so if you have multiple projects on your on your plate which most photographers do they have you know I'm gonna do a proof of concept video I'm going to be doing some video are still so their proof of concept I've got stills for a wedding I've got stills for a family vacation and get stills for this and if you have all your your project's listed and when you sit down you have to evaluate ok at the end of the day I still have to pay the rent and so let's look at what our company purposes our company wants to make money okay? Of all of these things we have these different reasons why we're shooting this these are all good reasons but in the end I need to re prioritise this or that even though I don't want to but I might have to because if I don't wanna run into financial problems later on so that's all the considerations of return on investment and you know looking forward in your business those those are the things that you do so that the point is this wire you shooting it is very important the next one is as what is the purpose of the shoot so they zip in here um the purpose of the shoot I think javier or is the difference right? The purpose of the shoot is this um so what? We were shooting the fries uh fish counter that's what we're shooting were shooting that to make some money but the purpose was this is from the client's perspective clients like this is what we want you to convey and what they specifically wanted us to convey was the fries fresh food promise that's what they wanted so um we did a bunch of research and found out that fries has this amazing ability to get fish from the ocean to the counter and I think it's two days it's from ocean to counter extremely fast and then they have different ways of doing that sometimes there flash frozen fish and sometimes they're not sometimes they're worked filleted at a local place and something way did some research and we had help from the ad agency but there was a ton of research done about exactly how is this fish different from other fish why is it more fresh than other places and found out stuff I had never known about fish it was like wow, this is awesome and so when we got to their flagship store we were prepared to show it to tell a story about how the fish goes from ocean to processing plant and how it is processed in a way that's not just sort of gross with, you know, fish getting chopped up and can't hook filleted and gets flying and all that kind of stuff we had to show it in a different light and so that purpose really drove our research and it drove how we told the story of this fish um and he also helped us understand what questions to ask the fish expert this guy knew just everything there was to know about fish and it was funny because after we got done with this first fish video which they loved by the way it was a smash it way knew enough about fish and about how to cook it in fillet it um put it on cast iron heated up as hot as you can at least five hundred degrees stick it on there it's going to heat up about six minutes your fish is done and it's gonna be awesome but way learn how to do this and we all were cooking fish for like three weeks every night I had the best fillet last night so we're like cooking fish and it was sort of interesting anyway um that's what helped us here now the other thing is, um there's some big questions you have to ask yourself and that is how are you going to know if you're successful and what is the only way you're gonna know if you're successful is if you have some success criteria so again back to this fries fish food thing um it was they said, well, we have to make sure we convey the fries fresh food uh, message that is something that's very subjective to us, you know, I'm not sure exactly if we've communicated that, and so we had their team come in as we were, uh, shooting and as we're editing to tell us yes, this is what we want to convey this fits with the overall ad campaign is fits with our print media because there's several different companies contributing to this on and so they're doing the overall direction of that and that happens a lot in commercial photography another photography you have to trust somebody else to tell you if you're on the right track and you have to trust somebody else to tell you uh to make changes and that is very, very difficult to do as well and somebody says you know what? What you did is great, but I don't like it um so when you're shooting personal work you get to set the direction and you get a set what success means when you're doing professional commercial work, you don't your client decides that for you and you have to surrender that control to your client, which you have to be prepared for that because people will come in and say, you know what? I don't like this I need this needs to be changed and you will think no, that is not the best way to do it it's this way and you have to make your your argument and if they say no, you have to say, okay, we're going to go with what you say because they're paying the bills that's their shoot is not yours, so one of the six success criteria is some very practical things was it three minutes or less as we promised, did it have the intro and ending graphics as we promised was the audio clear was the edit tight where the lower thirds in the right place was the lighting right was everything and focus all those technical things as well, we used as a success criteria, and then the last thing is how do you know when you're done? And that is one thing, especially for, uh, for photographers, and I don't know if anybody online has done this or any of you have done this, a model comes into the studio or you're at a shoot and you start shooting and you shoot and you shoot and you shoot and you shoot and twelve hours later, you're still shooting because it's a blast and you're having a lot of fun, but you're like, ok, I got seven hundred pictures, and I guess I'll look at him later and then later when you look at him, you find out that three hundred looked like this, and two hundred of them looked like this and, you know, you have these groups of very similar looking photos and so specifically for photo shoot, you have to have some success criteria to know when you're finished and the way you do that is with the plan so specifically with with still photography, and we're gonna do this, as we planned later today for tomorrow, there has to be a way of saying we're shooting this specific thing we're shooting this dress with this shoes with this hairstyle with this makeup we want this style of lighting and uh this is exactly what we're going to get we need a vertical we need horizontal we need to close up we need you know these they spell it out and then when you're shooting when you get the shot you're finished you're like, I know I'm done maybe you should a couple more just to see if you can change things up to get something that's that's a little different um but you're finished then you move on to the next thing you shoot that and normally what we're doing is we have light room with a large screen and our director of clients creative director whoever it is that's with our client and as for shooting will say okay we said we wanted gray dress blue shoes you know this hairstyle on this set I think we kneel that we've got a horizontal or vertical and this one looks great. We have this option here they are. Do we have it? Yeah. That's great. What do you think postproduction person that's gonna have to edit all this stuff? Is this gonna work in the layout? Yes, that is going to work great on we go, but you have to have that criteria first and if not you're gonna be shooting and beginning photographers this is one of my favorite things the machine gunner we're using this model didn't that that that that that that that that that alright move that they don't stop doing that composure shot figure out exactly what you want to get out of that and, uh shoot one of the exercises that's really good for that to sort of break you of the machine gun is get your camera decide on something you're going to shoot and just look through the lens and never take a picture too don't take a picture just look and then say ok have I done this right it all framed right? Is that going to look good? Are we set that would make a good picture okay and then click once got it try that just as a discipline to try him stop the machine gun madness I don't know if if there's people out there machine gunners but I've seen plenty of machine gunners um raise your hand if you've machine guns all right? Yes admit it. Your machine gunners. Okay, so, um before we move on this purpose work sheet, by the way, this is a download um we're gonna have your can you sort of scratch that out would be great. Um do we have questions about the purpose worksheet before we move on to some questions from the internet? Let's hear the questions from the internet from ikea? Do you always ask your customer for their criteria criteria always yes, we do. We have when we have a customer a client uh normally what we have is a initial meeting and after that initial meeting we only they go to their location or they will come to we have a conference room and either it's myself by myself usually myself kelsey and usually it's the two of us in the initial meeting and we go through a list of questions and it's it's the questions that we just went through exactly what it is that you want us to shoot. What are you trying to convey? Um you know, what's the budget that's a big concern so we know sort of how big or small we should plan um, how are the image is gonna be used? We document everything and after we document everything they leave, we look at everything we do, all the considerations we look at our calendar, we look at our prioritization to make sure that we can do it. We can convey, uh, you know, meet our commitments. And then we put all of that in writing, and we send an estimate of the charges and the dates and all of that kind stuff. So yeah, we always always do that. Yes, uh, you measure the effect in, uh, the effectiveness of something let's say company comes to you uh company x y z and they want you to sell a new technology and you shoot the image and it runs in the magazine how do you how did they come back to you and tell you you know, was a successful or was you know, failure um so different companies have different metrics and one of the one of our large clients there in new york um they, uh the vice president tells me all the time he says, you know, advertising is sort of like, uh gambling you just you just sort of don't know when when you're running ads in magazines and stuff there are metrics that they track over time, but most ads are not specific answer their ad campaigns and so you know that the campaign is successful but it's hard to say this ad in this magazine on this page lead to thes sales it's almost impossible to say and so usually ad campaigns are measured by, um for the entire campaign that's why so many cards and things say you know, used this code when you purchase because I'm trying to figure out what successful on what's not successful so they don't do that they take all that stuff and roll it up our internal metrics, we use google analytics right? And on youtube we have, um used adsense adwords and we were into the google universe and so we I look at our metrics probably at least once a day uh and I'm looking at things specifically for videos on youtube and, uh a lot of our downloads weaken track and see when interest wanes in a video we actually have a graph says people are watching, they're more interested there rewinding they're looking at this section whoa it's gone they don't like this here and then you know, we contract exactly where on the timeline for videos with stills we don't have that was still is what we do my portfolio's in life books and life books allows you teo insert google analytics and so I can log into my analytics account and then I can see an overlay of my life books uh uh portfolio and I can see exactly which pages people are going to I can see where what images they're looking at, where they came from and so when we do ad campaigns for snap factory that's how we determine what successful because we can see where people are coming from, what partner sites have sent people and this pretty accurate measurements mean analytics is an amazing amazing tool so that's that's how we judge our internal stuff right and as magazines they probably go more elektronik that'll probably be more yeah it's going to be interesting to see how that happens that's a good point I know wired magazine has got built in purchase button it's a lot of newer magazines and so I'm sure that, you know, marketing companies air loving that I'm sure mark question from nick ray and the chat would like to know what do you do with a client that has no clear direction and they look at you and say you're the expert? You tell me we just had one actually, um less than a week ago, we have that uh so that's a difficult thing and what you'll have is you'll have ah, young companies that they know that they want to spend some money on something and they know that they they wanted to do some marketing, but they're not quite sure exactly how so on our team, diane has a background in marketing and public relations, and so when we have clients like that, we'll bring her in to help guide the story and well, actually create an ad campaign for them. But we have an expert that helps us do that if she didn't exist. What I would probably do is point them to one of our ad campaign partners like site wire in phoenix or you know, there are other companies that we work with so that they could develop an ad campaign and then come to us is the creative to deliver that most companies that aren't that states that they don't have the money to do that, though and so the reality is, if you have somebody that just has a low budget, they don't have any direction it's up to you to try to pitch some ideas. Um, you might find it's not worth the investment toe work with those clients on that sounds harsh, but you have to make sure that you can pay your bills. And so for those clients, we do our best to present something to them and say, here's, our plan here's, how we best think we can deliver what you're asking for, this is what we think you need to say based on our research and, oh, by the way, here's the bill for us to do all that work for you, because we don't want to spend ten or twenty hours of our time or forty hours of our time unbilled, because if we did that, we would have let's say, four companies per month that asked us to do that that's one employee full time for entire month with no income, and you cannot afford that that's harsh truth. So from caroline, seventy five, and add on to that. Have you ever turned down a chute? We've turned down several. Yeah, we turned on chutes all the time, um, we turned on shoots based on budget way turned down shoots based on content we turned down shoots based on schedule, in fact, leading up to creative life there's this thing that you always have to measure its opportunity cost, and so we know that we have big deliver bols at certain times of the year, creative lives was a very big deliver ble lots of planning and energy went into this workshop, and so we knew that we wouldn't have the time to do anything for the two weeks leading up to creative life, so we had to invest that time. So for the clients that came to us and said, we have to have this on august thirtieth, we have to have it done. We turned all of those those projects down, so I think there were three for about three or four projects. Luckily for us, we had a good relationship with them, and they pushed out their ad campaigns so that we could come back afterwards and shoot those, um, for the most part, I think one may be couldn't do it, but but, yeah, so there are all kinds of different things, and we had the way what's the opportunity cost if we do this job, we're going to lose the preparation creative life isn't gonna be as good as it should be. That's not what we want to create a life to be great. We're going invest that. And maybe we're going to miss out on this this money here, but we think it's worth it. Oh, yeah, all the time. Yes, sir. Um, what's your limits on commercials as in for technology making commercial up by, for instance, for fries, I can think of a commercial that probably would be out that impractical for for anybody like if you had a fish flying out of the ocean, running into a freezer and it's frozen and the picture of fish still frozen water bought it slightly parcel, and then you put it on and on, and then you put it in a pot, and then all of a sudden, your table that's fresh? Yeah. So, again, that's the other reason that we would turn down clients if if somebody came to us and said, can you do this? We have to be realistic with them to say that's, not us. And we know you know, for example, that kind of stuff we have a network of people, so I'd call janice moses in new york she's agency and I'd say, janice one ofyour creatives khun do this now they're gonna charge a considerable higher amount of money that we would how much for commercial would that be? I've no idea we would have to go and do all the estimates that would take weeks to figure that out. I understand that but in general I don't know I don't know but yeah, I'd be a lot but I don't know exactly what it be I've no idea yeah that's that's what we would do yes sir uh you know, kind of one of yesterday's ah ha moments for mayor lightbulb moments was when you talked about you and kelsey just taken them seeing how much you could do with just kind of bear ball type deal where does that fall on? How active do you get with that in your purpose work sheet is that you know, we're making those words getting there okay? So that's coming and we're doing two assignments this morning before lunch specifically about that kind of stuff and so what I want to do is, uh, this move this along so uh the next question is how do you communicate all of this stuff to others? What? You have your purpose work so you have this in your mind? Um how do you then sit down with your team and say ok, let's have clarity on this let's make sure this is all good, so what we're going teo later on today is we're going to actually give you physical tools software worksheets handouts methodology to to do this stuff, and we're also going to do is day three, as I've mentioned before is not it has not been planned yet. Uh, we have some big overall ideas and so a tte end of today snap factor team is going to come and use all the tools, and we're gonna plan day three and you'll see how we take all this stuff, but we're gonna put it into practice. The other thing that we've done is we have shared out. So this is the celtics project for telling people to download we're gonna go through this. We have shared all of our planning, most all of our planning for the three day workshop that we're in right now we have published it, joining me online, it's in celtics, you can look and see exactly seeing for seeing what we're doing there's a scene right now, I don't know what scene it is, but you can see mark talks to students about purpose worksheet on stage, we need mark's, laptop, ipad, big screen, this thing, that thing you see a breakdown, and so it'll be interesting. If you download that online, you can see the stuff we threw out because we didn't have time to update it over the last two days, we've modified it a little bit. So you can see all that stuff to show you how to use that. So that's coming. So let's, do this really quickly? Let's have ah, a short discussion on some purpose scenarios. So one of them is, uh, would be learning that would be a good purpose scenario. So let's, pretend this is your chute. Okay, so let's walk through this purpose worksheets. So the first thing on that is what? The purpose worksheet. It's. Uh, what are you shooting? What are you shooting can listen. Make something up. Let's. Say it's, the inverse square law. I can't go with that. So what are you shooting your shooting? A light to figure out howto demonstrate the inverse square law. That's what? You're shooting right in the studio. Why are you shooting that toe? Learn right. It's. It's, learning who's, your audience. Zach who's, the audience. It's alan. Right in allen's brain that's the audience. Alan won't be able to do it quicker for the client. Alan let's build it. You're trying to figure out how to do meet a ring. You wantto make sure you can do this kind of stuff. Um, what is the purpose of purposes? Learning so in that case, that the why and the purpose are going to be the same because the client and the photographer of the same people and so yeah it's it's learning how do you can you communicate your expectations? Well this is pretty simple, you know? You have a notebook and write down can I do the inverse square law you gotta shoot um so learning is really fun it probably don't need a worksheet to do that but you still have to have a clarifying questions so how you know when you're done, what is your success criteria for that? Uh, I'm actually kind of done that exercise at a reception location to see where I could set my light up in what type aperture I would shoot safely on the dancefloor specifically and so I knew I was done when I basically had some setting styled in that would allow me to bracket that dance for cool that's why I took it all down and that's when you know what you're doing okay, well, we're out of time to do more of these, but uh you get the idea this works for anything if you're like building a portfolio, you could say I'm my purpose it's a build portfolio or my wise building portfolio, but maybe my purpose is to make sure that this model gets pictures that the agency will actually use what's the six sects criteria successes agency actually uses them those types of things so this works for just about anything that you're shooting all right? Any questions online before we go to our next big fun thing um we have about fifty questions fifty questions let's choose three of them. Okay, can you do that? And if we have time because we want it we really want to dig in two failing with purpose? Um, yeah, let's let's hear the big three if you can o the big three okay, big three let's see a snaps would like to know if you work for agencies who have the campaign and adds design but just want a photographer to provide and image to match the designers rough what's the question in there. So if you if you're working with an agency that has stuff designed then does marc work for agencies? Does mark work for oh, yes, yes, sorry, sorry I didn't hear the first part. I don't think I said it I have bad hearing um yeah, we were with agencies all the time and so we have a lot of the the ongoing campaigns we have, especially with long term clients. They have almost templates that we need to follow so one of our clients that we worked with last year year and a half is shay homes they're big homebuilder in arizona and the's guys are incredible but what they want to try to communicate is they have the best quality they have the best people, and their customers are always happy. When we first started working with, um, they said, uh, we made a kind of some kind of media where we showed the results of their surveys, customer satisfaction surveys, and we feel that a little survey form and shot it. And we said, I think we put seven out of ten on one of their survey forms, and they came back to us and said, oh, no has to be ten out of ten on all of them were like, we'll know you're lying to people in there, said, come to our office and read our stuff. We did, and they were all ten out of ten. We were like, oh, my gosh, and so that research led us to understand something. If the answer is yes, they have a template to say, we want you to show the same thing over and over and over again for all new, uh, potential home buyers, and we have videos that we do with them quarterly way shoot people buying new homes, getting their keys, enjoying their living room, you know, sipping line by the new fireplace, all that kind of stuff that goes into new homebuyer guides and and so they have a specific way that we should do this and so we have to do the same thing over and over and over again and we give them the media it goes to california there's an office there they give it back that's very common for us yeah, we have a couple questions gift pony how do you handle mission creep client and result is a moving target and changes midstream and similarly from sam cocks do clients sometimes change requirements during the course of a project and how do you handle that? Um those air engineering questions I feel those are guys so we stole a strategy from I'm an ex application developer and so fortunately I had the experience of learning a bunch of processes during my time is a software developer in one of the things that that is new it's not really new came out the seventies is called extreme programming agile development it's an iterative process. And so what we've done is we have and I wish we had pictures of it maybe kelsey has pictures on her iphone but we have this gigantic wall in our office that's just court board and we have cards and what those cards are their tasks and so what we do is when we have a project we break up all of those projects up to the task so we'll say here's the project here's the estimate here you go. This is what it's gonna cost we break that out in the task the client comes back, they see what we're doing and if they say can you, uh, do whatever extra then we have to say, well, if we do that, then we're going to have to get rid of this or we're going to have to delay that and they can see it visually what what's going to happen and the impact either through quality costs or time it's gonna be one of those three things and so we always do everything in generations. So here's, the planning we come back here's the estimate is that approved. Yes, it is okay, here's, the plan for the shoot is that right? No, it's not well, then here's a new estimate? Is that right? Okay. Yes. No, I don't want to pay that much more. Okay, then here's the plan this is what we can do. Is that right? Yes, it is. Okay, now we're out in the chute. Can you do more? We already had this conversation. Here's what we could do would you like to pay more? Yes, we will. Okay, give us a check all right every year and it's the severity cyclical thing and so that's how we we deal with that, um so yeah we don't say here's the requirements thank you for being paid and now we're just going to do the work it's we have a relationship with our clients have a question it's a little off track about the purpose okay I know you had mentioned budgets and low budget high budget cat's eye three twenty six said please give examples and dollar amounts of examples of low medium high budget jobs and how to determine what your profit will be etcetera I love that question um what you're asking I think is how much should I charge think that's what you're asking pretty much how much should I charge okay here's what we're gonna do I knew this was gonna happen people going to ask how much should I charge uh I have it prepared to answer this it's a least a thirty minute discussion on how much should I charge so we're going to finish failing with purpose and then immediately after the break we'll answer the question how much should I charge with riel life examples on how you khun budget with real numbers and you can do it there will be math involved it will be a whiteboard involved but you will have the principles to know exactly how much to charge okay so after the break if you want to know how much to charge your clients I will answer that question okay so those are the big three all right yes, one more big three and a half. And it may be interesting. Also mentioned, why those things generally don't get talked about, informs the legalities and things. Yes, I think nobody talks about that, because they don't want to share their secret sauce. Truth is, there isn't a secret sauce.

Class Description

Join Mark Wallace as he dissects a commercial photoshoot to reveal each step at its most basic level. From technical aspects of lighting and color, to real-world experiences working with art directors, make-up artists, models, and other professionals, you’ll have a firsthand look as he puts each piece together to complete several complete concepts from start to finish. This unique course explores the fundamentals of commercial photography, from the smallest jobs to the biggest productions. Bring your questions from your own shoots, or use this experience as a roadmap when planning your first jobs. Mark will be chatting with the live worldwide audience throughout the weekend!


Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CS 5.1

Reviews

Sean
 

Mark really knows his stuff. He was very well prepared and Mark did a great job teaching this course. Mark went through all the steps from beginning to end in great detail. He also answered questions from the audience an online viewers which helped fill in any blanks. Great course.