image usage by Lindsay Kreighbaum Photography

Why You Should Determine Image Usage Before Booking Your Photographer

Spontaneity is great for new adventures, road trips, and date nights. But it’s not so great for your visual marketing strategy. Here a few reasons to know what types of images you need and how you’ll use them before booking your food or product photographer (plus a few tips on how to narrow down your image usage and licensing needs):

image usage by Lindsay Kreighbaum Photography

4 Reasons to Know What You Want Before Booking

Knowing Image Needs Saves You Time.

As a food and product photographer, I’m more than happy to help plan a killer photoshoot with you. However, we need a bit of direction first. The more you plan ahead with a project outline, branding guidelines, creative brief, and image needs, the smoother the process becomes.

If you’re in a bit of a time crunch, I recommend providing everything you can up front so that we can get the ball rolling as soon as possible. Learn more about the typical image creation timeline in my post here. Plus, saving time means saving money, which leads to the next point.

Knowing Your Image Needs Saves You Money.

In addition to shaving off some planning time, knowing your image needs up front means you won’t have to purchase a broad license that covers many different types of media that you may not need. For instance, if you only need images for social media, it’s way cheaper to pay for a license for social media and web use than a license that covers everything from packaging and billboards to web use.

Instead of purchasing broad licensing for tons of photos at one time (that you may not end up using), it’s more cost efficient to plan a shoot and purchase licensing for images you know you need now; then, book another session later for additional projects.

Planning Makes the Process Smoother.

It probably goes without saying, but you’ll get photos you love when I know what you want. Some may think that creative professionals love having full creative reign; however, I get so excited when a client comes to me with a specific vision and purpose in mind for their branding images. They can share their goals and plans with me, and I get to bring those ideas to life. I love a great partnership, and full collaboration by both parties always leads to amazing results!

Knowing Your Image Usage Prevents Copyright Infringement

Knowing your image uses up front also protects you! It’s a big legal no-no to purchase a license and then use the image outside of that license; if you ask for licensing after the fact, you’ll have to pay quite a bit extra in addition to possible legal consequences of copyright infringement.

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How to Narrow Down Your Image Usage + Licensing

1. Make a list of all marketing projects.

What does your marketing team have planned for the next 12 months?—marketing campaigns, emails, online ads, web design, social media strategy, labeling, print materials, traditional advertising, etc.

2. Prioritize your projects.

Once you have your projects in order, determine which projects and marketing efforts require updated photos. List out what kinds of photos you need for each project, how many photos you’ll need, and how you plan to use the photos.

3. Define your image licensing needs.

Learn more about the types of image licensing and rights managed vs royalty-free images here.

4. Batch your projects into separate sessions.

If you have 12 projects planned for the next year, I recommend batching them into separate sessions. Plans change. Your image needs and marketing vision may change a bit too. The photos you do now may not fit your marketing campaign that’s still months away.

Instead of doing it all at once, plan photos for the most urgent and defined projects first. Then, in six to eight months, you can plan another session as you flesh out those future projects. Batching will save you money in the long run.

image usage and copyright infringement, image licensing, Lindsay k photo

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Lindsay is a Los Angeles food and product photographer. She specializes in Still Product & Food Photography, Lifestyle & Portrait Photography, Stop Motion, and Food Styling. Connect with her here for product marketing!


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