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Photo Project Planning

Questions for every photo request:

Scope

How many images do you need?

Subject(s)

What/who is/are the photograph(s) of?

Source

Can you use existing photos from Photographic Services archives? Or do you need original photos taken specifically for your project?

Use

How will the image be used (e.g., in a printed publication, on a Web site, for display or personal use, etc.)?

Format

Black and white or color? Prints, slides or digital? Dimensions of the image when it is reproduced (in inches or pixels)? If digital, what are the file requirements? Mac or PC? File type (TIF, GIF or JPEG)? What resolution is needed in dots per inch (DPI)?

Reproduction

Who is working with the images during production (e.g., a designer or Web developer)?

Delivery

Where and when should the images be delivered? Should they go to you or to the designer? Please note that Photographic Services does not post photos on the Web for customers.

Before you make your final choice:

  • Does the image enhance or clarify your message or help tell your story?
  • Is it appropriate for your audience?
  • Is this a picture you would want to look at?
  • Is the quality sufficient? Is it clear?
  • Is the image you chose current and accurate?

Requesting original photography:

Consult your designer

He/she will have ideas about images for the project and can provide important information about what size and shape the images should be (e.g., vertical or horizontal), which influences how the photos are taken.

Confer with the photographer

Discuss your objectives and the designer’s input. Determine how many, what type, and where the photos will be taken: on location or studio setups, portraits, objects, an event, a building interior or exterior, etc. The photographer will determine the type of lighting needed and if props, backgrounds or special effects/equipment are required for the assignment.

Plan the shoot

Contact the people to be photographed, schedule the space and coordinate with the photographer’s schedule. If necessary, obtain permission to shoot at the planned location.

Be prepared

If you are shooting on location, the photographer and you and/or your designer should visit the site in advance so lighting requirements and creative issues, such as angles and setups can be considered.

Get release forms

If you are photographing people, releases forms are sometimes necessary. Have the subjects sign the forms and provide a copy for Photographic Services to keep on file. Photographic Services can provide you with release forms.

Review the shots

Arrange a time to view the digital proofs in the Photographic Services office.

Be selective

To get the right image, photographers shoot multiple frames of the same subject making slight adjustments in focus and exposure. When photographing people, several shots are often needed to capture the right expression and to compensate for people blinking or looking in the wrong direction. When you get the proofs, many of them will look the same at first glance. Examine them closely to determine which one is right for the job. Your designer can help you do this.