We're Erica + Jon, professional photographers, Mr + Mrs and Mom + Dad. We like to share insights into our industry, behind the scenes and stories about our life and chips + salsa obsession.
As brand photographers, we work with a pretty wide range of clients. We do everything from simple headshot sessions for personal brands to high-scale product shoots with a full production team, lighting technicians, and creative directors! We’ve learned that if you deliver a great experience and put in the work towards establishing yourself in the brand photography space, you will eventually find yourself working with more established brands.
When you do book one of these clients, cue the confetti! You deserve to celebrate! Booking these jobs can be really exciting! They can also be a little intimidating at first. These bigger, more well known brands usually have a larger budget, but with that comes a larger scale of production and more pinpointed marketing goals. Because there are so many moving parts, these companies often hire an outside marketing agency to execute their plans for them. These agents in effect become representatives of the brand itself, and are typically the people you will work with to plan and execute the photoshoot. “Brand reps” have a completely different relationship to the brand than the company owners themselves, so it’s important to remember a few key things when teaming up with them.
If you’re new to this type of situation, we’re here to help by breaking down what you need to know when working with a brand representative!
The first thing to understand is that a brand representative does NOT have the same emotional attachment to the brand that the owner does. Business owners feel very connected to what they’ve built…and rightly so! Brand representatives are paid to objectively accomplish the goals of a marketing strategy. Keep this in mind when you’re chatting with them and try to focus on the big picture goals and practical benefits to your services!
Remember, the company you are working for is paying the brand rep to execute on their ideas and make their goals a reality. Brand reps are actually under a lot of pressure! The best thing you can do is deliver an easy, stress-free experience that supports the work the rep is trying to accomplish. If you can help them look like a rockstar to their client, everyone wins!
The fact that the typical brand rep is used to working on high-level projects can seem a little intimidating at first, but this is actually a great benefit for you! Reps usually know the ropes when it comes to hiring a brand photographer, so they often come to you prepared. For example, we find that the reps we work with come to the initial consult call with very detailed information about what kind of images are needed, how many images are needed and even the length of the marketing campaign they will use the images for, which helps us know how long we need to issue their image license!
While working with a brand representative might be a completely different process from what you’re used to, remember that your most important job doesn’t change: taking photos. You are hired because you know how to do something that the brand rep and business owner doesn’t! Be confident in your skills and align yourself with the vision the brand’s team has already created. We totally get that letting go of some of the responsibility of creative execution can be scary! But, if you can learn to take on a role that is slightly outside of what feels normal, it will actually alleviate some of your stress.
There you have it, friends! We hope this helps you as you navigate through working for bigger brands. We know you’ve got what it takes to serve these clients in an awesome way! We’re cheering for you this week!