18 Jul We Shoot, He Scores: 4 Tips on Staging the Perfect Client Photo Shoot, Featuring Jimmy Walker
Back in December 2015, our client Burns & Wilcox sponsored Professional Golfer Jimmy Walker as their first athlete brand ambassador:
“We share many distinctive qualities: integrity, competitive drive, hard work and professionalism,” said Alan Jay Kaufman, President & CEO of Burns & Wilcox. “I believe Jimmy will be a great partner and ambassador of our company.”
We, too, were excited! As we welcomed the five-time PGA Tour winner to our team, we couldn’t wait to get to work. And there’s no better first way to celebrate such a winning sponsorship than with a photo shoot.
Branded photo shoots provide an opportunity to highlight the company’s mission, showcase agency talent, and allow us to test new industry trends in photo and film. Using our Burns & Wilcox shoot as an example, here are our four tips on how to hold a successful client photo shoot:
First, What Are You Doing?
Before you can start anything, you need to have a vision. What do you plan on capturing? Where do you want to do it? What can you do differently to set yourself apart?
To cement the relationship between Jimmy Walker and his sponsor Burns & Wilcox, we needed to create client-branded promotional content. Here, we decided to blur the line between traditional and fresh mediums: mixing promotional photos and client-branded spots with an exciting new venture into generating a branded web series, focusing on the company’s core values. An amazing client like Burns & Wilcox, united with Jimmy Walker, made our job particularly easy in this regard. We were excited to get to work!
Location, Location, Location
When your two clients are the largest leading specialty insurance wholesaler and a five-time PGA Tour winner, you can’t just stage your shoot at the local golf course. You need to go bigger, greener, and farther away from home – seriously. So we headed to the beautiful, sunshine state of Florida, wherein lies one of the Top 50 Golf Courses in the U.S.—the PGA Village Golf Club. And boy, did it earn its praise. Acres of fresh green grass, complimented with a skyline of hills against blue skies gave us a perfect backdrop. While not every client shoot will provide the opportunity to go off location, consider the choice when you have it; you will definitely be rewarded.
These Are the Drones We’re Looking For
One of the great things about digital photography is that tricks and techniques are ever-evolving. There’s always opportunity to bring new ideas and concepts to the table that go beyond the conventional. Recently, drones have forged a path in presenting themselves as a necessity to even the average shutterbug. For this shoot, we brought our favorite toy on location to capture a new perspective in our branded videos. Our drone allowed us to shoot content from higher than any tree we could climb, sweetening up our content with amazing aerial shots of the course. By switching up mediums and methods this way, we were able to create more exclusive, distinct content for our client.
America’s Next Top PGA Champ: Finding the right model(s) for your photo shoot is critical. Cast the wrong model and you might be dancing the line between excellent photos or terrible ones. Gone, too, is the ability to head to your local ice cream shop in search of the next supermodel. Today, you need a talent agency … plus a little patience. Luckily for you, great agencies with a reputable database of talent in your area are just a Google search away. Luckily for us, we had Jimmy Walker. Walker was astounding to work with on set; he was always professional, hard working, and flexible to any direction we gave—when you’re about to work a long day of shooting, this is what and who you’re aiming to work with.
RI Team! Assemble: And of course, none of it can be made possible without having a remarkable team by your side. Make sure you bring the visionaries, the worker bees, the strategists, etc. You need people who will work in the details, for these are the ones who will make your shoot a success. Whether that be from the copywriter changing script lines on the fly, or an art director staging an impeccable shot with perfect lighting—each element works together toward creating the ultimate final product.
Below, check out one of our branded spots from the 2016 Jimmy Walker Photo Shoot: