How to Prepare for your Industrial Photography Shoot

Your Industrial Photography Shoot

This blog post will help you prepare yourself and your workplace/people for an industrial photography shoot. I’ve previously written about how to prepare for your photo shoot in general, but this post is intended to be more specific to an industrial photography shoot.

Investment

If you’ve chosen to book us for an industrial photography shoot, you’re making a significant investment. Not only in monetary terms; there are often a lot of people involved during the day. So it’s important to make sure you and your people are all prepared as much as possible. Sometimes the entire facility will need to be prepared, other times many people will be involved. We’d like you to get the most from your shoot, as its a big deal to have people away from their main work for the day.

Before your Industrial Photography Shoot

Steps 1-4 can be considered before you even contact us to see if we’re available. Then once we’ve met and discussed what you’d like to achieve from your industrial photography shoot, the remaining steps can be considered.

1. Where and how are the photos going to be used?

Generally, this is quite a straightforward answer, but do consider it carefully. The more information you can provide before your shoot, the better. We’ll be able to take this into consideration during the day while photographing your facility, and afterwards in the edit.

For example, are you looking for photos for your homepage, your product pages, a brochure, social media? Would you like photos to be used in multiple places?

2. What do you want to photograph?

You may or may not completely know the answer to this question. It could be something we discuss further during our pre-shoot meeting, or in the morning before we get started. You’ll probably have a general idea of what you’d like to photograph – for example, it could be the facility, people at work, products etc. Or it could be a mixture of everything. One of the reasons I love doing industrial photography is because of the variety of things I get to photograph on a regular basis.

3. What message or feeling do you want to convey?

We’ll be able to help with this when we meet to understand your business and intentions more fully. On the whole, our clients want to show their professionalism and capabilities during an industrial photography shoot. Think about the message you’re trying to convey through your photos.

Some things to consider:

  • What is it about your business you’d like to show potential customers?
  • What are your core values?
  • How does it feel to be one of your customers?

The photos and imagery you use are a powerful tool to communicate why your business is going to be useful to a potential customer.

4. Do you have any ideas and concepts for the industrial photography shoot?

Time to get creative! We’ll help with this aspect once we meet (or over the phone), but have a think about your own ideas for the shoot – do you envisage a certain style or look? What type of backgrounds would you like? Don’t worry if you don’t have any ideas at this stage, we’ll help determine the concept for the shoot as well.

It’s always interesting walking around an industrial facility with a client for the first time. There are often little areas that the clients see every day and don’t give much thought to. However, these little areas can sometimes prove to be great backdrops for a photo!

Preparing for your Industrial Photography Shoot

5. Pre-shoot meeting

We’ll generally try and have a pre-shoot meeting at your facility so we can talk through all of the points above. However, this is not always possible, particularly when we’re travelling the length of the country for a shoot. We’ll at least have a meeting on the phone beforehand to gain an understanding of what you’d like to achieve. Then we’ll discuss everything on the day of the shoot, walking through the areas we plan to photograph and talking about ideas and concepts.

6. Create a shot list and/or plan for the day

It’s always good to have a plan in place for the day. If possible, a detailed shot list is great. This gives us an idea of which shots are most important and must be achieved on the day. We usually see this as a guideline for the day and where time permits, we’ll fill in with extra shots as we come across ideas during the day.

7. How much is achievable in a day?

This is a common question from clients when planning and booking an industrial photography shoot. The answer is not necessarily straightforward until we have an idea of what you’re looking to achieve from the shoot. For example, some industrial product photography shoots may yield only a handful of shots if they require complex lighting setups and styling. But a day in an industrial facility could yield 50-100 images if we’re photographing people at work and products in-situ. Again, we’ll be able to advise on this after we discuss your requirements.

One thing to note: if you’ve not commissioned an industrial photography shoot before, you may be surprised at how much time it can take to set up shots and get everything organised. Not only in terms of physically organising the people/products, but also our time when setting up lighting, framing etc. as required.

The Day of the Shoot

8. Prepare Products, People and Locations

On the day, make sure you have everything prepared. If we’re shooting products, try to have them easily accessible, clean and ready to go. If we’re photographing people, try to brief them in advance and let them know if they need to dress appropriately etc. (see note 7 below on PPE).

For shots of the facility, try to make sure the place is clean and tidy – as much as you can. This can often be difficult in a busy industrial setting, so do what you can. Remove distracting objects such as signs and fire extinguishers if we’re shooting relatively close up. Its amazing what shows up in a photograph, so be super-pedantic! And if that’s not in your nature – we’re here to help!

9. Company Branding

Before the shoot day, it’s good to make sure everyone will be wearing the correct company branding. If you have branded workwear, try to ensure everyone is wearing it on the day. Often, an industrial photography shoot will take place when a company is launching a new website and this may coincide with a recent re-brand. Therefore, everyone should be wearing the most up to date branding on the day of the shoot.

I try where possible to incorporate company branding into the images. It makes the images more useful to the client, as they can easily be placed anywhere, without needing to have branding added to them.

10. Health and Safety

There are two aspects to health and safety on the day of a photo shoot; our health and safety while we’re working and the health and safety practices being demonstrated in the photos. Let’s look at these individually.

Our Health and Saftey: We’re very aware that we could be working in hazardous environments during an industrial photography shoot. Usually, we’ll be given a briefing by the client and we’ll abide by the regulations required in your procedures.

Demonstrating Best Practice: The other aspect to health and safety during an industrial photography shoot is what we’re demonstrating in the photos. We need to ensure that all members of staff are wearing suitable PPE and using whatever apparatus they should be for the given situation we’re photographing. This could include steel toe cap boots, safety glasses, high-vis vests, barriers etc. We’ll ask at each scene we’re photographing whether they’re wearing everything they should be. And we also ask in advance that you are vigilant during the shoot as well. You will know best what needs to in place, so we’ll be depending on your knowledge to ensure everything is as it should be.

11. Food and drink – keeping everyone going

If there are a number of people involved in the photo shoot, its good to make sure everyone keeps their strength up! Photo shoots can be long and tiring, so don’t be afraid to take a break.

12. Have fun!

Industrial photo shoots are fun – that’s why we do it! It’s likely to be a much different day to what you’re used to and we thoroughly believe it should be enjoyable. Hard work for sure, but enjoyable! Part of our job is to make sure everyone has a good time during the day. This means we all do our best work and create the best images possible for your marketing materials.

Finally

If you’re still unsure about what to expect during an industrial photo shoot, or how to prepare, please contact us and we’ll happily walk you through everything. We’ll be putting together a series of case studies over the coming months, like this one from an industrial photography shoot in Bradford. Have a look through these to see how they went, what sort of shots were created and what you could expect.

The most important thing is to enjoy yourself. By preparing well and knowing what you want to achieve, you’ll enjoy the day even more!

We look forward to seeing you on location soon, wherever that may be!

If you’d like to chat through some ideas, get in touch – we’re always happy to talk.

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