Image communication is essential for your ads

I dare say that communication is most important for creating great images, far more important than technical quality. Does this mean that I’m careless with the quality? No, if anything I want to shift focus from quality to content. Professional photographers are expected to deliver high technical quality (quality as in technical quality). We live in a technology-focused world. Photographers talk about what they’re shooting images with, far less talk about what their pictures actually contains.

Why preparation is so important

When you are standing in front of the camera to be photographed, it’s too late to come up with great ideas. When you shoot, you should have a clear vision of what is to be photographed, why and how. You should have received a sketch, or at least a moodboard. A moodboard is a type of sketch which gives you a sense of how your images will look like when its completed. It’s like a map of what kind of emotion the image should convey. It should be clear to you what the image should communicate to the viewer and how you will achieve that. Without proper preparation it will all be a major gamble. If you rely on your photographer to come up with amazing ideas on site, chances are that you will be disappointed because it rarely works that way.

A sketch image

Skissbild på porträttbild
A sketch image that I made for Alerigo before we started producing the image that is going to be used.

Final image

En avancerad bild skapad åt Alerigo
The image is used as blog banner on Aftonbladet.se lifestyle blog “Lycka till”. This picture shows how the image looks like after retouching and advanced photomontage.

To do before the shoot

You can discuss these questions with your photographer:

  • What is the purpose of the image?
  • What target audience will the image be directed towards?
  • What makes this audience tick?
  • What should be included in the image and why?
  • How will this image contribute to the objective of the picture?

After you have answered these questions you can start planning the practical steps

  • Where the picture should be used, for example on a campaign website, generally on your website, in print, or other media?
  • What light the image should have? Should it be bright and fresh or dark and dramatic? Should it have a realistic light (sunlight) or artificial lighting (photo lightning)?
  • Which tones/colors should the image have and which tones and colors should it match with, for example orange/purple tone.
  • Should the picture be used in landscape or portrait format or perhaps both? For example a slider/banner on a website is in landscape format and an ad in the newspaper is often in portrait format.
  • Will the image be used in a high definition format as in huge prints or banners? Or as very small images on the web?
  • If there is to be a text to the image should it be in the picture or next to it? If the text will be in the picture you need to know where in the image it should be and which color the text should be, so it doesn’t blend into the picture. For example, white text on a white background don’t work well together.

Composite images

I usually advocate composite images. Composite images allows you to move the objects around in the picture later on in the process. This way you can adjust the image depending on which medium the image will be used in. This makes the image more useful. If you later decide to use it for another purpose you don’t have to redo the shoot. We photographed this picture for Alerigo that develops businesses. This particular image is used in their blog “Good Luck” – A blog about living life to the fullest at Swedens biggest news site Aftonbladet. The image is carefully planned on the basis of the target audience of the blog, but also according to what Alerigo wants to convey with the image.

 

See how I produced these images

Behind the scenes picture of how I produced this image.

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