Factors in Editorial Photography
An editorial brief is a key communication tool in the creative process. Many creative projects get under way without a clear definition of a requirements between the commissioners of a project and the creative staff (whether in-house or freelance) delivering it. It is also likely that neither party fully understands the issues facing their individual specialisms and thus clarity as to what is required and what can be delivered is essential.
In reality this is likely to be an iterative process as the brief evolves and / or is modified based on various factors such as approaching deadlines, budget or availability of people key to the project if this can be done in an open, frank and blameless manner then it will contribute positively to the final outcome. Although several iterations are likely the project needs to arrive at a point where the requirements are frozen, the earlier in the time-scale this can be achieved the more time available for the execution and finalisation of the creative elements and thus the quality of the final product.
Accordingly the better the initial brief in terms of defining the requirements, schedule and other factors such as budget the greater the chance of a successful project and a relationship that is mutually supportive and a basis for future collaborations. The alternative is an extended and potentially expensive creative development process as a result of many revisions—not to mention chewed-up nails, bruised egos and damaged reputations on all sides.
Taking the time and energy up front to craft a thorough creative brief will ultimately save time, money and stress – an ounce of planning being worth a pound of fixing – and further ensure you, as the commissioner, get the campaign, campaign website, images or annual report envisioned. Additionally going through this process provides the opportunity to review if this is the best approach and may highlight that another medium or approach will work better than the one you originally had in mind.
Your brief should be, well concise, running no more than two pages. Make it easy to scan with the use of clear sub-headings, white space and bullet lists particularity for essential basic information such as overall concept, budget, deadlines, approval process and so forth. Reserve more space for expanding the creative ideas and specific requirements. Above all be realistic in terms of the budget required. Little point in either the commissioner envisioning or the creative proposing a shoot with household name models photographed in exotic locations if the budget simply doesn’t exist for this, much better for all concerned to allow for and define a proposal that is achievable within the resources available.
Creative Brief for “Home Grown”
Image from “Voices of the Vivarais – Tessa Traeger”
Project Title: Home Grown
Overview: This is a self developed project to demonstrate photography skills in image creation, post processing and display. The goal is a set of a minimum of 6 images that have a consistent style and feel, although each image should stand alone will also form part of the collective whole.
The concept is images of people’s hands who either make, grow or work predominantly with their hands. This is inspired by a work of Tessa Traeger who documented French artisan food growers in this style. The photographs will be taken on location showing the individuals active in the selected theme for that images. Some suggested activities might be “Butcher”, “Baker”, “Craft worker”, “Gardener ” and so forth. The selection of activities to be depcicted is at the discretion of the author providing it meets the headline concept of being “Home Grown”.
The images should be in locations appropriate to the activity and be unambiguous as to the activity being portrayed.
Deliverables Needed: Images are required in a range of formats, print and digital. Digital images should be sized suitable for inclusion on web sites / social media. Format and size of printed images is at the discretion of the author up to A1 size.
Primary Audiences: The primary audience for this project is college lecturers and fellow students in order that they can evaluate the technical execution of the work.
Tone and Image: The images should have artistic merit but the tone of individual images e.g light hearted or serious is at the discretion of the author.
Budget and Schedule: There is minimal self funded budget available for the project however, ideally, some images should be presented in a final framed state. The set of final images presented will be a critical factor in awarding a grade for the project.