The brief - A guide to writing a great photography brief

As explained in my post "The 5 benefits of professional photography for businessesI believe professional photography is a great investment in your business and your brand. With a plethora of uses and a potential great return on investment. 


When it comes to getting your images commissioned its important that you have a clear idea of what you want. Its also important that the photographer understands your vision. The best way of achieving this is to write up a brief. A brief is simply an outline of what you want. Whilst a brief can be a very simple outline, the more detailed it is the better. Below I have compiled some top tips to write a great photography brief.

  1. Provide a clear outline of what the shoot is for; is it for a new collection of products, a launch of a new service or business, or is it content to supplement content that you already have. this is important as different use cases warrant different approaches. 
  2. Sketch your ideas - if you know the composition of the image(s) that you want then try drawing a simple sketch, when it comes to discussing the brief with your photographer they may do this as well to work through the ideas 
  3. Create a mood board; this step can be skipped but is very helpful it allows you to collate ideas by looking at successful campaigns for inspiration. The goal here isn’t to copy other work but to get the feel for elements that might work for your campaign. Think about the atmosphere, lighting etc.  
  4. Include examples of your current or previous marketing work and an outline of your brand identity; This is very important if you are looking to continue your brand identity. If you are looking to focus on a new image give your photographer an outline of this image. Is your brand minimalist, rustic, retro etc? Have you got company colours that you want included in the project or specific colours such as competitors colours that you want to avoid? Anything thats important to your brand should be included. 
  5. Do you need props; Are there any specific props that you want included or clothing that any models need to be wearing. Your photographer will need to know this so take your time to think through these details the last thing you want is to get your images and somethings missing.
  6. It’s best before you finalise your brief to discuss it with your photographer as they can lend their expertise on elements of the shoot and make clarifications. Remember your photographer want the image(s) to be successful too!

This is just a few points that you should cover remember the more details you can give the better. I've provided a TEMPLATE[pdf] brief to give you an idea of how to lay this out. If you are struggling with any aspects of writing a brief don't hesitate to get in touch with your photographer. 

Stewart Thompson Photography Provides commercial photography services get in touch if you are interested in commissioning a shoot.