Creative companies are not always that forthcoming about their process.
But here at RnD photography, we believe that sharing our process not only gives you insight that will increase your confidence in us if you are considering working with us, but it might also help you with any visual conceptualisation process that you might need. We are firm believers that sharing is caring. When preparing for a photo shoot, there are several things that we prioritise. First, can we ensure the client gets what they need, can we be sure to have it done when they need it, can we help them understand how to communicate their brand visually, and can we ensure a good experience. We want our clients to feel good about who they are and what they have to offer. This is because while we are in the field of creating striking images, we are also in the people business. This is why RnD decided to get a psychologist on board and that psychologist is me, Bronwyyn. We understand that the marketing space is really about relationships and communication, and who understands that better than a psychologist. So, we begin our process with "brand therapy," which we structure with what we call the 3 Cs: Connect, Clarify, Conceptualise.
Connect. Like any relationship, we begin with connecting with our clients. Our aim is to develop a clear understanding of the personal and company brand through the authentic characters behind those brands. For example, a recent client with a new HR consulting/coaching firm that needed leadership portraits and team portraits for their website, the first thing we did was book a session with our psychologist, Bronwyn. She got to know them and they got to know her. And after having a very open conversation about who they are and where they are going, they quickly clicked on a topic: Wes Anderson movies and the basis for the connection would later become the basis for the concept.
Conceptualise: Here, we delve into the the brand and vision of the the individuals and company, so that we can frame our understanding of the brand in one statement and three words. This is a to and fro process between us and the client and we know when we have reached our destination when our clients have their "eureka" moment. We call this brand clarity. Continuing with our example, towards the end of this step our clients confidently expressed to us that they "make the people stuff easy" and that their brand can be summed up by these three words: prepared playful professionals. We then realised that the films of Wes Anderson share these values: they are well thought out, incredibly executed and beautiful expressions of the human experience. So, we had the base for our concept. Then, we consider composition, content, and colour to create the ideas which will guide the actual production process. Following our example, our working concept was "What if Wes Anderson was a photographer?" Using the style of composition, colours and mood from films like The Grand Budapest Hotel, we set to the concept board.
Create: Here, we prepare all aspects of the set, test out ideas (prototype), work out the shoot schedule and then prepare out clients in terms of what to bring along to the shoot. And of course, we have a great time taking the photos. One of the most rewarding parts of this is that our clients love expressing themselves to the camera, feeling confident in what they have to offer and having been part of the creative process.
We love sharing our ideas and processes and hope that you will be able to apply some of this to your creative tasks. Just remember, be authentic, connect with your people and allow the creative process to unfold.
Written by Bronwyn Wood - Psychologist and Brand Analyst
RnD photo studio is based in Oerlikon, Zürich. We specialise in branded photography with people, including business portraits, professional headshots, leadership portraits and CV photos. We also focus on corporate photography and team portraits, as well as brand photography for architecture and real estate. Bronwyn provides a brand assessment that forms the basis for visual concepts so that we can take photographs that support your brand vision. Whether it is for a leadership portrait, commercial real estate photography, employee and team portraits, or business photography for your website or company launch, we get to know you and your brand first and then we take great photos. Our process: we Connect with you, we Clarify who you are, and we Conceptualise how we will capture your brand.