What makes a photo studio excel?
When you look at your studio work you may feel that it works as good as it possibly can, and yet you may sense that things could be better. Putting the finger on the issue may be a challenge and to get your head around this it is important to approach the problem the right way
Focus on the challenge and not the solution!
Most of us tend to approach any obstacle by thinking that we know what the problem (challenge) is and we just need to find a good solution. However, the apparent problem, in my experience, is never that easy to define. It takes quit a bit of time to identify, as Albert Einstein allegedly have said:
He figured that the solution is easy to define once you really understand the real challenge/problem.
An example from real life
An example from studio work could be the following:
The studio gets all the samples and information to the studio and the first thing they want to do is to start shooting. The work often starts with matching samples with product information, and this is when the studio staff realises that the information is somewhat incorrect and that the samples they sent are the wrong size. This results in a lot of detective work to get it right and possibly order new sizes to the studio. At the same time you have product managers, marketing managers and e-com managers that are chasing the studio for the ready images.
This means that there is little time to do anything else but the images that we know how to shoot and skip all the extravagant images that would look good.
The traditional approach
In this case it is easy to think that the problem is that we get bad information to start with. If only the information was correct and that they could send us the right size samples everything would be great.
This also implies that the studio in it self isn’t really responsible for the mishap and can’t do anything about it.
An alternative viewpoint
Another way to look at this problem is to say thet the problem is:
- that information about coming products to shoot is sent to the studio much to late.
Someone in the organisation will definitely know about the need for images long before the samples arrive at the studio. Why not let them place a photo order when they all the information.
The consequence for the studio will be that they will have to maintain the information way before the photo shoot starts. But, it will also mean that they have time to check the information and validate its correctness. If changes are needed this will be done well in advance.
The idea to spend more time on the real issues in the studio will allow the studio to become master of its own situation and to identify the bottle necks that really mean something.
To do this without getting stuck in irrelevant details I would suggest to start with the main purpose of the studio.
- What is the main purpose of the studio work? What is the studio trying to achieve?
With this in mind it will be easier to avoid any long internal discussions and make it easier to create a new policy for how to work in the future.
When you have a clear understanding off the challenges it is time to focus on the solutions. It may simply be new routines, i.e. change the way of working, or it may be that you need to look for a new technical solution
Areas of improvements
Here are some of the areas that we have seen that many organisations struggle with:
- Information come to late to the studio
- Information is faulty
- Samples are wrong sizes or mismatch product information
- Shooting many different variants is not possible
- Supporting multiple channels is difficult
- Naming images takes a long time
- Verifying that all images has been produced is difficult
- Formatting for different channels is complicated
Most of the issues above are things that can be managed by most studios but it will take to long time, require lots of resources or cost a lot of external money
With Assetflow we have tried to solve these issues, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.