Commissioning a photoshoot
Do you need a photographer for an upcoming event or publication? Our guidance on commissioning a photoshoot contains lots of helpful tips and advice for organising and managing your shoot.
When you commission a photoshoot, before you start it's important to have a clear idea about how you want to use the images and what you want them to show. The College's photography guidelines can help you to think about different styles, settings and uses for photography in your publications and online content.
Hiring a photographer
The College’s photographer is available for shoots including:
- Photography that could be used for a College publication or the main Imperial webpages, for example, photographs of a department, portraits of students and academics, or staff and students at work in a laboratory or learning space.
- Events that are of College-wide interest, for example, the visit of a UK or foreign dignitary, or an event attended by the College President or Provost.
- Events that will be covered by a news story or a Reporter feature, especially if the photographs are likely to be used again after the article is published.
- Events of strategic importance for the College, for example, the gathering of a group of donors or a major awards ceremony.
To discuss your project, contact the Photography team.
You can read more about some of the projects that the College Photographer has been working on the Imperial Photography Digest.
Working with a freelancer photographer
Communications and Public Affairs has a rota of photographers it regularly uses for a number of shoots each year. These photographers meet our high quality standards and have signed up to a bespoke contract that grants the College universal and exclusive rights to use their photography in promoting Imperial.
We generally recommend that a freelance photographer is booked for photography of the following nature:
- Academic or student conferences, meetings or networking events.
- Faculty or departmental events.
- Headshots for professional web profiles.
Contact the Photography team for help and advice about hiring a freelance photographer.
Please note that a free staff photoshoot takes place in May and October each year. Find out more on the Staff photoshoot page.
Briefing your photographer
Whether you're working with the College photographer or a freelancer photographer, you'll need to provide them with clear brief to tell them about you need and your expectations for the job. The following questions are a useful guide when writing your brief:
- Who and what is being photographed?
- What type of images are you expecting? Do you have any examples of similar images?
- How are you planning to use the images?
- What's the schedule for the shoot?
- Where is the shoot taking place?
- Are there PPE requirements for the location?
- If your photographer will be taking pictures at event, are there any key protagnists that they should know about?
- Is there a dress code the photographer should be aware of? Will they need to factor in extra time for putting on PPE?
Don't forget to:
- Provide the photographer with the Imperial College London Photography Guidelines (PDF).
- Make sure the photographer is aware of our guidance on consent and permissions.
- Check the PPE requirements for the location and provide details in your brief.
- Provide the full address and a copy campus map with details of the location of the shoot and any meeting points.
- Provide contact details for everyone involved at the shoot, including the mobile number of at least one key contact.
- Allow a reasonable amount of time in your timetable for each subject that you would like photographed.
Once your photoshoot is complete and you have received the images from your photographer, it’s important that you send these to your department’s Asset Library expert [link to list of experts] to be uploaded to the Asset Library.
Cancelling a photography booking
Our roster of freelance photographers deliver thousands of professional photographs for the College’s use each year. When a photographer accepts a booking for the College, he or she may turn down other jobs or make special arrangements to honour that booking.
If you need to cancel your booking with a freelance photographer, we recommend that that you provide the photographer with at least seven working days’ notice before the date of your booking. If you cancel your booking with less notice, you should be prepared to pay the photographer’s fee in part or in full.
Cancellations made with less than seven days’ notice
You should be prepared to pay 50% of the photographer’s fee.
Cancellations made with less than 24 hours’ notice
You should be prepared to pay 100% of the photographer’s fee