Images & photography
As the commissioning party, when you brief photographers you should pay attention to several aspects to achieve satisfactory results.
You must provide a clear description for the assignment by way of the following questions:
- What is the aim of the publication?
- What is the photo's target group?
- What text will accompany the photo, and should the photo illustrate the text literally or is there a theme-based approach?
- Should the photo fit into an existing design? (e.g. portrait or landscape images).
You brief the photographer about your wishes and the possibilities to visualise the subject/theme appropriately. The photographer then translates this brief into a clear assignment description/offer which s/he sends to you. The offer should set out all agreements in writing, so make sure you check it carefully before actually issuing the assignment.
Click here to download the briefing form for photography.
Important points of attention for a sound brief/agreement:
- Make clear price agreements. Prices can be based on a fixed fee (lump sum) or - for large reportages - on actual hours worked. In the latter case, the budget must be clearly indicated beforehand. Never agree to an open-ended assignment. For large assignments, regularly ask for interim financial reports.
- Also make sound agreements on who is doing what. Who will take care of the accompanying production/production planning (e.g. looking for a suitable location)? Who will coordinate appointments with the parties involved (faculties, location managers and any students/models needed, etc.)? Remember that planning a photo shoot involves more work than the photo session itself. Some photographers are prepared to do this independently for logistic/pragmatic reasons. This may work well, but don't forget to ask for any financial consequences it may have.
- Only work with photographers who are prepared to relinquish copyrights or whose fees include copyrights on a standard basis. Stipulate that the photos can be applied free of copyrights to all Maastricht University or MUMC+ communication media, be it printed material, websites, stands, promotional material, advertisements, etc.
- The photographer can only charge copyright for photos to be used by a third party outside UM/MUMC+. This is only possible if the university's commissioning party has granted permission.
- Ask the photographer to produce high-resolution photos, to avoid later limitations in medium. There are large differences in the required resolutions; for example, printed matter requires a resolution of at least 300 dpi for an A4 sheets, and the file type must be tiff. For application on the internet, a resolution of 72 dpi is sufficient; these may be supplied in jpg or gif format. It is always possible to convert a high-resolution into a low-resolution photo, but not the other way around.
- Make clear agreements on how the material is to be supplied (on disk/USB stick/online/etc.). Ask the photographer to preselect all the available material, then together select the photos to be supplied digitally. The photographer is responsible for the photos' technical aspects, e.g. colour, cropping, portrait/landscape format, resolutions, etc. The photographer should carry out any Photoshop adjustments before supplying the photos. Do not personally adjust photos if you think you see colour differences, which are mostly caused by having the wrong monitor setting. Photographers use professional (calibrated) monitors that show the exact colours.
You can find a list of photographers selected by Maastricht University for photography assignments in the house style manual under 'Preferred suppliers - photographers'. All have their own specific qualities and fees. Some have developed their own style, which must of course tally with your wishes. The House Style Office can help you decide which photographer is most suitable for your assignment. We can also bring you into contact with other parties who worked with this photographer in the past, to help you make your decision.
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