How to pull off the perfect photo/video production

By Per-Henrik Persson

How to pull off the perfect photo/video production

In a previous blog post ‘Inspiring content that triggers personas’, I wrote about the importance of creating content that feels engaging—the emotional side of content that help building a likeable brand. In this blog post I’m writing about the rational side, which will help you get in control before starting off a complex photo or video production.

So what about the other side, the rational one—about how to set up photo/video productions that secure both a high creative level, and a good variety, that can cater for all your persona-needs in the content calendar?

Photo/video productions can be costly and sometimes even painful to pull off, due to the complexity and time consuming procedure to make things fit into the creative framework, budget and schedules. Make sure you are feeling secure with all the bits and bobs. 


You only reach security by planning your photo/video production in detail before. No loose ends, and no ‘pre-production-issues-related’ questions should arise during the actual work. It should just be about collecting all content needed ‘en place’ in the photo studio or on location. A detailed ‘Gross-list’ of all topics is a good tool to use, to get an overview. 


Questions or lack of information equals interruption in flow and spirit, and this will most likely negatively impact the energy and motivation on set. It’s an emotional work being done, that needs support of a rational ‘project structure’. A curated plan will keep all in the team informed and ready for the next step—both in small and in large. Let the creative spirits work freely to maximise the outcome.


With your curated plan, the production gross list, it’s easy to cross-check to not forget any of the resources and deliveries. It could be many steps involved—from the raw material ‘collected’ during the production—to the finalised content, ready to inspire your personas. Don’t risk your deadlines or budgets.

Here are some pro-tips that will help you get in control before starting off a complex photo/video production.

Tips and tricks:

  • Make sure you have a clear idea how and where to use the content before the production starts, to be able to maximise the efforts in the planning phase.
  • Make sure you have a production plan that is approved by all participants and suppliers, with clear dates and deadlines, and approval points with actions and reactions defined. Basically who does what and when?
  • Work closely together with the production company/producer (or the local key person/project manager, appointed to have responsibility), to get the same view of everything. This is a must to be able to track down potential problems and keeping budgets on the ‘healthy’ side.
  • Production efficiency is reached when you maximise the efforts to get as much content as possible done, according to a persona based content plan and to the actual production time you can afford. But do not stretch things and add stuff into the plan ad-hoc—it will affect the end result in a negative way. Plan for it and be realistic, not optimistic. See below.
  • Be fair with the planning so you don’t end up with a mission impossible project the first production day. You will most likely end up with a tired and angry team that can’t do their best. No surprises and being transparent in the communication is the best method.
  • If possible, lock down locations and team early, to be able to book tickets and hotels to the best prices.
  • Do early research in what permits and documents that are necessary to have, to go through with the production. Know the rules or hurdles before, and be able to act fast when up and running on your location.

Just download our checklist for free—A list with highly recommended areas to be aware of during the pre-production phase of any production.

The list is biased towards an ‘arty’, high profile picture and film content, use it as a template, and adjust it to your specific needs and areas.

Download the photo/video production checklist

Per-Henrik Persson
Creative Lead at Zooma, 2015-2017.
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