Commissioning photography – Tip 08 – Planning your project, to ensure success!


When you are looking around for a photographer you will soon discover that there are a lot to select from, commissioning an inexperienced photographer could end up costing you money!

The guidelines below will hopefully help you to ask the right questions and make an informed choice of photographer.


Many clients are surprised at how much effort goes into quality professional photography and accordingly are sometimes initially concerned about how quickly a shoot is progressing.

In IOP’s experience any early reservations are always dispelled once clients start to view results, see the quality of the resulting images and begin to understand why so much time and effort is worthwhile. It truly is a case of the more time and effort put into a shoot is paid back in the end product.

However, a successful photographic shoot requires a team effort, below you will find some tips on what you the client can do in advance to ensure you get the most out of our time on the shoot day.

Exteriors:If you require exterior photographs, please plan your deadlines to allow for possible sustained poor weather. This increases the likelihood of the photographer being able to shoot under optimum lighting conditions.

Site preparation: Ensure as much as is practical that machinery, or areas to be photographed are tidy, and remove anything in the subject area and background that you would prefer not to show. Any products to be photographed need to be perfect specimens.

This will help to avoid time-expensive delays waiting for areas to be cleaned and ensure that photography time on site is as efficient as possible.

Staff Availability: When on site IOP aim to be as independent as possible, however it is vital that you ensure that any staff with essential knowledge of the processes to be photographed will definitely be present and available on the shoot-date.

This will avoid any tensions if the photographer requires input or co-operation input from busy staff. Advanced planning by you and your staff will assist the photographer to give you the best result possible capturing exactly what to need to show and will help to keep costs down.

Deadlines: In a similar vein, ensure you let your photographer know as early as possible about any deadlines you need to meet as well as any logistical time restrictions regarding the optimum time any particular process or person is best photographed.

Having said all of the above IOP are professional to the core and will always work within any necessary restrictions. Bernard O’Sullivan founder of IOP has never missed a deadline in Thirty-Eight years of being a professional photographer.

Regardless of what you pay for something, if you end up not being happy to use it, it was expensive!

Your image is your future: trust it to a true professional!

Bernard O’Sullivan ABIPP

Inside Out photography are commercial photographers covering Manchester, Buxton, Liverpool, Sheffield, Chesterfield, Nottingham, Bolton, Doncaster, Derby, and UK wide.

T  07831 344 722   –   E


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Bernard O'Sullivan Inside Out Photography

Biography - Bernard O'Sullivan - Founder of Inside Out Photography I was first seriously smitten with the photography bug in the early 1970s while I was still at school. Later in my early teens, I joined a local camera club near to my parent’s home in Manchester. After three immensely happy and informative years at Blackpool College, I graduated in 1981. My first job was as a retinal-medical photographer at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, to say that this wasn’t the most creative job, was putting it mildly, and I left or escaped after 10 months. In 1984 I joined the Cheshire County Council exhibition and graphics group based in the Northwich Salt Museum. This gave me experience of working alongside graphic designers and illustrators, gaining invaluable insights into how these allied professions worked. I was also lucky to have access at that time to 5x4 and medium format camera kits. It was at this point that I really started building my portfolio, spending what little spare money I had on film and processing. There is no doubt that mistakes were made along the way but more importantly I was getting practical field experience. Between 1986 to 1991, I worked for two Manchester studios, the second studio closing down in 1981 due to one of the many recessions I have experienced in my working life. By now though, I felt I had the necessary skills to embark on the scary adventure of my own business, and after much prompting from past clients, fellow photographers, friends etc, I founded Inside Out Photography (IOP) later that same year. Since 1991, I have worked for a disparate client base, undertaking a wide range of commercial, architectural and industrial photography jobs UK wide and occasionally in central Europe. For the past twenty-six years of working for myself, I have provided images to support major projects for the public sector, through to modest one-off commissions for SMEs, regularly winning major professional photography awards. I am constantly on the look out for any new technology which allows me to push the creative barriers further and further, whether it is high-end 36.3 meg pix cameras, specialist perspective-control optics, extensive studio lighting or the latest creative-software. For me the most precious thing about working for yourself in the creative services, is the drive it engenders for continual self-improvement. I feel passionately about photography and genuinely try my utmost to treat each client and commission as if it were the most important shoot I have carried out! This passion was also the motivation behind my involvement with running the BIPP nationally and regionally, I was NW chairman for 3 years and I am proud to have been awarded The BIPP Presidential Award in 2013 and in 2016 The Peter Kaye Award (No connection to the comedian) for services to the BIPP nationally and regionally respectively. In common with the majority of commercial photographers, I work mostly on my own these days and only use assistants when a job really does demand it. The reason is simply to minimise costs and therefore keep invoice values competitive for my clients, in addition you can be assured that your commission will be carried out by myself. In 2014 IOP opened a second site second site in the picturesque Derbyshire village of Tideswell/Buxton, and since May 2018 we operate full time from this site. To me, photography has always been a magical blend of boys-toys, gadgets and personal creative freedom. Even after thirty-six years of working professionally, I still get a buzz from walking into a mundane scruffy environment and coming away with exciting images that surprises the client and puts a smile on their face! I love being a photographer: it has allowed me to do and see things, which in the normal scheme of life, I would never have had a chance to experience, in short its pretty cool! If you look good, then I look good! Bernard O’Sullivan ABIPP Proprietor of Inside Out Photography Past Chairman of the BIPP North West region 2010-2013

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