QVSTA started the initiative Who Can Shoot to connect content creators and their homes with brands to overcome current obstacles to make remote product photography a success.
Many leading brands are now shooting remotely: Jacquemus shot Bella Hadid over FaceTime, Mango introduced the Mango Girls Diaries as a marketing story to cover activities done by models and creators at home. Zara, Acne Studios, Asos, and many others are shooting both their eCommerce images and social media content with talent at home.
There's a huge benefit in shooting content this way, which leads to a win-win-win situation that will have an impact, more than likely, even long after COVID-19 has subsided:
First, this image language follows the trend of authenticity and connects with the audience far better than highly polished commercials. Everyone is sitting at home and everyone can relate to this content. It strengthens customer relationships and brand experiences.
Second, producing images in this way is far cheaper than it used to be. Think about it: brands send their products to the talents and guide them through the shoot – but there is no more location rent, far lower talent fees, and overhead. It makes so much sense to shoot with a lower cost structure, especially for social media where you need new images every day.
Lastly, it's safe and secure. Obviously, in these times you don't want to take any risk on infecting your talent, your employees, or colleagues. Working remotely is possible – not only for office jobs. Having talent shoot content at home is convenient and safe and as such will continue to be a great way to shoot content throughout the next months and years.
But there are still challenges in shooting remotely, and the biggest one is surely sourcing talent. While in the past talent needed to have a great portfolio, things changed with social media. Now almost all talent needs to be influencers or at least micro-influencers as well. Being authentic and able to multiply the brands' content is a must in today’s world of content creation.
Now on top of all this, there come even more requirements: talent needs great apartments or at least to have access to nice locations and they need to encompass multiple skills in one person. A model needs to be a make-up artist, stylist, and model all in one. A photographer needs to be art director, photographer, and post editor in one...just to name one example. There's basically less differentiation in the roles and the trend goes towards an all-in-one creator personality, which, of course, is harder to find.
Key Takeaways When Producing Content with Talent at Home
With Who Can Shoot we’ve connected talent and clients and we also remotely organized shoots – with that in mind here are some of our key takeaways when shooting remotely:
- Ask for tests: Especially if you’re not on the tightest budget, agencies and models are mostly willing to do some test shots. That way you can not only get a great impression of the apartment but also of how the model can shoot by themselves.
- Clarify what type of imagery you want to achieve: If you’re looking for phone images for social media content, that’ll be easy but if you want a more professional setup you should include whether there is a second person in the apartment and you can provide them with equipment.
- Art direct remotely: Make sure the talent has a tripod with a phone camera holder to art direct via Zoom or Skype. This will be super helpful to get consistent image quality.
- Don’t overthink the planning: With this shooting environment the best results happen spontaneously. The talent knows best what scenery works and what doesn’t. Having good talent here is key.
- Prior to a shoot make sure the model has everything they need. Send them a steamer if they don’t have one. Make-up will be the easier part but styling needs to be on point and is typically the harder part to get right.
Looking forward there will be winners and losers as a result of this drastic change. The winners will be the brands leveraging remote home shoots to build a better customer relationship while lowering their cost structure. The talent that can adjust and meet the requirements will be frequently booked and also build a stronger relationship with their clients. The brands and talent that don't adapt will likely fall behind and can hopefully recover once things go back to normal.
At QVSTA, we were so inspired by these home shoots that we started Who Can Shoot to help companies overcome the obstacle of finding talent. On Who Can Shoot, creators and brands connect to shoot content remotely.