There are certain steps to success when developing your brief. The details you outline for your brief ensure your creator can transform your idea into visual content that matches your vision and brand.
Tips for creating an effective brief:
- Examples, examples, and more examples: the best briefs include a wealth of visual examples (prior photos, videos, analogs, etc.) to showcase the inspiration behind your visual and aesthetic choices.
- Include important context in your description section:
- It is important that creators understand your brand identity before producing, so it is helpful to pick a few words that describe your brand or the feeling your audience should get when seeing the content.
- Successful briefs identify a clear objective, goal, or “guiding light” that creators can stick to.
- Knowing where the content will be used helps give the creator context before shooting.
- Describe your lighting and aesthetic preferences, and back them up with more examples!
- Build your shotlist:
- Be savvy with “required” language. While everything in a brief is considered essential, be sure to clearly outline anything that is an absolute requirement. This can be shots, props, or anything else considered a make-it-or-break-it item for your content.
- It's helpful to tell the creator which products, models, framing, etc. should be included in each shot, so that they make sure to capture all your requirements.
- Specify what the setup or environment should be if you have any in mind.
- Include shots that are absolutely required, but also provide some suggestions or thought-starters to let the creator’s creative juices flow.
- If you want to leave you shotlist more open-ended, describe a more general look and feel as opposed to required shots.
- Take advantage of adding additional details:
- Use the models section to add as many models as are required in the shoot, and use the notes to describe how they should be incorporated (for example, hands-only, full body, or interacting with other models in a certain way).
- If there are products, use the product notes to specify how they should be incorporated (more on that here).
- Dos and don'ts help the creator make sure she covers any absolute requirements and avoids anything that doesn't align with your brand.
- We recommend including supporting documents such as moodboards or brand guidelines.
- Clarify any props that you really do or don’t want to see in your content. Props add context! A sheet cake is just a sheet cake until birthday candles are added on top—indicating it’s just about time to sing "Happy Birthday."
- An added bonus to help you organize: require file naming conventions. Filenames are more than an afterthought; however, as you sort through dozens of images, standardized file names make it that much easier to maintain content organization. We recommend something like:
- <<Setup Name>>_<<Etc.>>_<<Shot Number>>
- <<Etc.>> could be a Product name or shot marker/descriptor.
If you want to get more specific, check out these resources:
Need some inspiration to get your brief started? Here's an example.