| Posted by David Ford | comments
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We all know photo shoots are necessary for branding. What often times is missing is "intention". We have been hearing a lot about "living with intention" the past decade and this holds true for a photo shoot too. Define your intention and then you can collaborate and capture the images with planned useability.

A question I’m frequently asked is: "What course of action is best to take regarding useage of my photos after a shoot"? There are are a number of avenues to consider once a shoot is complete so let's take a quick look.

1) You can hold on to the photos and keep them for your own private use.

2) You can share the photos online - through social media etc.

3) You can choose your favorite photos and send them to select fitness publications.

4) Perhaps a combo of all of the above.

(Fitness Icon Monica Brant)

Sharing Tip

When sharing a professional photo, always try to provide photo credit as a courtesy. So many good photos are posted and shared on social media without identification of the photographer. Do you need to do this? No, but it shows respect and respect goes a long way. Photographers work hard at the shoot, in post processing and have the overhead of expensive equipment. By providing photo credit information with your post, the photographer can be contacted regarding possible useage opportunities for the photo.


(Kristina Dancevic - above and lead photo - David Ford Choice Award Winner - Alberta)

Media Tip

Don’t send the same photo, or similar photos to multiple magazines. This will quickly put you on the “naughty” list. Different magazines like different style of photos. Know what each likes and submit similar to what they publish. This will limit rejection and increase chances for acceptance. 


Making it into the magazines is still king. With all the digital noise we call social media, being published is that much more important.

“Making it into the magazines” is still king. With all the digital noise we call social media, being published is that much more important. Almost every person I meet tell me their goal is to be published yet, unfortunately, most of their professional photos are all over Instagram or Facebook. Rarely are photos that are shared online of any value to industry magazines after the fact. I have seen many photos rejected because the same likeness was posted or shared online.

One professional photo shoot can last a year or more if there is diversity in the shoot. That’s right, a year or more. There is little to no need to post every shot from a shoot at one time. If shared publicly, the photos end up viewed once over by your friends and then quickly become old news. How much was the investment in that shoot? $1000 or more guaranteed. Poof! Gone out the window for the sake of "likes".


(Misty Allen, photographed at Platoon FX)

One good photo shoot can last a year or more if there is diversity in the shoot. There is little to no need to post every shot from a shoot at one time.

This same shoot, provided you received 52 photos minimum could last you an entire year on social media. That’s right, one professional photo per week is often plenty to share, especially if you are posting daily events – food, gym, selfies etc. Truth is, the majority of friends on social media scroll quickly through their timeline. If someone views a post for more than a couple seconds you are doing great. Applying strategic social media practices, you won't have to diet down every few month just to keep images fresh. That is stressful, hard on the body and the mind.


(Susie Woffenden - Status Fitness Media Day Shoot)

Photographer Selection Tip

Be selective where you spend your hard earned money when it comes to photo shoots. In our industry there is a very wide range of photographers. Not all professional photographers produce professional results. As in any industry, you get what you pay for. Will a $500 shoot give you the same results as a $1000 shoot? Will a $1000 shoot give you the same results as a $10,000 shoot? Of course not. Prices tend to reflect the quality, experience and connections a photographer has. One comprehensive shoot can have considerably more value than a "ton of shoots" that combined equal the same price. Results are what you are searching for and chosing carefully who you shoot with can definitely increase your chances of attaining those results. I often hear this comparison, would you rather spend the same amount of money on multiple pairs of jeans or on one pair you know will become your favorite?


Will a $1000 shoot give you the same results as a $10,000 shoot? Of course not. As in any industry, you get what you pay for.

I encourage everyone reading this to evaluate your intention from a photo shoot. After your shoot, evaluate your photos objectively. Are they magazine style and quality? Will they build your brand? If so, how best will they build your brand? There is nothing wrong with combining the useage of your photos - magazine submissions and social media but go about it carefully with a set plan.

(DJ & Fitness Model Adoriana)

Submission Tip

A photo shoot provides you with a number of looks and styles. Depending on the size of your shoot, you may have set up portions of the shoot for various outcomes - magazine submissions, portfolio, your own website etc. If being published is a goal, it is always nice to set aside a complete set for this purpose. You will not want anyone else to see these photos until the time is right. When the opportunity presents itself, or you take the steps, showcase these shots to the editorial team of the media source and ensure they don't slip into the public eye. Having these set aside is smart and allows you to be ready to submit at a moments notice.


Have a topic or question you would like me to touch on in a future blog? Be sure to contact me through my website. I will consider all photography/model related questions.

About David Ford

UFC and fitness celebrity cover photographer David Ford is a world renowned, multi-accredited professional photographer by the Professional Photographers of Canada and the Professional Photographers of America, an international author and public speaker. The foundations of David's business include his professionalism, knowledge and skill set.