Building a Photo Studio team with a photographer, producer, coordinator, and more creative professionals requires a lot of right decisions.
It varies from business to business, and the best team is built when everyone is aligned with your vision.
Here we are sharing with you, How to Build a Photo Studio Team In Just 5 Stages?
Remember. These are not steps. They aren’t linear as they can be different for you as well. But I am sure, seeing them at different stages will help you build a photo studio team more effectively.
So take time to understand the importance of every stage. Execute on it and get the most efficient and productive photo studio team that you are looking for.
5 Essential Stages To Build Photo Studio Team
Define Your Vision and Goals
Building a photo studio team needs to be strategic. You want people from different fields of work to share a common goal and work efficiently towards it.
Even before you start any interview, you need to have a vision and a specific goal that you wish to achieve with this team.
Vision is your ultimate checkpost. You have to accomplish it.
SMART goals are the consistent stages that you need to achieve to make your vision a reality.
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound.
Let’s understand this with an example.
Let’s say you are an eCommerce studio manager with a task to revamp all the product images and introduce model photography before the Holiday season.
Now for this, you almost have a clear vision. You have 12 types of product categories, and everything needs to be updated as per the new style guide.
The task is huge until you break it down into stages.
You have your vision, i.e., to build a photo studio team that can fulfill all upcoming photography requirements.
And your specific goal can be, “The new team will revamp and upload new product and model images for one category each week, to get the work done within the next 3 months.”
The more defined your vision and goal are, the more efficient your team photo studio team will be.
Identify Roles and Responsibilities
Once you have your vision and goals checked out, it’s time to focus on the personalities you are set to welcome to your photo studio team.
Again, all the guesswork and errors will reduce significantly if you know what you are looking for.
If we take the previous example here, we know you would need the following roles to build a photo studio team.
- Wardrobe Coordinator & Stylist
- Makeup professional
- Post-Production Coordinator
But as per your vision and goals, the roles will become more specific.
- Ecommerce Photographer: Product & Model Photography Experience.
- Wardrobe Coordinator & Stylist: Experience in styling models for eCommerce model photography.
- Fashion Makeup Professional: Experience in eCommerce model makeup to keep the look consistent.
- Post-Production Coordinator: Experience in handling bulk product images and coordinating with the retouching services.
It is also highly advised to create a thorough workflow. Defines your process and responsibility. This will help in communicating the responsibility much more easily and make your studio more efficient in terms of time management.
Recruitment and Hiring
Once the initial stages are taken care of, it’s time to focus on the execution.
The first—and probably the most important step—is hiring resourceful talent. This is an important step and can also be time-consuming.
The best way to get started with the hiring process is to make sure more and more people are aware of vacancies in your team. Some of the common ways to do this are through:
- Referral: Connect with people in your network and tell them about what roles you are hiring for. This is probably the best way to hire talents as it is easy to establish trust and build a connection right from the start. LinkedIn is surely one of the leading platforms to connect with professionals but even Instagram can work if you have spent time building a network of creative people in your niche.
- Talent Agencies: Talent agencies can further escalate your hiring sprint. Share the job description with these agencies and they will hunt talents for you. They usually have commissions or fees but they often are connected with a huge number of people hunting for jobs. Since you are building a photo studio team, it would be best to connect with a local talent and recruitment agency.
- Industry Events: Events and meetups are often great venues to connect with like-minded people. They are open to meeting new people and this could be a great opportunity for you to find enthusiastic people who you would like to onboard with your vision and goal.
Crafting Job Descriptions
The best job description is the one that reflects the role and responsibility.
Starting with the heading, it’s always best practice to write clear headings.
In the case of a photographer for eCommerce, simply using “Hiring Ecommerce Photographer” would be way more beneficial than being creative unnecessarily.
The Job description is the area where you have to share what you are looking for, what would be preferable, and what responsibility would the role have to fulfill.
Use bullets and headings to organize your requirements.
This Job description would help the candidate better prepare for the role and provide exactly the right context and experience from the past.
When assessing skills—either after an interview or through the portfolio—it is very important to assess based on the Must-Have, Can-Learn, and No-Go framework.
These three buckets of ideas will help you assess any candidate more rationally.
For example, in the case of an ecommerce photographer:
- Working in the eCommerce field for at least one year can be a Must-Have for you.
- Photographers with no experience with the management software Can-Learn it on the job.
- But someone with only product photography and no model photography experience is a No-Go based on your upcoming projects.
Training and Onboarding
While hiring might seem like a big hill, retaining talent and aligning them with your vision and goal can be another mountain.
This process of training begins before their first day. You must plan out their role-specific training and a clear roadmap for their responsibilities.
New hires are usually excited but at the same time conscious of what they will be doing in the new environment.
Clearly communicating the roadmap & the goal you have set up is a great start.
One important point to get started with is Documentation and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
These are the methods your organization uses and must be taught to new hires to easily communicate and interact with the ongoing processes.
Moreover, it is also advised to foster open communication channels and encourage new hires to seek guidance, share insights, and participate in a collaborative atmosphere.
Workflow and Scheduling
It’s a new photo studio team so hiccups can be expected. The idea is to familiarize team members with the process and then delegate assignments.
When you are building a photo studio team, you must give enough time for members to get up to speed and the process you are following.
Explaining the reason behind the process and why it is important to follow is a good way to bring them on the same plane.
Additionally, it is always advised to assess the new team on their metrics rather than comparing them with others.
Within the first few weeks, you’ll have a basic idea of what output is the team generating. Create an efficient workflow around that and communicate your requirements.
A cycle of feedback and support would help the team improve and help you build the photo studio team that you are looking for.
Building a photo studio team is more than simply finding and hiring creative talents. It is about fostering them, motivating them to share their insights, and being part of the team.
Be it a creative producer, a stylist, or a photographer—everyone needs to work together to achieve your goal.
And it’s your responsibility to ensure that these goals align with the ultimate vision of your overall studio and business.