Methods for commissioned photography
Jeroen Bouman explains his methods in full detail for commissioned photography. From the very first contact to a quote, and from the concept to the photo shoot and the image editing.
What are your wishes or requirements? Do you have a corporate identity image style that needs to be followed strictly, or do we need to develop one together? Who is your target audience, and what do you want to communicate? What does your organization stand for, what are its core values? Just a few issues that may get addressed during an intake.
Jeroen Bouman listens attentively and is able to think along the same lines. Needless to say that an intake takes place in complete confidentiality, as is the further process.
Work review & location scouting
For relatively straightforward jobs -like one or two editorial portraits- location scouting or a work review is usually unnecessary. Jeroen Bouman is accustomed to make do with what he has, and can produce a perfect shot in any situation or location. In those cases a briefing by email or phone is usually more than sufficient.
But when an assignments gets more complex, location scouting and/or a work review can prove very useful. Preferably with also the art director and graphic designer, just to find out if we all think along the same lines, and -very important- to see if it clicks. Fine-tuning the desired objectives, developing a concept and deciding how to achieve that. That makes planning more efficient and definitely lifts the final results to a higher level.
With this information Jeroen Bouman can prepare a quote for you. Just as each assignment is unique, so is the corresponding quotation. Each expense gets specified clearly and user rights are defined explicitly.
A quotation is always entirely free of any obligation, and Jeroen Bouman applies the terms and conditions of DuPho (Dutch Photographers, successor of the FotografenFederatie).
“Even if my quotation has not been approved yet, you can always reserve a date & time as an option. Again, entirely free of any obligation and we’ll agree upon a reasonable expiration date for the option together.”
Jeroen Bouman can organize your entire photo production. He can propose & book models, arrange for a makeup artist or a stylist, including clothing & props. Jeroen Bouman has an extensive network of specialists, ranging from catering to houseplant rental, and from photo studios across The Netherlands to animal casting. Looking for a very specific location? Jeroen Bouman will find it, no matter what your demands are.
“As a client you want to know how things stand. When is that appointment scheduled, when can you expect a pre-selection, and how long before you receive the edited images? I understand this all too well and keep you informed of the state of affairs at all times.”
The photo shoot
A good photographer should be able to produce a decent picture even with a disposable camera. Very true, but Jeroen Bouman prefers to work with state of the art equipment. That way he can present you with work not only on a highly creative level, but also on a high technical level.
At present, Jeroen Bouman works with Nikons D810, cameras that produce RAW files of 36 MP with a dynamic range that is matched by no other camera in the world. These files have more than enough resolution for high quality prints up to 40 x 60 cm. (16 x 24″) at 300 dpi.
Jeroen Bouman has a fine selection of prime lenses that complement the resolution of the D810 very well.
Need even higher resolution? In those rare cases, rental equipment is available with resolutions of up to 80 MB.
Jeroen Bouman shoots almost exclusively from a very sturdy tripod. It allows him to determine camera position and composition very precisely, so he can then focus all his attention on the person in front of the camera. It puts an end to the photographer jumping around nervously, it creates a much calmer atmosphere for everybody. And a photographer hiding behind his camera can’t communicate nearly as well as a photographer standing beside a camera.
Shooting on a laptop
A laptop is an essential part of equipment that Jeroen Bouman packs for every job. The camera is tethered and shots appear nearly instantly on the much larger screen. This allows Jeroen to check the smallest details like an unruly lock of hair or a loose tie. Lighting, exposure, composition and focus become much easier to control than on the tiny camera screen. No more nasty surprises after the shoot, and no more extensive -and expensive- post-processing to fix errors.
“The client or art director can watch the result live on screen and the makeup artist can determine if any retouching is required. And I invite the person in front of the camera over to examine the photos regularly. This way, he or she gets a good sense of what I’m doing and understands what works and what doesn’t. That’s interaction!”
While shooting, a crop can be applied to the photos. A website banner for example is often oblong, and then it can be very handy to see how everything fits within that crop. The crop can be set precisely to pixel level, and is always reversible.
“If you plan to use text (blocks) on/over the photos, a PDF of your layout can be applied as a layer over the image. This gives a perfect preview of the photograph in the layout. It doesn’t get easier than this.”
The word ‘photography’ is derived from ancient Greek and literally means writing with light. No surprise then that good lighting is essential, especially in colour photography. Jeroen Bouman always brings lights on his shoots, even for outdoor shoots in bright sunshine.
“I use ProFoto flash systems, Swedish top quality both in terms of built quality and light output. Chinese counterparts may be cheaper but output blueish light. That is truly disastrous for skin tones.”
Do you need your CEO portrayed in multiple settings for your photo library? Jeroen Bouman can prepare all those settings beforehand, installing lights, marking positions for the camera and the subject, and doing the necessary set dressing. Prepared like this, Jeroen needs only a very limited time with your CEO and you still get a lot of variety in portraits.
If required, a full-fledged photo studio can be set up on location, complete with lights and seamless backgrounds in all colours of the rainbow.
Jeroen Bouman doesn’t like to postpone work. You can usually expect a preselection, unprocessed and in low resolution, within two working days in the form of a shielded online photo gallery.
“When you’ve made your final selection, I will edit and process your photos and deliver them, again usually within two working days. If you need your photos faster, let me know well in advance so that I can reserve time for you.”
Very complex composites may require an external Photoshop expert, but other than that Jeroen Bouman does his own image processing. With the foreknowledge from the shoot, a perfect end result is accomplished with a signature of its own. That signature is also one of the reasons that Jeroen Bouman will never deliver unprocessed images.
Contrary to common belief, digital photography has not put an end to the darkroom. The enlarger and developing trays may have been replaced by a powerful computer, but it still sits in a real darkroom to shield any external light from interfering with image perception on the wide gamut monitor.
The digital darkroom must meet strict requirements. Jeroen Bouman works according to the NIDF standard (ISO-norm 3664). It’s in Dutch only, but this site has very similar information in English: http://www.colourstandards.com.au/monitor_display.html
A well darkened room, standardized lighting with a colour temperature of 5000° Kelvin and a light intensity of between 35 and 70 Lux, colour neutral walls and furniture. The wide gamut Eizo screens are hardware calibrated for perfect contrast, colour and brightness. Every printing house works with the same standard, and will see exactly the same results on their screens.
Archive & backups
All RAW images are kept for at least 10 years, processed images are kept for eternity. Thanks to a structured archive, files can be retrieved easily and quickly. Backups are maintained on a daily base with a third backup kept off-site to tackle data loss from fire or theft. You’re guaranteed availability of your images at all times.
“Would you like to know (even) more about how I work, or what I can do for your organization? Please feel free to call or email me with your questions.”