Ask an Agent / Shooting Without a Location Permit

July 30, 2014

Ask an Agent is a regular monthly column that answers all your dilemmas about the business of photography – a sort of photography agony aunt. Whatever area of the industry you are in, if you have any questions you’d like to ask please send them to


Dear Ask an Agent,

I’ve been asked by a regular client to do a shoot next week. They want me to cast the models before the shoot but rather than scout the locations, which will be cafes and shops, and get permissions beforehand they want me to just find them on the day. Do you think this will be ok?

Jerry Llewellyn

Hi Jerry,

Not really, no.  I think this is a really bad idea!

With any shoot that is going to be a potential hazard to the public you need to make arrangements before the day of the shoot for a number of reasons.

• As you will have a large crew in tow – models, stylist, hair & make-up, assistants, art director – plus wardrobe, props and kit, there is potential to cause damage to the location or even injury to the public. Dragging a clothing rail with wardrobe or your equipment across the floor might cause damage or a child might trip over your tripod and hurt themselves for example. To avoid this it’s wise to do a risk assessment before the day of the shoot and agree to have a section cordoned off for a set time period. Also, whoever is responsible for booking the location, which by the sounds of it could be you, needs to have at least 2 million pounds public liability insurance in place in the event that there is damage or injury.


© Holly Pickering

• Not having the locations lined up before the shoot day may result in major delays to the schedule. Imagine how it might pan out on the day. Are your entire crew going to follow you around while you go into the various locations and try and find the right person to talk to? Chances are the only person with authority to grant permission and agree a location fee won’t be around on the day anyway. It can take a few days to negotiate a hire fee and grant proper written permissions once you’ve found somewhere. Delays usually have financial implications; overtime for the entire crew, additional expenses or even the cost of a potential re-shoot. You could be liable for these costs if you don’t do things properly.

• It’s usual on a commercial job to scout several locations so the client can have a choice and approve the one they think will work best. Chances are the senior client might not be on shoot and they will want to have their say when they see the final images – they might not like the location you and the art director have chosen, reject your images and refuse to pay you.

• Finally, it’s a matter of being professional. The shoot could end up being a complete shambles and the finger will be pointed at you. As a professional photographer it is your responsibility to adhere to industry codes of conduct and advise your client on the protocol. Aside from being made to look like a bit of an idiot who can’t arrange a shoot, you could ruin relationships with your crew, your regular client and even find yourself very much out of pocket.

I know no one likes say no to a client, but you really do need to shout up and explain why this is a bad idea sooner rather than later!

Please Note:

We reserve the right to shorten questions due to space constraints.

We reserve the right not to enter into on going correspondence.

We reserve the right not to answer all questions.

Please state whether you would like to remain anonymous.

This advice should be taken as a guide only. Lisa Pritchard and LPA take no responsibility for any omissions or errors. Please seek professional legal advice should you require it.

LPA Photographers / Rowan Fee / John Lewis Sound Systems

July 29, 2014

LPA Photographer Rowan Fee has been adding to his growing body of work for John Lewis with this slick and refined Sound Solutions shoot.

Shot to promote John Lewis’ auditory accessories range, Rowan’s unparalleled use of perspective ensures that the products are captured in a way that boasts both their aesthetics and functionality.  We love how he cleverly uses bold graphics to highlight the connection with other products.  Polished work as always, Rowan!


© Rowan Fee


© Rowan Fee


© Rowan Fee

photo 1

© Rowan Fee

LPA Futures / Oliver Haupt / Havas Dusseldorf

July 28, 2014

LPA Futures photographer Oliver Haupt was recently commissioned by Havas Dusseldorf to shoot this subversive image for an account-winning pitch.

Exercising his accomplished post-production skills, the shot playfully portrays the Queen of England morphing into a wrestler.  Oliver continually pushes the boundaries of both originality and aesthetics, and is always keeping us at LPA on our toes!


© Oliver Haupt / Havas Dusseldorf

The Brief / Anthony Nolan / NHS Stem Cell Registry Annual Review

July 25, 2014

The Brief is a quarterly feature on the LPA blog which takes a behind the scenes look at a photoshoot.


Photographer: Patrick Harrison

Client: Anthony Nolan

Title: Together for Better

Art Director: Dilhan Attanayake

Shoot dates: February 2014

Usage: Annual Review, UK, 1 year

This time we centre The Brief on a project Patrick Harrison has recently completed for UK Charity Anthony Nolan, the NHS and the Department of Health.  Having worked with Patrick previously, the client knew his natural reportage-style approach and knack for capturing his subjects in their own environments (see below) would make him perfect for the job.


© Patrick Harrison / East Village


© Patrick Harrison / GMC

The Brief:

The original brief from Dilhan Attanayake, the Creative Studio Manager at Anthony Nolan and Art Director for the shoot, was to produce a series of portraits for the Anthony Nolan and NHS Stem Cell Registry 2014 Annual Review.  Each portrait would capture a different person associated with the cause, from the chief executive of Anthony Nolan to donors themselves.  The purpose was to mark achievements made in stem cell transplantation so far, and to measure further progress that can be made.  The images needed to be natural and engaging, with a contemporary feel.

The Shoot Prep:

This involved:

Photographer’s Requirements:

• Photographic expenses for x 4 half day shoots – digi-capture, equipment and lighting kit, post-production


• Photographer’s 1st Assistant


• Expenses – Travel & mileage to Nottingham, Leicester, RAF Brize Norton and North London


• Couriers, mobile and production insurance

The Location:

It was decided that Patrick would shoot each subject in his or her own working environment, which saw him traveling across the country and meeting lots of interesting people affiliated with the cause.  Patrick’s ability to capture people in a spontaneous and genuine manner has resulted in final imagery that is sincere and anchors the message of the Annual Review perfectly.

Patrick shot the stem cell donors in Nottingham, Leicester and RAF Brize Norton, as well as shooting representatives from Anthony Nolan and the NHS in London.

The Shoot

This was a successful and enjoyable shoot for both Patrick and the client, who both commented on how smooth the process was.  Here Patrick reveals a bit about the things he needed to consider upon receiving the brief:

“This was a really nice portrait brief from Anthony Nolan. The client and the art director were present for the first shoot, which was the perfect opportunity to discuss how best to approach the other shoots as I would be doing these alone with an assistant.

We discussed that all the portraits would be used bleed on a single page A4 portrait format with no text so shooting with this in mind meant all the shots taken were usable. The tone of the portraits was the other major consideration. They needed to be focused and direct, capturing and communicating the strength and openness of all involved. The pictures would be used to encourage others to consider being a donor in the future so this wasn’t a light hearted brief. 

I love photographing real life stories and meeting new and inspiring people is always rewarding. My aim is always to make those people feel as special as possible, and to be sensitive to their wishes. This ultimately means making quick decisions about possible locations / backgrounds and working as a team with the assistant to put everyone at ease. The experience should appear to be effortless and should hopefully be rewarding and enjoyable for all and not like a bad trip to the dentist, which is probably what most people are expecting! 

The final images were printed beautifully and seeing them for the first time was really exciting, I don’t think I’ll ever lose that feeling!” 

Case Study 1:

Andrew Parry, Survival equipment fitter at RAF Brize Norton.


© Patrick Harrison / Anthony Nolan/NHS/Department of Health

Case Study 2:

Zach Hughes, Fit Panel Member from Leicester.


© Patrick Harrison / Anthony Nolan/NHS/Department of Health

Case Study 3:

Ross Kirk, Physics teacher from Mansfield.


© Patrick Harrison / Anthony Nolan/NHS/Department of Health

Here’s what Dilhan had to say about working with Patrick:

“The right Imagery on this project was key to its success as we wanted to show how individuals from everyday backgrounds could, by a selfless act, save the life of a person with blood cancer, by donating their stem cells and registering as a donor on NHS Blood or the Anthony Nolan register. The individuals in the images taken by Patrick Harrison came from all walks of life and in this respect we wanted the images to reflect them and their surroundings in an honest, realistic way that Patrick’s captures effortlessly.

The team at LPA were fantastic from our initial conversation about the idea to the delivery of the final images, they made everything run so seamlessly that all we had to do was concentrate on making sure that we had a worthy design to marry Patrick’s beautiful images.”

photo 1

The Annual Review © Anthony Nolan/NHS/Department of Heath

photo 2

© Patrick Harrison / Anthony Nolan/NHS/Department of Health

Photoshoot Glossary

Art Director: Responsible for the overseeing the visual direction of the shoot.

Annual Review: A comprehensive report on an organisation’s activities throughout the preceding year, intended to give people information of key work, achievements and financial performance.

Digi-capture: The process of taking the photos on a photoshoot, capturing the images with a digital camera.

Post-production: Varies from light colour correcting to more complex retouching e.g colour treatments, multipart comping.

1st Assistant: The photographer’s right hand man on a shoot, who’s responsibility is to do all the tasks required so the photographer is free to concentrate on taking the pictures.  They would usually be quite involved in the lighting and digital downloading.


LPA In Focus / Style

July 24, 2014


LPA Photographers / Andy Smith / LPA Test

July 23, 2014

New LPA recruit Andy Smith showcases his skills and cements his status as one of the best corporate photographers in the business in this recent test.

Shot at LPA’s very own office, Andy combines his candid reportage approach with an expert employment of natural light.  We love how he’s picked up on the vibrant accents of colour, and it’s great to see the office captured with such warmth.  Lovely work!

Photo 4

© Andy Smith

Photo 3

© Andy Smith

Photo 2

© Andy Smith

LPA Photographers / Liz McBurney / N by Norwegian

July 21, 2014

New LPA photographer Liz McBurney gets off to a flying start with this creative cover shoot for N magazine by Norwegian airline.

Having already shot many covers for N magazine – which was named ‘Launch of the year 2013’ at the British Society of Magazine Editors Awards – Liz continues to employ her conceptual approach to create bold and engaging covers.  The shot visualizes the idea that deliberately sinking ships could help save the world’s marine life and kick-start underwater eco-systems.  Liz always succeeds in approaching an idea from an offbeat and unexpected perspective, and here at LPA we’re all looking forward to viewing the world in new ways through her lens!


© Liz McBurney

LPA Style / Alice Timms / Senior Style

July 16, 2014

Though the young are often see as today’s trendsetters, LPA Style’s Alice Timms shows us that being in your 50s can be equally fabulous!

Shot by the supremely talented Liam Arthur, Alice’s beautiful propping and styling brings her fabulous model into a variety of situations, whether working or relaxing. A great idea with results which speak for themselves!

© Liam Arthur

© Liam Arthur

© Liam Arthur

© Liam Arthur

LPA Photographers / Andy Smith / Business Test

July 14, 2014

With annual report season fast approaching, new blood Andy Smith has been adding to his fantastic folio of corporate photography. 

Shot at some very swish offices, Andy’s interesting angles and use of glass ensures that the images are far from your run of the mill corporate shoot. Lovely results as always Andy!

© Andy Smith

© Andy Smith

© Andy Smith


LPA Futures / Gerwyn Davies / Paradise

July 11, 2014

LPA Futures Gerwyn Davies has been working on his fantastical ‘Paradise’ project, creating some surreal new work in his inimitable style.

Known for his expansive imagination and costume design abilities which rival that of his photography skills, Gerwyn’s new work is perhaps our favourite yet. With a real nod to drag and performance art, we can’t wait to see what comes out of his head next!

© Gerwyn Davies

© Gerwyn Davies

© Gerwyn Davies

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Ask an Agent is a regular monthly column that answers all your dilemmas about the ...
30 Jul 2014