Some catalogers may opt to coordinate the bulk of the shoot, including arranging a location and working with agencies to enlist models. Or, some photographers can do this, too.
Because many catalogs feature photography that's used in print on their corresponding Web sites, it's important to establish that the photographer in question is capable of delivering both, along with photos that can be used for things such as billboards or advertising, if needed. Catalogers should be careful to outline this in their contracts.
"Because the photographer owns that photography, make sure, in your contract, that you have the right to use it in the way you want to," Shasho-Jones advises. "Most photographers don't up their prices for any of those things, because they know that their photos are used in different types of media."
Greg Carter, studio manager at NuVisions M2C, a photography-based catalog and Web design firm in Santa Ana, Calif., suggests that catalogers negotiate full rights on photos for a specified period of time. He also notes that for production purposes, it's important to decide where the photographs will be used ahead of time. Otherwise, the files could be the wrong resolution, "because the cataloger might want to do ads and billboards, and the resolution may not be high enough," he says.
But what if you have no idea how the process works? Laurie Harquail, creative resources and production manager for Portland, Ore.-based reproduction lighting cataloger/Web marketer/manufacturer Rejuvenation, advises other catalogers that those creative personnel who aren't familiar with photography enroll in a couple of classes. Since she's been doing her job, Harquail has taken a couple of basic community college classes on photography. "Learning the basics elevated my comfort level so much that it was time and money well spent," she says.
From the get-go, catalogers and the photographers they enlist need to agree on how many shots can be completed in a day, along with how many shots are required overall. "If you have one idea of what needs to be accomplished and you see that the shoot isn't being propped or styled the way you thought it would be, you're going to have a big problem," Shasho-Jones says. "You might have thought the photographer could accomplish 12 shots a day, but may only be able to accomplish six." These quotas are based on all of the variables associated with the shot, such as whether or not the company is using models, and how elaborate the sets may be.