Once we reach agreement with our client about the creative concept for a project, we will often joke, “Now it’s just a matter of tying up loose ends.” Yes, this is a crazy overstatement, but it also holds some truth.
With an approved concept in place, the look, the tone, the content components, and the structure of a project are all decided. The most difficult judgments are behind us. Now, it’s simply time to write the text and shoot the photos and videos that will make the project real. You might even say we’re just filling in blanks. (But don’t say this to our writers.)
A couple of points are worth stressing here. The first is that there is no substitute for careful legwork at this stage: interviewing and background gathering, photo scouting and planning. The quality of the final result depends on attention to detail now. However, all this effort is made far more efficient because we are working to a well-defined plan. For instance, rather than setting our photographers free to rove your campus is search of beauty, we are able to give them ideas for the subject of every image on every page of your book or website. (click here for Kevin's advice on your photo shoot)
Although this description may suggest an almost military level of precision, we’re always on the lookout for the lucky photo we couldn’t have planned or the great story we didn’t know about before. The last ingredient in any great plan is flexibility.
At the end of this phase we are able to present an extremely accurate mock-up of what your finished piece will look—real photos and live text all in place and ready for review.