Photo and TVC shoots: what's an Account Manager to do?

April 16, 2015

It’s tempting to think that being an Account Manager on a photo or TVC shoot means the same as having a day off. I don’t know about you, but I usually walk away from a day on a shoot feeling exhausted!

Your account management prowess has a chance to shine in the lead-up to either a photo or TVC shoot, so let’s explore what you’ll need to do.

Before the shoot

Before you commit to hiring a photographer or production company, you will need to source a quote - which means you will need to create a rock-solid brief.

The briefing process is crucial to getting the results you want. You’ll first use your brief template to ask your client the right questions about their requirements and expectations. You will then take that information and brief in your supplier. The brief you give to your photographer, videographer or production company will inform the purpose for the shoot, the target audience, aims and objectives. The brief becomes the starting point for dialogue on creative execution where you will discuss the possibilities and parameters. This dialogue will give your supplier enough information to provide an accurate quote for you and your client.

Once the quote is accepted, your pre-shoot role may then include:

  • creating the storyboard (for video)
  • creating a shot list (for stills)
  • writing the script
  • creating a call sheet
  • sourcing props and wardrobe
  • sourcing shoot locations
  • sourcing voice and/or acting talent
  • sourcing music
  • sourcing catering
  • engaging stylists (hair, makeup, wardrobe)
  • facilitating talent/model consent forms and music contracts

OR (especially if you work in a larger agency)…your talented colleagues and suppliers may do all this for you!

TVC shoot

It is most likely that you have hired a production company to create and produce your client’s TVC. They will probably arrange for everything that will happen on the day of the shoot - from producers, directors and talent through to catering and props. You will need to check, with your supplier, if there is anything that they need you to do or facilitate.

Your job will be to turn up on the day with your Call Sheet, and keep a top-level eye on proceedings to make sure everything is going according to the agreed plan. If something is amiss, awry or just plain missing or wrong, then you need to say something and get it put right. Remember that the production company will be thinking primarily of creative execution, so you need to be the eyes of both your agency and client on the day. You need to make sure that your client’s brand is protected, the storyboard is followed, and that the key messaging is conveyed. It’s most likely that the production company will invoice you directly, so you are the person responsible for making sure they deliver as expected.

If your client is present at the shoot (and you hope they will be), you will need to keep them company. This is a great opportunity to build your client relationship in a relaxed environment. They (and you) may get bored on the shoot, so your company can help make the long hours more enjoyable!

Photo shoot

Your role at a photoshoot will be more hands-on than a TVC shoot. In essence, you are the production company! If you are especially lucky, your photographer may have arranged their preferred stylists for the shoot (food, hair, wardrobe, make-up, etc). However, it is more than likely that you will be the one that needs to arrange all suppliers and talent for the day and prepare your call sheet.

On the day of the shoot you will need to make sure everyone arrives on time, and that you have all your props, equipment and client’s product ready to go.

While the shoot is on you will need to make sure that:
  • the shot list is followed
  • the shots are as per your expectations (if you are not happy with them, say something)
  • talent is ready when required
  • wardrobe, hair and makeup is as per you expected
  • crew and client are fed and watered
  • your client is happy
  • clean up is done and you leave your location in good condition.


  • wear comfortable clothing and shoes
  • take an umbrella or three
  • have a Plan B if weather could ruin your shoot
  • have a Plan B if there is a chance your preferred location doesn’t work out on the day
  • take enough snacks and drinks for you and your crew
  • take a sense of humour…you’ll need it!





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