Informed Serendipity and The Higher Ed Photo Shoot

“In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind.”  ~ Louis Pasteur

This is part 1 in a three- part series on successfully executing a higher education/ admissions marketing photography project in today’s hyper-attuned climate. College applicants are visually savvy. When they explore their college future, they want a clear, honest and engaging visual experience. With fall photo projects around the corner, here is something to consider.

Instead of only relying on traditional methodology for shooting a higher education photography project, consider an approach I call Informed Serendipity.  This technique takes judgment and creativity on location to find something visually relevant. Instead of carefully arranging the message, consider what can happen if you talk about your visual goals and allow the photographer to create it in a real setting.

The expectation of every higher education photo project assume a high level of visual execution. Relying on a predetermined outcome through a visual style is important, but achieving it does not have to be fully scripted. This is where Informed Serendipity comes in.

Students are attracted to a particular college or university because of the unique culture and experience an institution provides. At the core of Informed Serendipity is knowing where visual opportunities present themselves. It’s straightforward enough on the surface: Science labs, fitness centers, dining halls and other gathering spots, to mention a few, but knowing what and when it is happening is the key.

Part 2: Digging a little deeper