About Stills Production

Frequently Asked Questions about the Stills Production Sector in South Africa

Photographers take photographs. But Stills Production companies handle all of the logistics and infrastructural requirements that make those photographic shoots possible. Here’s how it works:

What is Stills Production?
Stills Production is a term that encompasses a broad range of services offered to international photographers and advertising agencies when they conduct photographic shoots on location. Stills Producers coordinate the equipment hire, hotel bookings, car hire, selection and management of models and crew, the management of permits, visas, carnets and other relevant documentation, as well as the day-to-day production requirements of each shoot.

Where do these Photographs get used?
The photographs that are produced in these shoots are used for a wide range of entertainment media purposes, including advertising campaigns,  billboards, catalogues, internet websites, product sales brochures (such as car brochures), fashion shoots and point-of-sale promotions.

What is a Stills Production Company?
A typical Stills Production Company is a small, family-owned business with an average of just 5 full time staff. As much as 95% of Stills Production staff is female, 25% of staff is from historically disadvantaged backgrounds. Full-time staff is predominately office-bound.

Each shoot is crewed differently and the majority of people working on set in the Stills industry are freelancers.

How do Stills Producers find their clients?
At risk of over-simplifying operations, the typical process in servicing Stills Photographic productions is as follows: SAASP stills producers travel overseas to source clients and promote Cape Town and South Africa as a location for photographic shoots. Once the potential client has been persuaded of the value of Cape Town as a location, the client will request quotes from a number of different companies for the job. Quotes will also be sent to competitive production companies is different countries. The SAASP member responds to the quote, and generally, the most competitive quote wins.

The successful company then arranges all auxiliary requirements to ensure the production goes ahead successfully. Each Shoot will be crewed by freelance Production Crew sourced from film industry Crew Agencies.

What is S.A.A.S.P?
The South African Association of Stills Producers (SAASP) is a voluntary business membership organization for companies that specialize in the facilitation and servicing of international photographic shoots in South Africa and throughout the world.

What does SAASP do?
As an organization, SAASP strives for influence rather than power. SAASP’s role is to provide members with information that may adversely affect business choices, and to provide optimum working guidelines, rather than imposing rules and regulations. SAASP therefore serves as a dynamic forum for sharing information and resources that are of value to the membership, as well as collectively addressing industry-related challenges in an outcome-driven, solution-oriented manner.

Which companies are SAASP Members?
The top thirty Stills Production Companies in South Africa are all members of the Association. A full list of Members and Associates is available at our website: www.saasp.co.za

What are SAASP’s goals?
SAASP’s goal is to raise the profile of Stills Producers and Stills Production, and thereby building a more conducive business environment for Stills production. To achieve this, SAASP has committed to:
•    dedication to the needs of the membership and the ongoing development of staff and systems – including Corporate Governance;
•    collation of accurate financial statistics for stills production to support interactions at all levels
•    setting goals and delivering services defined by specific Service Level Agreements
•    operating ethically and with integrity, and encouraging members to do the same
•    addressing issues of Transformation within the Sector
•    being of strategic value to South Africa, its people, communities and business & tourism sectors.