Recently, I worked on an assignment for a new business that had a specific need. They wanted to create images for their website and social media that incorporated their brand and the company owner. The brief I got from the marketing department was simple - "we want urban and countryside locations plus we need to incorporate our business owner (Olivia) and our logo (a coloured swirl) and our umbrella (made from the same colours as the swirl)".
The approach I usually take to this type of assignment is to first map out a set of frames into a storyboard. I find this saves a massive amount of time. It allows me to have a conversation with the client about what I am thinking and allows them to say "yes - i like that" or "no - that's not going to work" long before lighting is set up or a shutter is pressed.
For this assignment, I created a number of frames to get the discussion started. They don't have to be fancy - as they are intended to show ideas in development. For story-boarding, I use Storyboard Artist from Power Productions (as we also use this software to plan out our video shoots) but you can use any software package that can layer objects - PowerPoint from Microsoft works well - or even just pen and paper.