Your company finally decided to update its staff photos, and the boss put you at the helm of creative control. Congrats! On one hand, this is a great opportunity to get professional, modern photography you’re proud to display on your website and in marketing material.
But on the other hand, you’re not a photographer and have no idea where to start. Right?
It’s OK. Here are a few guidelines for your company’s staff photos. These tips will ensure you get a high-quality product and make the boss proud.
Know what you like.
If you’re not a photographer, you may not be aware of the possibilities for your staff photos. They don’t have to be reminiscent of those grade school pictures you loathed, they can be hip. Now, if you decide to go with something cool, don’t go so out there that you’re going to hate it in two years. Just make sure it represents your company well and you will be fine.
Put Google to work and search for cool portraits. Find a collection of five to 10 images you like and share them with your photographer. See what ideas he or she has and ensure you’re both on the same page and your vision has been thoroughly communicated.
What are you trying to say about your employees? Your company?
These photos could be a potential client’s first impression, so what are you trying to say? Once you’ve decided, ask yourself how you can say that in a photograph. If you’re trying to convey a casual and fun environment, don’t have your staff wear ties and stand in the same location. Shake it up and encourage them to showcase their personality.
Provide some wardrobe guidelines.
Speaking of clothes, you must give guidelines even if you are going for carefree and raw. There are certain things that just don’t work in shoots. If you know you’re shooting on a green screen, let people know so they don’t end up being a floating head. You should avoid crazy patterns – they’re going to look even crazier when compressed down. If you’re going professional, give some guidelines so people can be on the same page.
How often do you have new employees?
If you’re always hiring, consider that before you commit to a certain style. Whatever route you go for your photos needs to be something you can easily replicate, or something that is unique each time and doesn’t have to be replicated at all. This is also a good point if you have employees at multiple offices. Often clients get caught up on trying to homogenize their staff photos, but unless you get it exactly the same, all of the inconsistencies suddenly kill the overall quality of the shoot.
How are the photos being used?
If you know you’re not going to use the background, don’t stress about where you take the photos as much as the lighting. If you don’t have a green or chroma key screen, just shoot on a solid background and put your attention on getting the light just right.
Who is taking the photos?
Ah, quite possibly the most important factor. If you think all photographers are the same, I invite you to spend a few moments on this blog. Come back when you’re convinced.
That didn’t take long.
A great photographer will be able to work with you no matter how much direction you provide, but it’s always best to have something in mind. Choose a photographer you see eye-to-eye with, and always ask to see their portfolio to ensure their style matches your vision.
Do you have a few of your own tips you want to share? Shout them out to @OOHology on Twitter and we’ll be sure to share them, too.