Effective visuals, such as corporate culture photography and headshots, are essential for communicating your brand’s image. Authentic, on-location photography featuring your offices and staff can elevate your brand in a way stock images cannot. Your company’s brand photography should be engaging, dynamic and help tell your story. But there is a fine line between staging a shoot and creating images that look staged.
The Office Photo Shoot
Whether an office photo shoot or documenting an event, successful photography should elevate your brand's image online, on social media and across a range of high-value media assets and publications. Whether seeking event photography tips or help staging an office photo shoot, the advice below can ensure brand photography success.
Before you start, review details like timeline, delivery and licensing of images with your photographer. Where will the photography ultimately live, and how will it be used? Just because you’ve hired the photographer to take photographs of your event doesn’t mean you own the photographs. If you plan to use the photos in future print, web or advertising materials, make sure you get it in writing. The rights to use and repurpose the images ultimately belongs to the photographer unless you have it stated otherwise in a contract. You may want to consider an exclusive licensing agreement so you have more control over reusing and repurposing the images after the shoot. Another option if you are commissioning the photographer to create work that you don’t want anyone else to use is to consider a work-for-hire agreement. While more expensive, this would turn full copyright ownership over to you. However you plan to use your images, make sure you have an official contract to avoid headaches down the road.
- Plan ahead. Do you want to capture imagery of your CEO giving a presentation, your VPs in a meeting with top clients or candid moments in your fabulous new presentation space? Make sure you plan ahead. Share a shot list so key subjects know where they need to be and when. Even event photography should be coordinated. Be sure to discuss the image deliverables ahead of time so the photographer knows who to focus on and what to omit in an event space.
- Know your goals. When you commission photography, understand your goals and know how the photography will be used. Communicate this information to the photographer and your talent (i.e., employees) ahead of the shoot.
- Establish the desired style. Is the plan to make the office look young and hip? Fun and energized? Or should the photographs convey a more serious and professional look? Do you want the imagery to have a photojournalistic style, or be heavily art-directed? You may want to consider elements such as color, depth of field, tonal range and dimensions (i.e., vertical vs. horizontal specs) that are in accordance with your company’s brand identity. Is there a particular color palette your company wants to use in the next annual report? Relay this information to all employees/talent so they wear the right tones or “uniform” on the day of the shoot. Provide clear direction to both the photographer and talent about your company’s corporate tone before the shoot day.
- Offer visual examples. Don’t just tell the photographer what you want. Share visual examples of your desired imagery style well in advance of the shoot day to keep everyone on the same page. Color treatment, lighting, lens choice and perspective can significantly alter the look and feel of your corporate photography. If you aren’t entirely sure what you want, your photographer should be able to provide examples for you to consider.
- Clean up the office. Tom in accounting may be perfectly content leaving a week’s worth of coffee cups on his desk — but clutter is bad for imagery. Alert your staff in advance so they have time to clean up their workspaces. Be mindful of memorabilia that might not translate well in imagery, as well as any elements that are off-brand.
Think your brand is ready for a company photography refresh? Reach out to Walker Sands today, and let’s talk about how we can help capture your imagery needs.