I’ll kick off with the key message: there is more to corporate photography than updating your staff portraits with the same old style you’ve been using for years. Now is the time to realise the full potential of effective and correctly positioned corporate photography.
I have written many times before about the importance of a clear brand identity when it comes to your business. And this is true no matter what sector you work in – corporate or otherwise.
What I have noticed over the years is that smaller and traditionally non-corporate businesses are quicker to understand and more ready to engage with the concept of brand identity.
But in the larger corporate world there is a tendency to overlook imagery as something that is particularly beneficial. When ROI dictates so much of the decision-making, photography can be viewed as a necessary evil rather than an active support function of the business.
So what can your business do in order to utilise its corporate photography effectively? I’ve outlined some key points to help your business get the most out of its next shoot.
Think beyond the headshot
Corporate photography has come a long way. There is more to it than updating your employee headshots every few months. Don’t get me wrong: for corporate photographers such as myself the humble staff portrait will continue to be a major part of the workload.
But it should not be the end of the story. When you think about your corporate photography consider the whole package of your business:
Documenting an event, awards ceremony or social responsibility initiative
Personal branded stock images for your website and / or social media platforms
Interior and exterior photography of your premises
Products and services photography
It’s easy to just think about the immediate job in hand – which is usually the need for a new staff headshot – but it is important to step back and think about how the photography you need today will fit in with your brand tomorrow.
Your corporate brand was built to be sustainable. You should adopt the same thinking to your photographic needs.
What’s your message?
One of the most important aspects of corporate photography – arguably any photography –is that it conveys an unquestionably clear message. If the imagery on your website doesn’t quite match with the business it will be apparent to your customers.
Ask yourself: what are you trying to say with your images? Who is your ideal target audience? What kind of emotional response are you trying to elicit?
Having a clear idea in your mind about the message your business is trying to convey is the starting point. Everything else will fall into place around that message.
Know what you don’t want
As a corporate business you need to take control over the photography you use. Once you have determined your message and the type of images you need, you should invest some time in researching the market.
As part of this process I always encourage my corporate clients to naturally consider what they do like, but also what they don’t. So take the time to find a style that you think is suitable, in part by deciding which path you don’t want to go down.
Contemporary or more traditional?
Minimalist or detailed?
Headshot or portrait? Studio-based or environmental?
Colour or black and white?
What colour schemes complement your corporate branding?
Being clear about the type of photography that is not appropriate for your business helps define your message more clearly and will make it more effective when communicating with customers.
The reality is that you should treat your corporate photography with the same priority that you would give to any other aspect of your marketing and business development. Do that and it will become the lynchpin of your brand, both online and offline.