In this episode of TABS (Talking About Business Strategy), I talk with Kyle Wege from Crimson Sun Studios.
We discuss using professional photography in business. We talk about professional headshots, authentic marketing photography, and how to pick a photographer.
Do you need a professional headshot?
Kyle suggests asking yourself this question – How do you want to present yourself to the world?
He says that while not everybody needs a professional headshot, it’s probably a good idea for most people. Businesses usually want their employees to have a professional image with consistent branding, lighting, and staging.
Smartphone cameras can take professional photos and could potentially be used for headshots. However, having a professional setup, particularly lightning, can make a big difference in the outcome of the images.
Your headshot is often how people meet you for the first time. How do you want to be seen?
What are the main considerations in headshots?
When meeting with clients, Kyle said he tries to understand what the client is looking for. What are the goals? Who are you trying to reach? What is your brand/style?
Depending on your business, you may want a simple background, an environmental shot, or even local landmarks. It’s also important to consider clothing, framing, colors, and general lighting techniques.
Kyle said a good photographer should help walk clients through these necessary considerations.
Maintaining Headshots with Employee Turnover
Many businesses struggle with maintaining professional headshots amongst employee turnover. Keeping consistent appearances in headshots can be difficult as people come and go.
Kyle suggests getting headshots taken quickly after an employee starts. He said that providing headshots is a great way to invest in new employees and get them excited about their new position. Your photographer can bring the same backdrops, lighting, etc., to keep the style consistent across new employees.
In addition to employee turnover, sometimes employee headshots need to be updated to represent their “current” self best. Over time, with haircuts, clothing, aging, lifestyle, etc., changes, new headshots should be taken to represent your employees as they are today.
What other ways can photography be used in business?
In addition to headshots, businesses can utilize professional photography in several ways. Some of the ways we discussed were:
- Showcasing Client Projects – Kyle said that design and contracting firms often want professional pictures for new projects or projects in process.
- Website Design – Instead of using stock photos, he suggested taking actual pictures of your office, products, and services being performed to use on your website.
- Marketing Collateral – Similar to your website, your other marketing collateral (sales sheets, tradeshow brochures, etc.) can also utilize real photos of your team and products.
Kyle and I discuss how people want authenticity. Having real photos (versus stock) builds trust. This makes people interested in working with you.
How should you hire a photographer?
Kyle suggested leaning on your marketing team to help select the best photographer to work with. As the keepers of the brand, they can help work with an artist who best fits their brand and marketing collateral needs. They also might have existing relationships.
In terms of vetting potential photographers, Kyle strongly suggests looking at their portfolios. Make sure it’s in line with the work you are looking for. You need to make sure your style is aligned.
He also suggests simply having conversations with each photographer you are considering. Get to know who they are. You will spend time with these people and want to enjoy the experience. Not every photographer is suitable for every company.