ramsac are an IT business which means that their product is in people and their skills. There is no ‘item’ to box, wrap and deliver; no physical object to sell. But that doesn’t make their product any less viable for good photography.
It is commonplace to see stock photography used across all businesses but more so perhaps in the service industries. There is absolutely no need for this, not at all. The work I have recently done for ramsac illustrates perfectly how commissioning your own photos can tell your story in your own pictures. It usually starts with headshots of senior staff, but then leads on to branding portraits and general photography showcasing the offices and people.
ramsac already thought the same way as me; their website was already populated with photos from around their office with ramsac people, what they wanted was a refresh and update coupled with a new consistent look, including a set of new senior staff headshots.
I spent most of a day with ramsac and we followed the path of capturing those headshots first. Headshots are hugely important, they are essentially your first introduction to a new client. They want to be lit well and consistent. How many websites hold profile photos of people which are all over the place? ramsac now have these portraits on their website (ramsac Leadership Profiles) and they create a strong brand image. The rest of the time was spent creating branding portraits and storyboard narrative images.
In my opinion you should only showcase profile photos if they have been properly thought out and shot well. You should establish a consistent quality and style and stick with it; never inject a new staff member with a photo not in line with the rest. Getting them done professionally is the best way to go, but if you really want to do them yourself at least make them consistent.
If your photos are different styles, with some professionally shot and some grabbed with a camera phone for example, you are diluting your message. Have a look at their profile page (ramsac profiles) and see if you agree with me.
Having done the ‘profile’ photos I moved on to creating a selection of character branding images of the Directors. These can take many forms but essentially it’s a portrait in an environment which gives more information. It all depends on what you do, your budget, time available as to how exotic they can get!
Team photos can take on all sorts of guises but it’s a good idea to avoid the school photo look!
Now the next part is the meaty bit! This is where I believe companies don’t always see the rich crop of images they have and it demonstrates why you don’t need stock photos. Also, and this is really really important, this is where you as individuals, teams and businesses can convey to your clients and customers who you are; this is where you can visually shout out ‘this is US, come and do business with US’
Also, when working to create a portfolio of photos it’s good to know the end use. Sometimes photos are created for future, unknown use but where there is a specific need we can work to find the appropriate shots. In ramsac’s case they wanted ratios to fit a slider on their website; so I shot with that in mind.
Whatever you do, whether you’re a sole trader or part of a large company, your photos form part of the language you use to speak with your clients and customers. You might spend time and money on you website, your branding, your brochures and leaflets and give great thought to how you present to customers.
So don’t ignore the photos surrounding you all the time!
Have a took at ramsac’s website www.ramsac.com to see loads of my photos populating the pages and conveying them, to you.