Looks that bring in business
Having decided a professional business needs a website with professional imagery, your next step is to choose a photographic style that suits you. If your brand is about you, you will be looking for a range of profile and ‘at work’ shots that reflect your personality in business – your personal brand. If you work with a larger team, you will be focusing on the business brand in a broader sense, and what type of images fit with your core brand messages and target market.
Because pretty much all businesses have to do with people, I will focus on some photographic style choices that work for portraits and ‘people at work’ shots.
Style choice 1: ‘Connected corporate’
Most of our clients work in professional services and need to work within the expectations of a corporate image. Having said that, corporate doesn’t have to be cold or boring. These days, businesses want images that make them look highly professional and competent, while appearing warm and connected to their client. They want to appear ‘human’ and approachable, and still look polished.
This is about natural, relaxed photographs of people dressed impeccably, taken within a real work environment (not in the studio). It’s about casual poses with attention to the details.
For shots of people at work, setting up a meeting scenario where people can sit and talk naturally – with a little direction from the photographer – will achieve that professional but engaging, human feel.
Style choice 2: ‘Lifestyle’
Stepping away from the corporate look, about 40% of our clients want to look professional but at the same time, appear casual or more ‘themselves.’ This can be achieved in a number of ways.
For some, it’s images of them at work in their home office. Many will opt for a natural setting – the beach or the bush, for example – that feels like ‘home’ to them. Sometimes it’s about infusing the energy of a busy city street or café strip, or finding a quirky or surprising location that offers a contrast to what they do – perhaps choosing an arty alleyway or some cool décor in a bar.
Clothing shifts to more casual or quirky looks, according to the individual’s sense of style. For relaxed professional looks, jeans, collared shirts (sans tie) or tshirts and weekend jackets work well, as do belted dresses and statement jewellery.
These choices may be determined by the individual’s favourite pastimes, colours, or places where they feel good hanging out, and it’s usually about expressing their personal brand.
Style choice 3: ‘Cinematic’
Taking it a step up, the cinematic look is about injecting a little bit of drama and turning up the glamour. If your brand is about being a ‘rockstar’ in your field, this one’s for you.
Popular with business and life coaches, speakers and authors, this style of photography is designed to express your best self and your audience’s ideal. It’s about drawing them in, inspiring them with your own success, and building a following.
Great choices for this type of shoot include a high-impact or glamorous setting such as a hotel, bar or even the beach. Often there’s some extra lighting involved to get you looking like you’ve been pulled from the silver screen. There are almost always some killer outfits involved, and for the ladies, some serious makeup and polished hairstyles.
For this sort of photography, it’s really important to psych yourself up for a confident shoot. Your photographer should be carefully chosen as one that helps you relax and sets it up so you are really having fun – this will translate into bang-on images that ooze positivity and success.
Clarity before clicking the camera: Getting those money shots
Before you set up the photo shoot, you must be clear on the message you are going for, and who you are appealing to. If you haven’t worked out the finer points of your personal brand, or you haven’t recently reviewed your company brand messages, this is where you need to start. Get clear, and work with a professional at every stage, to get the results that bring in more revenue for your business.