Updated: Sep 22, 2022
Photography is, in essence, a form of documentation. Images help to tell the story of where you’ve been, where you are now, and who supports your mission. It can even be used to convey your organization’s values. Of course, the internet is saturated with plenty of resources to convey these same concepts. Stock photos and videos are an excellent tool when iPhone photos aren’t cutting it. So why hire a photographer at all?
In truth, the average person can tell the difference between stock photos and actual content. Stock content is extremely polished, has a very corporate feel, and is distinctly generic enough to be used in a multitude of ways. When hiring a photographer to take pictures for your company, you may have specific needs you want addressed. For instance, maybe you need particular people to be photographed, or you need staged content that actually reflects what you do. All of these things can help your content to feel less generic and more legitimate. But what kind of content do you actually need? Read on for the types of photography content you can use to build your brand.
1. Employee Headshots
Professional headshots, as the name implies, establishes a level of professionalism for your staff. Professional headshots don’t always have to live on a website; they can go in employee signatures, be repurposed for social media, or they can be used in presentations. Your staff will certainly appreciate the gesture, as an updated professional photo is an invaluable tool to personalize and humanize digital interactions. Headshots can be indoors, with studio lighting and a backdrop, or they can be shot with a relevant natural background.
2. Product Photography
Photographing products is an essential part of any organization. In short, and perhaps most obviously, this lets your audience know what you do as a company. Keep in mind, product photography is not only for the physical things you can offer. Even if it’s a service and not an actual physical product, you can still display images that demonstrate the general concept of your service. Showing things like your employees interacting with clients, providing great service, at events, or employees performing “on-the-ground” tasks gives a sense of legitimacy. Images can also be the most effective way to demonstrate a more complicated concept or idea.
3. Event Photography
Photographing your product or service at work, or showcasing your organization within your community, breathes life into your existing content. This type of photography is typically candid, with the exception of a few posed group shots. A formal corporate dinner, a charity event, or a fundraising opportunity is an incredible time to show what headshot photos and product photos simply can’t. Event photography can be especially useful when hiring prospective candidates: this is an invaluable opportunity to showcase company culture! In addition, this type of content is the easiest to repurpose for presentations, social media, and stakeholders since it produces images that are the most natural and unique to your organization.
4. Behind the Scenes
BTS, or behind-the-scenes photography content is a much-overlooked but valuable tool. After many years of working hard towards your mission, sometimes all anyone sees is the shiny end result. Documenting the process behind your organization’s endeavors is not only useful in recounting your company’s history, it can (once again) be repurposed for content on your website, blog, or social media. Many artists and nonprofits use BTS photography to capture the attention of their audience: it is a raw, intimate, perhaps even unpolished look at the hard work that goes into your product or service, drawing a closer connection with your stakeholders.
Whether you’re building your brand from the ground up or refreshing existing content, having photo content that is specific to your organization that is both recent and relevant can be a game changer. These would be images that belong to no one else but your organization!
When used effectively, these photos should serve as a tool to tell the story of your organization: it makes you memorable, it makes a good first impression, and it creates alignment within your brand. A strong, robust archive of these four types of photography plus a photographer who is committed to helping you achieve cohesiveness is an investment that pays for itself many times over.