Sometimes you get a phone call from a client that really gets your creative juices flowing, and that’s exactly the kind of call I got from Peter at Optima Hair. He’s the kind of guy who knows what he wants, and how he wants his images to feel, but he’s happy to give a fellow-creative free rein to produce something different.
Staff portraits are one of those things that can end up looking very flat and boring. We’ve all seen that white background/half smile shot that basically says, “here are our staff being forced to have their pictures taken even though they really don’t want to and we’ve only give the photographer two minutes per person (our staff are really busy!) so they’re also going to look really awkward”.
It doesn’t have to be that way. The business portrait is a fantastic opportunity to show off your company brand and personality. You can go serious or crazy, corporate or grungy, hipster or anti-hipster (yeah, you try googling “opposite of hipster” and see what you get!) or anything in between.
The point is, you get to tell a story about your company on your terms. Just make sure you’re authentic. People (yes, that means everyone) can easily spot a lie. Over the years we’ve all been bombarded with imagery – from the clean-cut fake smiles of American stock photography to the cringeworthy pictures on social media – and we can spot a fake at twenty paces.
We want real, or at the very least, a polished version of real. If you say you’re a fun-loving, crazy crowd of business people when you’re not, it’s going to show all over your faces with fake smiles and uncomfortable body language (unless your staff are all top end actors).
Anyway back to the point, it’s not about being better, its about being different and memorable. Peter embraces this approach in everything he does. He runs a company that embraces people for who they are, so it was natural for him to want to show his staff in a way that demonstrated their unique personalities and creativity. As you can see, they didn’t hold back!