This is not about your favourite photo. Nor is it about photos of great outfits worn by stylish models in a storm of flashbulbs. When we talk about a photoshoot, when we recommend doing a shoot, when we say that a professional photographer needs to be brought in, we are thinking about what makes sense for the image of your brand.
When it comes to a photoshoot, it’s all about your brand, your business, your products, and your staff. It’s not about make-up. It’s not window-dressing. It might take place in a photographic studio, but it doesn’t have to. The photoshoot is best done on site. On your company premises. Because that’s where you really are yourself. Or where you can be presented in a natural manner. For the sake of your brand.
Most brands are born from a massive sales success, an effort which forces the branding to stand out from the competition. The product is stamped with the brand. What accompanies the branding is the brand promise – and the images which portray the brand value proposition. They portray the products which have become the brand. They portray the people who stand behind the success. And they portray the people who buy the products. And this creates the brand universe.
This generates the motifs which then produce the images in the minds of our target groups. “But you can just use some stock photos.” No, you can’t. To get hold of photos like this, you need a well-planned photoshoot. To shoot such photos, you need a well-defined visual language, creative ideas, a clear strategy, and a communication concept. And you need the right photographers to make it all happen. It is only then that an image becomes “your image”.
Objectively speaking, a photoshoot always makes sense – taking into account the context, the concept, and the campaign, of course. For some, a photoshoot must take place in a studio. For others, it’s best done outside. Some make a point of doing it in a photographic studio, as this is sometimes the only way to get an outdoor effect. And some things which come across as spontaneous have actually been set up and carefully planned. The images in a photoshoot always need to be planned.
Wherever a photoshoot ends up happening, the key thing is that it happens. Whether it’s an indoor photoshoot or an outdoor photoshoot. Or both. Why? Because you will end up with something that you will be able to make use of for a long time. Because every photoshoot means you shape the way in which you are perceived. And because the rights of use mean that you will retain every possibility for being able to communicate an unmistakable impression of your brand for all media and all purposes. An effect which you would never be able to achieve with stock photography.
Adjust the lighting, focus and take the picture? Is it really that easy? Well, some photographers certainly may give that impression. They have an eye for detail, an instinct for presentation, and a knack for working with situations in which people are close to each other, communicating and working together.
Without having to determine what people wear, and without any need for styling, everything is in place, everything works, everything runs. And not just for this photo, but for all the photos in the shoot. They don’t waste a second. They don’t waste an opportunity. The arrangement of a few accessories results in a scene. A fleeting instant becomes a special moment. It’s not models who get photographed, it’s employees. The topics? Everyday life at work. Your day in the office. In the sales office. In the production area. What the themes express: Closeness. Authenticity. Honesty. Maybe passion isn’t quite right, but a passion for detail certainly is. The impressions you give, the expressions you have – unmistakable. They are not just photos, after all. They are photos of intense concentration. Shot by artists. With proper cameras. Not smartphones. And well-lit.
When we talk about photos, what we mean is “good photos”. Photos with depth. Photos with significance. As much as photos represent experiences shared with friends and family, and as much as a photo may be given and received as a gift – from your nearest and dearest, of a special “moment”, when the photo becomes an “experience” – we are compelled to make the case for another understanding of images: we need to move away from improvised snaps and towards professional photographs. It’s not about nice ideas for presents, it’s about getting information out there. It’s not about models, it’s about people. It’s not just about lighting, it’s about capturing a scene. And this is precisely what we recommend to our customers.
So, what are the photoshoots like? Essentially, they’re always the same. But the results are always incomparable. We make you an offer and, together with you, we define the themes, categories and people, and commission the photographer. These factors then determine the duration of the shoot. Usually, this ends up being one day per location. It depends on whether special moments are captured at the factory, at work, in the office or in the surrounding area. Or whether it’s portraits. Or whether it’s products. Every photoshoot has a different emphasis. Sometimes, small photographic studios are set up on the client’s premises. Seamless backdrops, light – the purpose of the shoot determines the choice of tools. At the end of the day, there will be plenty of stills on the roll, or a lot of raw files on the chip – each photo a file in itself. The final selection then goes through image processing.
A photograph is one thing. A short film clip is another. It is not unusual for us to integrate short filmed shots into the photoshoot. On your website or social media, these clips attract more attention and help to generate more leads. Usually, the team commission for the photoshoot walks through the location on the agreed date. Sometimes from department to department, sometimes around selected areas. The photographers are accompanied by our art director, who ensures that the ideas of the client and the service-provider are in harmony with one another. On strategy.
The act of taking the photographs is also a vital element. It's not just about doing photoshoots and having the photos at as many touchpoints as possible. It’s also about people hearing that a photoshoot has been happening. That alone shapes the company’s image. We carry out a lot of photoshoots at family businesses. The employees often feel that they themselves are “part of the family”. Depending on the person, depending on their position, depending on the team’s cohesion, a photoshoot is a different experience for everyone. Many consider it a privilege to be able to take part. Some want to show their faces, present themselves as beauties, or as individuals who have a degree of status. But everyone comes across as part of a team.
We often find that those who start off feeling sceptical about the photo shoot are usually delighted to have taken part in the end. If, in addition to the photoshoot, photos are also taken of the surroundings, the styling or the make-up, then these pictures become a further multiplier: An expression of the closeness, team spirit and personal commitment which binds everyone together.
Whether it's an individual, half a department or a whole team – every one of our shoots has strengthened the inner cohesion of those involved – and has a positive effect on those who weren’t able to be there. Quite apart from the fact that bits and pieces of the making-of material often appear on the company's social media, the resulting recordings often find their way into the company’s own employee magazines, or are shared amongst colleagues.
The photoshoot participants become brand ambassadors, both internally and externally. The importance of this should not be underestimated, especially when it comes to small and medium-sized enterprises in rural regions – it is precisely these family businesses which are strongly anchored in their region. They often recruit their staff from the local area. These images and photoshoots attract applicants and trainees – doing so with actions which create identity, whether within the company or as a company.
A photoshoot which covers everything? Your image? Your products? Your employer branding? Isn’t that all a bit too much? It certainly is. It’s just like taking the photograph itself – every photoshoot needs a clear focus. If you let the photographers spend a day blasting their way through your company for a reportage-style shoot, we usually end up with a lot of shots. This produces a resource which you can keep on coming back to. The large selection is just the right thing for the website, for advertisements, and brochures and many other uses. If there’s more of an emphasis on HR and employer branding, the focus is different. People and their faces take greater priority, and less emphasis is put on the job, the processes, and the actions. In such cases, it really is about make-up, styling, clothing – outfits, in fact. But if the emphasis is on the products, then photographic studios are often a better approach then an on-site photoshoot. Assuming that the products can be transported, of course.
Of course: For car manufacturers, any photoshoot which does not focus on the car itself is of secondary importance. Luxury goods and branded items must be shown and seen. However, for industrial goods, B2B communication, and technical products, manufacturers are often also best served by Computer Generated Imagery (CGI). Once the products have been vectorised as 3D files, they can be twisted and turned however you like, and in whatever way does the best job of presenting the product.
Of course, these kinds of photographs – and these kinds of photographers – have their price. Whoever you ask. But, at the end of the day, these images also have a value. Because they visualise a world in which your brand is the hero, and all those associated with it are part of the “family”.
Whether to skip the make-up or not. Whether to skip the outfits or not. Whether you’re looking for tips and tricks or not. The photoshoot, whether it’s yours, mine, or ours, needs to be well planned. Don’t worry, we’re happy to give you advice. After all, everyone appreciates good advice – but clear concepts are unbeatable. We would be pleased to provide you with more information. The main thing is that you and your brand end up being shown in the right light. Because this is what it’s all about: not just getting more attention, but getting just the right kind of attention.
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