We’ve all seen it–smiling, nondescript men and women in headsets greeting us on pages of websites everywhere we click. These images have become so overused that they have become, dare I say, cliché.
The headset epidemic is far from the only stock photo tragedy. We’ve all seen airbrushed models giving a thumbs up, pointing at nothing, clapping for no reason, or that awkward “air handshake.” Or what about the overly-pretty executive crossing her arms in an effort to mean business? You get the idea.
The images you choose to represent your brand are incredibly important. They are your first impression. So, how do you make a great first impression? By using authentic, professional and custom photos of REAL people. Yes, stock image models are real people. But I’m talking about the true faces of the company: employees.
Using authentic photos of real employees and customers comes with many benefits.
- They humanize your brand. People want to feel connected. By using authentic photos of actual employees, the customer can relate to your brand and start to feel like they know you. It’s that sense of familiarity that results in more viewer engagement.
- It makes you relevant. High-quality authentic photos help relay your message and core values by supporting the copy of your branding and marketing materials. It makes you more credible and relevant to your potential customers.
- The images are original. No one else will have these one-of-a-kind and brand-specific images. No other business will be able to buy these images off a stock photography site, putting you ahead of your competition.
So how do you capture these authentic photos of your employees and customers? No one wants a camera shoved in their face without being warned, and you may experience pushback from camera-shy employees. Explain how important these photos are for your company’s image and give your employees a chance to prepare and absorb what is expected.
Once you have transitioned your staff into models, the next step is to figure out the shots. An authentic photo is only as good as the value it communicates. Do you need product shots? Building shots? People assisting a customer? Working in the field? Narrow down what images will best communicate what your company does and the value it creates.
Finally, schedule a time and leave the rest to the professionals. This is not a job for the camera on your smart phone. Hire a pro and you will thank me later. An experienced photographer has the know-how to make your company look good and can help your employees feel comfortable in front of the camera. Your photos will turn out authentic as well as high-quality, adding even more credibility and professionalism. Win-win!
Show how authentic and relatable your company truly is. Stand out from the rest. And just say NO to stock clichés. You won’t regret it.