Love your squad: easy tips to get better staff photos

The Timely Onboarding Team caught mid-laugh: tips for taking better staff photos
Dave Strydom
Dave Strydom
Design at Timely
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Lovely photos of your team is a wonderful way to introduce them to new customers; it can also mean the difference between that person choosing you or one of your competitors. So I’ve put together a few easy tips on taking photos that will help you present your team well.

Let’s face it; we take a lot of pics with our phones. But that doesn’t mean we’re always able to execute to the same professional standard we want to set for our businesses.

Not to worry! I’ve put together a few tips to help you take charge of the process and start taking better staff photos. Whether you take these photos yourself or employ a professional, it’s important to know why you’re doing it and what you’re after. Let’s start with why:

  • Putting a face to the name: staff photography is a wonderful way to introduce your team to potential clients, so your people are familiar and it’s easier to connect with them.
  • Building trust: clients are more comfortable in knowing who they are working with. Showing that there are real humans behind the website and the organization goes a very long way to establishing trust.
  • Tells the world what’s important to you: Show your staff you are proud of them, it’ll make them feel valued and tell the world that you value your staff.
  • Start off on a friendly note: a new customer who has already seen a familiar face is far more likely to come with a friendly approach and less inclined to be cold or rude.
  • Stand out from the competition: a well presented team can mean the difference between a new client choosing you or one of your competitors.

Your business is all about people: staff and customers. So it makes sense to build a connection between them. Consistency is key to ensure you’re adding to your brand, so let’s take a quick look at how to add consistency into your staff photography.

Tips for taking good team photos

Look for natural light

Make the most of what you have. The minimum you need is one key light source. Luckily for us, the best one is free: the sun. If you get good sunlight through one window, shoot with that source behind you. You don’t want it to shine directly on the person or create hard shadows on their face. Instead, have it fill the spot with ambient light.

Clear the room

There’s nothing more terrifying than having to pose for a professional photo in a crowded room with others commenting and staring. Choosing an empty room or a non-crowded spot will help your model feel comfortable and relaxed. Also, it will mean you can guide them through the shoot with ease and no distractions.

Give your model space and choose a clear spot

Use the same spot

Choose a nice clear space with a background that’s not too busy. A white or neutral wall with no light switches or painting in the background works well. If this spot works for you, don’t change it for each person. Consistency is a great thing!

Professional photographers do this well: they carry a mobile screen with them to ensure their background stays the same.

Don’t overdo the pose

Some people are great at posing for photos, and some…aren’t. You probably don’t want Facebook style selfies as the first thing a new customer sees. Instead keep it simple: face the camera straight on or stand at 33 degrees – always looking at the camera. Try resting their hands on their hips, or popping their hands in the pockets with their thumbs sticking out.

Watch their posture

Good posture is my most valuable instruction in photographs, just like it is in real life. Even a grumpy face will look good with nice straight posture. It conveys confidence and poise — and your clients want to have confidence in your staff! If your person is struggling to get straight, ask them to put their feet together and take a few big, deep breaths.

Check your posture and don't forget to smile

Don’t forget to smile

Not everyone will feel natural in front of camera, but you can help them  relax. The aim should be to capture a real moment, and a natural smile.

Try to break the formality with a joke. One trick I use with our team is to ask for a grumpy face. It’s a distraction, that usually ends with everybody laughing. From this moment, I can capture a natural and relaxed smile because they’re not thinking about smiling – they just are.

Don’t forget!

Having better staff photos isn’t about spending money on a professional or purchasing a big camera – although those things will help! The reality is the camera on your iPhone or iPad is going to do the job with pixels to spare.

What it is about is recognising and showing appreciation for your team. In the service industry, they’re your most valuable asset and the point of connection for your clients. With these simple tips you can improve your team snaps and show your people they are loved and supported.

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