David Edwards, internationally published commercial photographer and successful brand designer, talks about the importance of image.

I remember when I was a young lad growing up my dad used to say to me “First impressions… they’ll make up their mind about you in the first 30 seconds.” It is something that has stayed with me and as a photographer I am acutely aware that image is the gateway to the person and it is important.

When I photographed a client team last year the brief was… focus on the people, bring out their strengths, they are the unsung heroes who work behind the scenes delivering brilliant events.

Your team photos are a key part of your brand identity. If you look at team photos they should all follow a theme whilst still retaining individual personalities. They should also seamlessly integrate with the overall look and feel of the branding and imagery across the website.

If you have a team you need to have everyone looking as if they are part of a cohesive group. This doesn’t mean your team need to be dressed in a uniform to look uniform, but it does mean there needs to be a strong theme running throughout. Your team is as much the store front as the product and arguably it is often the people rather than the product that makes the difference. This is what you should capture with photography.

As a business you need to create a strong brand image and personality which sets itself apart from the rest of the market and the team photos needed to be an integral part of this, particularly as they were going to form the basis of a new marketing campaign.

A word of advice though. If you commission great images you need to keep those great images up to date. People leave and join teams so you need to have a photographer that can replicate their work. Do not be tempted to just add an image taken on a smartphone and attempt to replicate the great photos you invested in. For new team members I would always recommend a holding silhouette with their name under – even “awaiting image” is a better stop gap giving you time to revisit and organise the update shoot.

Look at the Showlite website and how the theme is a continuous thread throughout. There is a major global food corporation that I consistently hold out as having the worst team photographs ever and possibly the worst website – there are smaller owner managed businesses that have better websites because they rely on their image to create their brand awareness. You can make any product or service interesting and exciting with a bit of thought.

Commission great images and give people a window onto how you do it, why you do it, who helps you do it… get the story going… because every business has a story and there is often an interesting back story. Engage your team and engage your customers… and remember everyone in the team is a hero!

David Edwards is an internationally published commercial photographer and successful brand designer. He is very approachable and always happy to discuss projects with new clients. www.image61.com