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Put an end to boring photos at work

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in Workplace Communication

The three types of photos to avoid in employee publications, according to Mark Ragan, CEO of Ragan Communications:

1. The “grip-and-grin” photograph, or two people shaking hands and smiling at the camera.

2. The “man on phone at his desk.” 

3. And the “execution at dawn” shot, or a row of standing employees.


According to Ragan, here’s how to improve your photos.

Take more than two shots of your subject. The “man on phone” shot arises because employees feel self-conscious in front of a camera. Keep snapping until your subject relaxes.

Capture a group’s shared trait. The “execution” shot doesn’t put a group in context. Avoid rigid poses; show what people have in common. 

Move the subject away from his or her desk and into an interesting, photogenic setting.

Try black and white. It can add substance, especially in a portrait shot.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

My 2 cents January 30, 2012 at 10:58 am

With digital cameras, there’s just no excuse for boring work photos anymore. It used to be a lot harder when you had to wait for photos from the developer and it was too late to stage a better shot.

But back when I was in charge of newsletter/annual report photos of award winners, rather than the boring “grip & grin” awards photo of two people, I tried to take, find or request photos of the award winners doing some of the work they won the award for–even if it was just a shot of that employee networking with colleagues or speaking with one of our VIP speakers, that was better than grip & grin or at the podium alone

If you must take a speaking-from-the-podium-photo, before they speak, hand them something interesting to hold up to and refer to in some part of their speech even if it’s just the announcements (one of our new publications for example) as a visual aid–snap that shot.
It they’ve been on TV for whatever won them the award (CSPAN etc) google the tape & take a photo of the screen with them being interviewed w/ the CSPAN logo ).

Sometimes you can get a good photo before they walk up to accept the award of them w/ their neighbors seated next to them clapping and them smiling humbly.

Or request a photo of them working in the community (w/ kids or whatever).

If you have to take the “team shot” of the row of standing employees, at least go outside and sit at a picnic table or near some water or a playground, outside shots are so much prettier…even the weather–whatever it is that day–is a more interesting subject than a row of faces and suits all lined up..esp if they’re all huddled under umbrellas or catching snowflakes!00

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