Line & Length

Picture this

Let your photos do the talking

If a picture tells a thousand words, why is that I can only think of one when I look at corporate shots of important people working on important things for the betterment of allegedly less important people? (Ed. better curb your inner communist, ya hippy!)

Boring!

Here’s another question – why are paparazzi photos so much more compelling than other pictures: selfies, portraits, office interiors, subtly lit but ultimately provocative promotional stills of foreign films like… (Ed. two strikes already, Train. On record pace).  Ahem, I will tell you why.  Because paparazzi shots are more like real life.  In short, they show real people doing what real people do when they are unaware of the voyeur-for-hire’s long lens nosing its way into their private lives.  These shots are worth literally billions of Italian lira or quite possibly thousands in more reputable currency.

When you trade in the currency of modern outlooks, forward thinking and fresh ideas, why would your company website, prospectus or annual report feature images and stiff poses torn straight from the pages of a 1950s high school yearbook? Why?

“Wait a second there, fella, (suddenly I have adopted an old-timer pioneer voice from the gold mines as seen in “Paint Your wagon”.  Paint your Wagon, where you’ll be treated to harrowing scenes of all-time tough guy, Clint Eastwood crooning with a melancholy and tremulous timbre as he traipses around a forest singing, “I talk to the trees…”) we have a modern take on corporate photography.  Our photos  display staff smiling at the camera with genuine warmth, sometimes shaking hands or holding up product for all to see.”

Cough…

Shifting uncomfortably in our seats…

The silence is deafening…

Wow, this is awkward…

I know, let’s throw some dos and don’ts out there.  Just three each to get us started.

By the way, we recently decided to practice what we preach in the area of corporate photography and had our very talented photographer Fiona Stace stop by the L&L office.

Do:

  • Write a short brief outlining what you want the captured images from the sessions to do, say, make people think.  Jot down some points and let your photographer know that these aren’t school photos but a reflection of the character of your business.

  • be lively, move around, do what you usually do.  Fiona says, if I wanted to shoot victims at crime scenes I would be doing that so please show some interest and let me see who you really are and what you do.

  • Have fun and may be bring a change of clothes.  The photographer is there you may as well use this opportunity to get some shots of you in smart casual mode, business casual, casual-casual… (we only do casual here at Line & Length), corporate casual, shop front casual, gym casual, the possibilities are endless.

Do not:

  • Stare dementedly into the camera.  You’ll look like the moorings have come lose and you’ve been set adrift if you take my meaning.

  • Arrange yourself in a uniform way typical of um...typical group photos.

  • Over-choreograph.  Trying to capture an action shot or worse, a moment of levity by saying, “okay, you stand there like you’re having fun, Jeff you stand there and pretend something’s really funny. Perfect. Okay, hold that pose and I’ll go and get the cream pie.”  It never works.  Never.  Go for something natural, have a few laughs and let the genius with the camera work their magic.

At the end of the day I think I speak for all Sydney-based Jamaicans working for Line & Length when I say, “Let your pictures do the talking and leave the frozen grimaces and awkward posturing to the modern art in your lobby.”

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