Visual stories have the ability to move, mobilise and motivate, which is why photography services continue to be such powerful tools for businesses and organisations. Whether it is for training, change management, stakeholder engagement or internal communications, I have spent the past 25+ years creating stories for global brands, charities and the public sector.
In a time-poor world with multiple channels competing for our attention, photography and its creative application, remains an increasingly vital part of any communication strategy. My clients usually need to educate, inform, influence, or celebrate their work. They choose me because I understand their objectives, I can propose the right solution, and I can deliver what they need within their budget.
The work that I do falls broadly into three categories: Documentary Photography, Photo-Stories or Photo Essays, and content for in-house Image Libraries or Media Assets. See below for more information.
Since the advent of photography businesses and organisations have documented their progress, capturing innovations, growth, people, customers and their impact on society. Today many companies such as Cadbury, John Lewis and Diageo have archives that are rich with visual stories going back to the 19th century. What was once a celebration of a moment in time is now a historical reference that continues to inform and inspire 150 years later.
A key driver for these types of projects is often a desire to bring a story to an audience where it would be impractical to take to the audience to the story.
A business documentary project might require 10 shots or 200, that can be used across multiple communication channels with clearly defined objectives.
Projects cover a wide range of subjects and include everything from opening a new facility, to following a manufacturing process, to bringing alive sustainability initiatives, to the day in the life of a workplace environment.
Whereas documentary photography captures real events in real-time where they happen, photo-stories are carefully crafted productions.
Photo-stories, or storyboards, are often used for the purposes of training, micro learning and communications.
The story will be scripted and agreed on paper before shooting. The shoot itself might require the use of a studio or another appropriate location the affords the control needed to deliver against the script.
The production will almost certainly require the use of lighting, props and maybe even costumes.
Photo-stories will sometimes feature models/actors although many are created with employees/volunteers because modelling for a stills camera is easier and less daunting than acting for video – and it may be important to feature people that add credibility to the story.
Photo-stories are often distributed as printed/digital articles, slide shows, wall prints or video files.
In 2021 the stock image market was worth $4.7bn and yet many of my clients can’t find images that fit with their brand identities or speak to their values.
For these reasons many are building their own image libraries, which not only ensures they have the images they want, it also means that employees across the organisation can use those images with confidence.
Tailored to individual organisational needs, and for long-term use across digital and print channels, building an image library is usually an on-going project with several shoots a year. Each shoot focuses on different aspects of the organisation such as, portraits of personnel, interior and exterior shots of a facility, the details of a particular work stream, or the people and work of a department.
Building your own library of images, that can be held centrally for everyone to use, not only ensures your organisation is presented consistently on-brand, it also saves significant time and cost of searching and purchasing generic stock images that are a compromise.
Anything is possible with the right amount of time and budget. However, the reality is there will always be a deadline and a limited budget. So, it all starts with a brief, from which I can propose ideas and costings.
I’ll want to understand your objectives. What do you want to achieve? Why? How will you measure success? I’ll need to know what ideas you already have and if there are brand or style guidelines that need to be adhered to.
There are three phases to every project:
The time required at each phase depends on the overall project.
The creative process works best if we collaborate. That way I can be sure that I’m giving you what you want, you can be sure that you are getting the best value, and we can both be sure to meet your objectives. If you have a project in mind, or just want to see more examples of my work, then please get in touch.