The use of a blog or publishing platform within a careers website is pretty common practice now. As companies start to embrace the notion of being brand storytellers it has been great to see resourcing and marketing teams working together to create really interesting content. But the increase in these ‘people stories’ means that there has also been an increase in dreadful photographs to accompany them. And I have seen some howlers.
So I thought I would just share a few tips on how to pull together good blog images for your careers website.
- A photo taken on your smartphone will be fine. After all it’s good enough for your Instagram account. Just make sure that you send it through to whoever is publishing your story that you send across the highest resolution version you can. Clue, it’s the one with the biggest file size.
- Get someone else to take it. You could send across a selfie, but it never really looks right. The angle is a little weird, one shoulder will always be higher then the other and you can see your extended arm. I am sure you have a friend or colleague who could take it. Don’t be shy.
- A selfie stick might work. But why put yourself through the effort and embarrassment? It is easier just to ask someone to help. I am sure your desk buddy can spare you ten minutes.
- Always landscape, never portrait. Ever. Full stop. Don’t argue. Move on.
- Don’t bottle it and try to substitute a holiday snap instead. Ideally the shot should be taken in the workplace. After all we are trying to showcase your working environment. And if you work outside, take it outside.
- Try to frame the shot with something interesting in the background. There doesn’t need to be any detail in the back of the shot, it is just useful to give the image a little depth and texture.
- Avoid taking the image against a plain background like a wall. It’s just dull and we can’t do anything to enhance it. A background image gives us the opportunity to sharpen the foreground and blur the background. Which gives a nice effect.
- The subject of the image doesn’t have to be staring down the lens of the camera. Sometimes it just feels a little too intense and full on. May be they can be slightly off centre and looking past the camera, to the side or concentrating on a piece of work they are doing.
- Don’t zoom in on the subject’s face. There’s no need for an extreme close up. The face is only going to be a small part of the final image. Give them a little space. Especially if the final image is going to be cropped as the designer may need that extra space to crop it sympathetically.
- Take a group photograph if it makes the subject feel more comfortable. This works particularly well if the essence of the story is teamwork, collaboration or collegiality – or if they are particularly self-conscious.
- A smile goes a long way. It would be great if the subject looks as though they are enjoying themselves at work. After all that is the image that we’re trying to portray. If all else fails, say cheese.
I know that it sounds a lot of effort for an image that is just accompanying a blog article. But bear in mind that your story archive is only going to keep growing and at some point could make up the majority of the images on your site. Set the bar high from the get go and you’ll always have good blog images for your website and also your social media feeds.