Portraying your business properly to prospective customers, investors and suppliers is a challenge that can be supported with great visual impact. A picture of your company's management team can make an impression that shows the organization in its best light. A well-planned management photo may be used on the corporate website, in advertisements and in your public relations efforts. It is best not to leave your primary management photo in the hands of an amateur. Instead, commit to making the picture a truly professional representation of your management team's character, capabilities and expertise.
Hire a professional photographer to take the management photo for best results. Hold a pre-planning meeting with the photographer to discuss the set-up for the photograph, the schedule and the type of packages he or she offers. In many cases it will be effective to do more than one formal shot and several casual shots of the the team. You may also want to have individual portraits of each management team member taken at the same time, if the photographer's package price is competitively priced.
Determine the attire you wish to have in the management photo. Consider the image you wish to portray to the public. If your company is in the legal, accounting or a similar profession, it is typically best to dress in formal business attire, including suits, ties and minimal jewelry. If yours is a construction company, on the other hand, you may ask the management team to dress in the gear they wear on site, including hard hats, if appropriate. For a more casual company or one where creativity is emphasized, more flamboyant, colorful attire may be the image you want to share with the world.
Identify the setting for your management photo. While many companies choose to have their management photo taken in a photographer's studio with a neutral backdrop, you may wish to add a little more excitement to the shot. Classic indoor locations include a gathering of managers around the company president's desk or in a setting that portrays the individuals hard at work. Outdoor shots are often taken near the company signage, with the corporate logo in the background. Another approach is to take an informal group portrait with participants engaged in casual activities at a restaurant, outdoor amusement park, or by an interesting sculpture.
Schedule the photography session several weeks in advance. All members of the team must be in the management photo for it to be an effective tool for use in your publications. Coordinate with individuals who travel as part of their job and with everyone who may have days off scheduled. Discuss a schedule contingency plan with your photographer in case any emergencies arise. If you have selected a location away from the office, such as a restaurant or public site, verify with the site's managers that the time is suitable for their own business needs.
Plan for some fun to lighten up the atmosphere during the management photo session. A happy team naturally looks better in pictures than a stressed-out team. If your company is the sort that responds to music, make sure that the sound system is set to play pleasant tunes. Turn the photography session into an event by providing a catered lunch or cocktails after the finals shots are taken.
Ask your photographer to provide a tip sheet for your managers to read about how to handle personal grooming before the photo session. This will help avoid any awkwardness and ensure that each individual in the management photo looks competent, professional and reliable.
Sources and Citations
"Group Portrait Photography Handbook", Bill Hunter, 2002