Trust and connection
The power of photography has to do with ‘feeling’ and psychology rather than science, so bear with us. Photos can elicit trust and a sense of connection. Whether you’re trying to attract new (client) relations or to keep current ones alive, connection and trust matter. In times like these when it’s not easy to find and retain employees, it’s important that possible candidates know who you are as a company, and as a team.
Make sure your website tells them your story. Your applicants, when asked, will admit that they ‘felt like they knew you already’, especially if they identify with the style or vibe that your pictures are oozing. In other words: they trust that you actually exist, and that it might be as fun or as interesting to work with you as you indicated in your job posting. Moreover, they’ll connect with you fairly easily from the start.
The same goes for ‘corporate’ photography. Are you putting cases on your website about the latest projects you’ve been working on? Excellent, but don’t forget to attach consistently visually attractive and relevant images to the posts. That way, people can see what you’ve accomplished and that you’re currently active: yet another reason why they would trust you as a partner or possible employer. Have you been proclaiming to be cutting-edge? Be sure to put visuals on display of the innovative technologies or products you’re working on. Amaze those visitors!
One of the most crucial elements, though, is authenticity. Don’t post pictures of your team going out for a crazy adventure if, in fact, you rarely go out at all. Don’t showcase products you’re not that proud of or that don’t look the same way ‘in real life’ as they do on screen. If there’s one thing people can’t stand, and rightly so, it’s being hoodwinked. It's better to be an honest company that shows colleagues enjoying a beer together after hours and having fun, if that’s what you usually do. Or exhibit a product that's still in the process of being finished but looks awesome already!
Stock vs authenticity
Let’s continue down the path of authenticity. Don’t get us wrong, we understand that photography doesn’t come cheap. There’s the photographer who has to be paid, as well as the pictures they take and – often forgotten – their editing process. For example, if your company exudes a dreamy atmosphere, the photographer will probably make sure that photos are edited to look soft. The corners might be smoothed, and so on. You get the picture...
Specifically for start-ups, we completely understand that the budget simply doesn’t allow for authentic images. Not to worry, there are online databases with superb stock photos in abundance. However, it’s still important that you don’t lose sight of your brand. If you’re going for a swanky style with an exclusive feel, look for pictures with golden elements, people who are dressed up in suit and tie … Material that presents a more premium style, so to speak. Keep in mind that you’ll have to switch to authentic imaging at some point, if you want to stay credible. There aren’t many people who trust sites where you can’t find a single real image. Do you?
Another good reason to opt for stock images or illustrations as opposed to photography, is practicality. If you’re a Belgian-based company, for instance, whilst (some of) your team members work abroad, it’s hardly possible to get a nice shot of you all, working together merrily. That’s where you can get creative with stock images or with animations, illustrations and so on. There are possibilities aplenty to appear original and trustworthy.
Interested to know more about the difference between, and value of, stock and authentic photos? Let’s have a listen to our Art Director, Gauvain Debisschop: Unmute You | Dag van de fotografie