The thing with corporate photos seems simple – what else would you show in an employee magazine, if not the employees themselves and their surrounding? But if you ask about the deeper meaning of such photo reports, we give you the answer.
We have already talked about the reasons behind professional photo shoots with employees. It is worth bringing back the words of one of the internal communications directors: “Photo shoots for internal magazines are a priceless contribution to building corporate culture, supporting the emotional engagement of employees and increasing the credibility of the articles. An internal magazine should be real people, real stories and real values.”
The value of such photos in a magazine is not only about their authenticity, reflecting the character of the company and the employees, or – what seems most obvious – attracting the reader’s attention. They add quality to the materials for our customers, which will be prepared to implement their strategy. You can modify your own photos any way you want and use them in various communication channels.
What does it look like from our point of view? When preparing photos for a publication, we develop the photo shoot concept together with the customer, we arrange a photographer, provide organizing support, and immediately react to any doubts or needs. On the last stage we get to photo editing and choosing ones that will get on the magazine pages.
But we’re not talking here about stylized photo shoots inside a studio with a make-upist. This time we’ll deal with photo shooting that tells us about what is happening inside a company…
What do I shoot?
It clearly depends on the customer’s needs and communication goals. For instance, in the “Henkel Life” magazine the images regarded sustainability and the fact the one hundred thousand package of washing detergent had left the Henkel factory.
In the Opel Post magazine we use photo reports to show the production optimizing process and changes on model machines. In the “Oponowości” magazine we conduct a cyclic photo shoot with an issue protagonist, whose figure goes both on the cover and inside the magazine as the main subject. We choose an employee whose position, personality and hobby best chime with the promoted work attitude. If the employee is into sports, he or she brings their workout attire to be photographed “in action”. And so the team spirit attitude was presented by a volleyball player, while a marathon runner was an example of reaching the goal step by step.
“Oponowości” regularly present photos from the Goodyear production plant. One such visit may bring more stories than was planned… “Sometimes I go to cover three subjects, and I come back with five” says Magda Kozińska, Managing Editor, “Oponowości”. “The journalist walks through the production hall with a photographer and either they see something interesting themselves or one of the employees tells them about it: we meet a group of retired employees, or a group of employees show us a special board they have made informing about a machine breakdown in a given section. We get a mini photo report right away. Hence sometimes the final version of the magazine includes different articles than those originally planned – luckily a monthly allows for making such changes.
Knock, knock, I’ve come to take photos
When we know the subject, we arrange the right photographer and decide on the dates, which to a large extent depend on the magazine schedule. You need to be prepared to spending a whole day in a production plant. And getting in there is not always easy… Before we start our visit – not by ourselves but always with a prearranged employee of the factory – we need to meet the procedural requirements. In many cases we go through an hour-long safety training, sign the documents, and – like we did in the Opel car plant – we put on protective boots or – like in a pharmaceutical factory during s shooting for “Farmacja I Ja” – caps and protective coats.
It doesn’t get easier on the spot. It’s easy to arrange a photo shoot with one employee, but with a thousand employees in a factory things look different. We take photos without previous arrangement, during normal working hours, and – what’s most important – we cannot disturb the ongoing production process. “Whenever we can we add lighting, but sometimes it’s impossible because we take a wide shot or due to safety conditions, and we enter the less accessible spots to take photos of production: me walking around with a camera in my hand while the production is on,” says Krzysztof Rajczyk, one of our photographers. “Fortunately, employees are always nice to us and like to cooperate. It is often their merit the effects of a photo shoot are so good.