So what’s it like with those magazines for employees? Is a photo shoot in that case an unnecessary expense or an essential part of the publication? Is it worth investing in them or not?
New businesses are mushrooming. It’s not enough to be a provider anymore, you also need to take care of your company’s image. If you want to be seen as a professionalist, be one both outside and inside your company. We’ve discussed the first case with expert Bartek Brach. What about the latter? A well-tried communication tools within a company are magazines for employees. They support the process of corporate culture building, increase emotional engagement among employees and make them identify with the company. And there are no better company ambassadors than its employees, a fact discussed by Urszula Radzińska in her book ”Your First Customer.”

“How they see you is how they perceive you” – an old Polish saying goes. Let’s see if it’s true. Take a look at the two pictures below:

 

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The first image from the top is an amateur photo taken with a smartphone, the second one – taken by a professional with a pro camera. Which one do you like more? I bet you agree the second image looks better. Meanwhile, the two photographs show that very same dish, were taken in the same place and on the same table (let me add the table is not covered with a tablecloth, but let it be my secret with what exactly 😉 ). The difference is in different framing and a different idea of how to make the picture look attractive. When a photo is poor it won’t keep the reader’s attention on the page. A magazine with good quality pictures allows to better present real people, real stories and real values.

“Professional photos in an internal magazine can have two functions: they provide prestige – because they are more polished and better-thought, and educative – because they can point to the right attitude to photography, they can give a hint to what we should pay attention to,” says Jacek Piotrowski, photographer, juror at the Power of Content Marketing Awards.

What will the sensitive photographer’s eye pay attention to?

Frame

Amateur photography usually focuses on the first ground. A photographer has a wider perspective, can see the details in the foreground that could ruin the esthetics of the picture. Taking that into consideration, the photographer chooses the right angle and height of the camera and the perspective. “It’s crucial that the picture is not stiff with people posing in it, but that it shows people in their natural working environment. A professional photographer can frame the picture so that it hides all the beauty issues and thus invites employees to feel better about being shown in a magazine,” adds editor Magda Kozińska.

Many clients believe in the miraculous properties of Photoshop. But you must remember that a graphic designing program won’t make up for everything, and sometimes the result can look phony.

Concept

“The most painful thing when I look at the projects sent for the Power of Content Marketing competition is the impossibility to talk things over. With a photographer you can discuss many more aspects, becaue it’s his job to achieve an intended effect that is repetitive. You can’t expect anything like that from amateurs simply because they aren’t professionals,” says Jacek Piotrowski and adds: “A photographer knows which picture meets 90 percent of the criteria and can achieve the intended effect more easily. Besides, he can also make the first selection and eliminate the weakest images.”

Jacek emphasizes that an amateur is also able to take a good photo, but more as a result of luck or coincidence.

The concept is particularly important when photographing several people, because a group is more difficult to manage and to be presented in an interesting way. For this reason professionals sometimes prefer to have a stylized photo shoot, which brings original effects and is an additional advantage for employees, giving them exceptional impressions and extraordinary memories.

Purpose (coherence)

Much can be read between the lines in photographs, e.g. whether the company looks after its employees, cares about the quality of message and communication, whether it provides good working conditions. If you photograph, for instance, a HR employee, but you take the picture with inadequate lighting, you may make the person look grim and intimidating instead of friendly and emphathically. “Sometimes pictures don’t fit the message, and they’re not there as decoration but are an integral element of the message. I had this problem once when an employee sent me a picture of himself lying in a lawn chair, with a cocktail in his hand and legs spread apart to illustrate an article about a business trip. Despite my intervention and telling him that the picture was inadequate he insisted that it should be used. After you see a picture like that the conclusion is obvious: the employees are having fun on the company’s cost. It doesn’t matter if they were brainstorming, improving the project or discussing the company’s development – they have been labelled,” says editor  Iwona Derda.

Emotions

A photograph which evokes emotions is the one that draws attention and will be remembered, so it’s good when in addition to good technical parameters the picture has some depth. “A big stir has been caused recently by the photograph of a Syrian child all covered with dirt and blood, sitting in a sterile room. I surely would want to read an article with a photograph like that. And it’s not only about the fact the child was covered with blood – its value lies in the contrast between the child and the surrounding sterility. This is something that television can’t do. In a moving picture we can miss a lot of details and the intriguing effect wouldn’t be that powerful. Photography allows you to focus on details and makes you pay attention for longer,” summarizes Jacek Piotrowski.