I recently read an article that confirmed my own behaviour when checking out websites for the first time. One of the first pages visited by a prospective customer is the About Us page. The page usually contains a write up about the company and staff photos.
I've seen companies spend a great deal on website development, branding, logos, and everything related to image. Sadly, photos, especially those of its staff, are sometimes not given as much resource (time and money). Hence, the graphic below may might as well be added to that webpage. At times, photos are an afterthought. That sort of thinking is probably acceptable back in the day when the internet was basically non-existent and staff photos were only used for ID's or any other internal communication. But in today's world, every word, graphic, and yes, even photos on our website contribute or detract to the value of our brand.
The need to change the mindset towards staff photos is now starting to emerge. For decades, employees were asked by a photographer to stand in front of a blank wall, asked to smile and leave the photo session in seconds at times. It feels more like the employees are going through a mulching machine. We all know how that turned out for most of us.
I'd like to propose that our employees deserve a better treatment than that. Why? Because each one REPRESENTS our company, our work. In fact, they are the most important resource of our company. By presenting them in a professional, authentic and personable way adds value, not only to them as individuals but more importantly, to our company as well. Some of our our staff profile photos can be seen here.
Think about the elements of your webpage: the information, the logo, the colours, the lay-out and the photos. Do they communicate personality and professionalism? Do they inspire confidence in your services? More importantly, does each of your personnel look trustworthy and approachable?
An affirmative answer to these questions can be achieved through a collaboration between the company/individual and a photographer with a solid marketing background to understand the target audience of the company. The photographer who can delicately balance the personality of the staff member with their customer's expectation with his artistic interpretation has done his job as a headshot photographer. To achieve that delicate balance takes time because each person is different. However, the resource spent is a small investment compared to the impact it will have to the company's potential customer.