Hicks

Staff Photos

This afternoon, I put out a question to the twitterverse:

does anyone know of any good examples of ‘staff photos’ done right? Not cheesy or trying too hard?

I’ve been wanting to add photos of Leigh and I to the About pages for a while now, but haven’t found the right approach. Clients like to see a photo of who they might want to hire, especially so on the internet, where you may never meet face to face.

A part of me has always wanted to follow in the footsteps of Big Top Design’s glorious Christmas cards:

Big Top Design 2001

It’s very hard to pitch comedy right, but they manage it. I’m not sure we could pull of it off though, so I’ve been looking for ideas. I got a great response from the twitterverse, with suggestions ranged from the inventive but slightly sinister Booreiland, to the pixelly Glue, vectory Airside or cut-outy Poke. Other good ones were Happy Cog and the NYTimes design team

I won’t be linking to the bad ones though, but here are the main reasons that I felt they didn’t work:

  • Inconsistent. Some photos were high quality studio pieces, while some people had dodgy cameraphone pictures taken at a party.
  • Mood. Cheesy smiles are preferable to moody ‘Joshua Tree Cover’ style sullenness. Natural, warm and friendly are preferable to “Hey! I’m a frickin’ model!” poses. Although I guess all of these are preferable to looking bored or indifferent!
  • Pictures of you when you were 3 may win the cute vote with some people, but clients like to see what you look like now.
  • Also, it’s not a hard and fast rule, but I found it helped when the subjects were looking at you, as it felt like they were interested. Carsonified manage to be an exception though – perhaps because they mix it with some looking straight on?

Overall, my favourite has been Playgroup:

Playgroup staff photos

It’s warm and friendly. The style is consistent, and where a photo doesn’t exist yet, they’ve used a silhouette, rather than than hastily cut out goofy image. Above all, it’s not trying too hard. These are people that you feel you could talk to, and work with.

Got any more suggestions? Leave a comment!