Annual report photography – briefing the photographer

You’re putting a brief together for the photographer who’s going to be shooting the images for your annual report. But with an infinite number of possibilities, what should you ask for?

Briefing Your Corporate Photographer

I’d answer that question in two stages:

1. What’s the real purpose of your annual report photography?
Of course, there are literal shots. In a section about how you’ve expanded the estate, it would be odd not to have an image of the new store or distribution centre. In the section on your commitment to the environment, it’s entirely natural to cover that enormous wind turbine you’ve just had installed. And in an introduction by the CEO, you really do need an up to date portrait of the CEO.

CEO Corporate Portrait Photo

But annual report photography has a purpose beyond simply illustrating the words on the page. It should capture the business in a sort of ‘state of the nation’-type way. Whether the climate is one of facing tough challenges, rapid growth, technical innovation or celebrating success, your imagery can help carry that message across the document, making the annual report feel like a cohesive part of the business strategy, rather than simply a bookend to it.

2. How do you bring what you do to life?
For some organisations, it’s not difficult to find the drama in an image. Utility, power and chemical companies typically have a wealth of towers, silos, pipes and machinery that make for dramatic, and frequently sci-fi-like shots. In every manufacturing business there’ll be a process that’s a bit of an eye opener – from the flying sparks of a welding process to the chocolate coating stage of food production.

But what do you do when your business is spreadsheets and graphs, exchange rates and investments – or something equally (on the face of it) non-photogenic? For me, it’s a matter of capturing the difference you make. Of showing the impact of what you do on the customers whose lives you touch.

Corporate Team Working on Drawing Plans

That can be a little trickier logistically than simply shooting your team at your premises, but it can really help give the annual report – and the rest of the year’s corporate imagery – some real world relevance.

Let’s talk about your annual report photography.

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