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An awesome picture says a thousand words… and then some!

Tech has never been more accessible, opening up new opportunities and helping employees discover and unleash new skills. As employers increasingly tap into that readily available technology and growing skills base, they’re finding a treasure trove of opportunities right on their doorsteps… and beyond.

We’re talking more and more with our clients about user-generated content, and how it can help boost engagement and two-way communication with their channels by enabling and empowering colleagues to be part of the story. Selfies, photobooths and snaps from special events are commonplace in plenty of ESNs, workplace apps and print channels, and that’s definitely here to stay. It’s a great way to involve employees and showcase their talents.

What this doesn’t mean, however, is that you can delete the phone number of your regular photographer. Photography is an art form in itself, and while iPhone photos can almost certainly be used as a form of expression with pretty neat results, what they can’t replace is the years of skills and tradecraft that comes with a seasoned professional. You’re not just paying for their high-end cameras, you’re paying for their creativity, focus, passion and experience. And you’re paying for a millions words in one killer shot.

The March edition of Anglian Water News is a fantastic example of how great, professional photography can help grab attention and tell a story. The sheer size and scale of the project, and the pride the company and the teams involved is clear to see – with less than 20 words on the cover. So, if you’re paying for a professional designer or filmmaker, why not go for a professional photographer too? Given a proper brief and a clear objective, you can achieve some incredible results, which drive a story and the messages behind it through great design.

There’s a balance to be had, clearly, and although there’s an upfront cost involved, they don’t have to cost the earth and professional photography can be a powerful tool for storytelling. Investment in internal channels comes in many forms. Show, very clearly, that you invest in your channels, and you’re showing your people you’re investing in them.

We love how this moment was captured, the composition and how the photographer was able to aid our vision for the design of the cover. User-generated content definitely brings something to the table but it needs to be used appropriately, leaving space for the right moments to be brought to life in the best possible way.