Creating a bespoke business image library
Whether designing a website or preparing a branded image for a LinkedIn news post, whatever we seem to do, our work has a constant hunger for good photography. Inevitably perhaps, I’ve always had a point of view on the shots we are given to work with. In a nutshell this is: for a brand, consistency of quality and visual style wins. The rather wonderful thing is that these days, I get to have a say in how that part of the process works. In the last few years, in a rather subtle way, working with a client in the process of creating a bespoke business image library has increasingly become central to my work.
Back at the start of my career working at Conran Design Group, I was lucky enough to be given the chance to direct my first photo shoot. Admittedly it wasn’t particularly high-risk to chance upon a rookie: we were working on a new catalogue for Ideal Standard and they needed a set of shower trays and shower doors photographed. Bathroom accessories are actually trickier to shoot than they sound given the polished stainless steel has a frustrating tendency to reflect not only camera lenses but photographers and art directors too. But the project was a success and it’s been the first of many.
With several projects of this kind underway now, I thought it might be interesting to reflect on a set of recent pieces of work where we created an image library for a client, from scratch…
Fraser Giles Partnership
Our work for high-level executive search business Fraser Giles Partnership began when they approached me to consider a light re-work of their identity and a new website. It quickly became clear that while they had fantastic copy and headshots of the staff, the company had a desperate need for new visual resources. Keen to stand apart in a crowded marketplace, we pitched the idea of a couple of shoots. We envisaged a twin usefulness – the images would give us material to work with on the website and mean they had a stack of imagery for their regular bids and presentations.
Given Fraser Giles Partnership are based in Sloane Square and work to a large extent with hospitality or retail clients, we decided to initially shoot the historic built environment and elegant retail spaces of Pimlico and South Kensington. On this project I worked with specialist architectural photographer Alistair Nicholls and the library we created together has a clean, open feel that uses wide shots of exteriors. We then went further, shooting the new pedestrian areas around Victoria and classic railway arches and hotel interiors at St Pancras. The result is a strong, wide-ranging, distinctive library that looks fantastic on their website.
A selection of our work creating a bespoke business image library for Fraser Giles Partnership
One of our longest-standing clients, the work we’ve completed for Cavendish Care has included photography since the very beginning. Taking photos of people who are learning disabled can be challenging and requires sensitivity and constant supervision from the local teams. Rather touchingly, photographer Andy and I have now completed so many shoots for the company that we’ve got to know many of the regulars, whether in their homes, the activity centre that Cavendish launched in 2018 or on group days out.
As it stands, the library comprises hundreds of images of staff at work, headshot portraits, training sessions and feature shots of the houses Cavendish Care own where the people in their care live. This has been an exhaustive and satisfying process. Throughout it all, over ten years, we’ve worked solely with Essex-based photographer Andy Rose who has done an incredible job. The results of this fantastic and deeply rewarding collaboration is now used across two huge websites and regularly appears in advertising, online and recruitment drives.
A selection of our work creating a bespoke business image library for Cavendish Care
Freedman + Hilmi
Some seven or eight years ago, we completed our first shoot for central London legal practice Freedman’s Law. The team handle all or any matters pertaining to commercial real estate and that’s often included large retail spaces. Capturing these buildings isn’t always straightforward. Some aren’t all that interesting architecturally and some fall within brief because they’ve changed hands rather than been built from scratch. Working once again with Alistair Nicholls, sometimes this means just accepting what is in front of me and ‘shooting it straight’, other times I’ve stretched my imagination to its limits proposing an interesting angle or quirky corner to capture.
Throughout all this, I’ve also taken headshots of the team myself. This enjoyable piece of work found me at a new office space the firm had moved to upon their merger. Newly named as Freedman + Hilmi, I took a pleasing fresh set of (black and white) images of the team in their new surroundings in an eighth-floor space filled with light. It’s actually a particularly good contrast with the architectural shots. While completely different photographic disciplines, both are valid in their own way within their respective sections.
A selection of our work creating a bespoke business image library for Freedman+Hilmi
Are you interested in creating a bespoke business image library for your company?
We’re currently working on a series of photographic briefs and interested in hearing from clients old and new to discuss these projects, working with great photographers, to build libraries for internal use, websites or social media.