Highlighting Your Team’s Personality Online with Professional Headshots

Let’s face it — there’s nothing worse than a bland, soulless headshot. For a headshot to be successful, it should be memorable. And to be memorable, it needs to be filled with personality. At Morton Visuals, we believe that every single headshot should show a little of the subject’s personality. Here is a little inside look at how we infuse personality in professional headshots.

glamorous headshot

Personality in Professional Headshots: Tips and Tricks

Movement is Dynamic

Instead of having you sit in a frozen, unnatural position, we try to allow for some natural movement. This will help you to relax a bit and be yourself. Soon enough, some of your personality should trickle back into the photos. We usually have you standing, and may ask you to walk, turn, or even move your head. (Count on that last one!)

Read the Body Language

business headshot

Body language is always a good indicator of how comfortable someone feels. However, if someone gets really comfortable, they’ll probably be slouching. So our directions may feel a bit unnatural, but trust us — it will look much better.

Make You Laugh

headshot with lots of personality

The camera picks up emotion better than most people. In order to make your photos look genuine, we try to make sure that the emotion is also genuine. Simply asking you to smile won’t do the trick. Instead we’ll entertain you with jokes from only the smartest first-graders!

Highlight You in Your Environment

Executive portrait of Nancy Grab for Five Star Professionals' feature

Nothing kills personality like a boring blue backdrop. While you may prefer this style for your team’s headshots, consider taking the headshots in a more natural location. We can bring a mobile photo studio to your location, complete with studio lighting and backdrops. But you can even set up the photos within the context of the office to create a scene that is true to life, and better establish your team and what they do.

Want to Nail Personality in Professional Headshots? Discover Morton Visuals

Ready to take some headshots of your team that are bursting with memorable personality? Find out more about how Morton Visuals can help.

Video for Business: What Kinds Can You Use?

In Part 1 we discussed the increasing prevalence of video in business marketing. Google loves it, and rewards it, so it stands to reason that if you want to promote your business online then you should incorporate video. First let’s talk about how you can use video for your online marketing.

There are different types of videos that a business can use. We won’t go in to things like feature films or documentaries here, although they can certainly feature companies and products. But we’ll talk about videos that can be shared on a company website, social media channels, or even on television.

Produced Videos for Your Business

Commercial Video

Most people are familiar with marketing and advertising videos. They may be similar to what you’ll see in TV commercials. They are usually featuring a product, service or company and aim to influence potential customers to invest in whatever they are marketing. In the example below, employees describe how they can help someone shopping for a new car.

Why buy your next car from Sam Pack Five Star Ford?

These videos for businesses usually have a longer shelf-life, and are worth investing a bit more in because they will get more views over a longer time – whether they are on the company website or your social media channels. They are also excellent for telling your company’s story, explaining your mission, or providing valuable reasoning why you are the best option for that customer.

Customer Testimonials

These are marketing gold mines. We all know that a referral is the best source of new customers. A referral is the least expensive way to gain a new customer, and is trusted far more than a random advertisement. Potential customers hearing one of your previous customers describe their (great) experience with your company carries a lot of weight. Particularly if it’s a “real person,” rather than an actor or spokesmodel reading a script. We can help you document these, and if we’re able to film several of these back-to-back then they can be quite cost-efficient. Below is a compilation of several customer testimonials for a local business, Tax Clean Up.

Promotional Video

A promotional video for business usually has a shorter lifespan. It’s designed to generate publicity and promote a specific event. Because these have a shorter lifespan it makes more sense to keep these simpler and less costly. Many businesses will invest some of the production savings on these in to boosting a video’s exposure online. Since it will typically be relevant for a shorter timeframe it pays to display it to as many people as possible. The example below is promoting a Christmas toy drive, which is particularly time-sensitive.

Chevrolet Toy Drive for Christmas 2020

Educational Content

A trend over the last few years has been to produce videos that are more educational than “salesy.” Show how well someone can use or take advantage of a product, and what it can do, and you’ll create desire for the product without looking like a sales pitch. You’ve probably even seen this in action at your local Home Depot or Lowes, as they get outside on Saturday mornings and teach people how to build something. (Then they watch people go inside to buy the tools they’ll need to do the really cool thing you just demonstrated.) A tutorial is similar, although some separate that into its own category.

Company Training

Many companies like to produce training videos for new employees. All employees see the exact same training, regardless of when or where they learn. This provides consistency, which is particularly important the larger the company is or the more geographically dispersed it may be.

If you’ve flown anytime in the last few years you may have noted that some airlines now show a video of the plane’s safety features at the beginning of your flight. All passengers get the same instruction, in every airport, every day.

In current times, training may be done entirely online – whether via a live “Zoom” webinar or a self-paced series of videos.

Live Video for Business

Live video has become the norm now. Conferences are live streamed, webinars are held to educate, and teleconference calls are finally commonplace. We’ll touch on just two of these applications at the moment.

Live-streamed Events

Thanks to the pandemic, in-person events have largely disappeared for the time being. Yet companies still want to engage with their employees, customers, or shareholders. So many events have turned to live streaming as a solution.

Morton Visuals is working to fill this need. We currently have three cameras that can be used show your team (or viewers) different views of speakers, events, and the like. Much like watching a late-night talk show, we can set up cameras for a host, guest, and wide shots of a set and help you live-stream that action online. This could include anything from a CEO’s announcement (like Steve Jobs introducing the iPhone) to internal training sessions.

We have worked with a prominent makeup retailer to present live classes with a well-known Artist demonstrating makeup techniques. In the studio we had a camera with a large zoom lens showing a close-up view to the class on a large flat-panel TV. With additional cameras to show the wide view and close-ups of the products this presentation can be streamed live to Facebook, YouTube, or the outlet of your choice.

still photo from video of makeup artist at work
Professional makeup artist BJ Batterman demonstrates makeup application

Business Webinars

Webinars are great video opportunities for customer demonstrations, discussions, online meetings, and so on. They can be streamed live initially, but also be recorded and available online for playback on-demand for those who were unable to watch it live. This is a bit of a hybrid, with the technological advantages (and challenges) of both immediate distribution and archival use.

Hopefully this gives you some ideas of ways you can utilize video for your business. You can communicate in your own voice, either live or on-demand — and more effectively get your message across. And Google will love it. Call us or email us and let’s talk about how Morton Visuals can engage your potential customers.

Maintaining Brand Consistency with Official Corporate Photos

Brand consistency is a crucial thing to consider for any business. Providing a consistent tone and image for your company helps your clients to place you and remember you. Plus, it makes you look professional and reliable — key for any company!

Brand consistency is a crucial thing to consider for any business. Providing a consistent tone and image for your company helps your clients to place you and remember you. Plus, it makes you look professional and reliable — key for any company!

Corporate headshots are a great way to improve your brand image and credibility. However, when they’re done wrong, they can easily mess up your carefully designed brand image. Here are some tips on ensuring your corporate headshots work with you rather than against you.

Set a Color Scheme

First thing’s fist, decide on how you want your images to look. Think about the tone of your brand and try to convey that in the images. Setting a color scheme can be a great way to keep things professional while alluding to your brand’s image. Go for colors that match your logo or brand design for a super sleek and professional look.

business headshots of the entire team
Business headshots of the entire team with a modern look

business headshots of the entire office team provide consistency
Business headshots of the staff with a traditional look

Chat With Your Photographer About Brand Consistency

photographer William Morton

A good headshot photographer will know how to keep your brand looking good. If you’re worried about maintaining a consistent image with the rest of your content, speak to your photographer about how you can take photos that are in line with your company’s brand. For some companies a ultra modern, corporate look with studio lighting will work best. For others, a laid-back, outdoors-y look is better suited. Either way, your photographer will be ready to work smoothly and efficiently to minimize the time impact on your team and still make everyone look their very best.

Chat With Your Team

Make sure that everyone on your team is ready to arrive to the headshot session “in character.” Set a general dress code and ask your employees to think about how they as individuals can support the brand in their photos.

Let Morton Visuals Help You Deliver Brand Consistency in Your Headshots.

Find out whether Morton Visuals is right for you. We take care to cater to your company’s needs so that you can have the best possible headshots for your team. Contact us to find out more!

Expanding Your Business? How Professional Photos Can Help

If you’re a business owner, you probably know that expansion is one of the most important goals to consider. However, while starting a business is hard, growing it can be even harder. In order to take the next steps with your business, you’ll need to create a marketing plan that sets you apart from your competition. One of the best tactics is to take professional corporate photos of your employees and staff. Find out how professional photos for expanding your business can really work.

Professional Photos for Expanding your Business: Give Your Brand A Serious Boost

Executive portrait of assistant branch manager Chris De Jesus

These photos will represent your brand. If you choose to showcase boring, or unprofessional images to the public, your customers will be quick to judge. They will likely equate your business with that presentation. With interesting, high-quality media you will instantly improve brand image. An iPhone photo just can’t compare!

Professional Photos for Expanding your Business: Help With Your SEO

SEO, or search engine optimization is the practice of making your website more appealing to search engine algorithms. With good SEO, your business will be much easier to find online. With a gallery of professional images, your website will also appear in image searches for your specific niche. Plus, Google will probably prefer your website to the websites of your competitors. 

bankers

Professional Photos Are Content and Content Means Engagement

As marketing professionals love to say, “content is king.” This is because content means that customers have something to engage with, whether this be a blog post, a video, or, in this case, a professional image. We suggest taking a series of dynamic, unique “action shots” that tell a story about you and your business. For one thing, they make excellent, engaging content! 

Discover what Morton Visuals can do for your business today by checking out our live action shot portfolio. Contact us to book a session and start to grow your business the smart way.

Benefits Of Corporate Photography For Social Media

Wondering how corporate photos will set your social media profiles apart from the crowd? Social media is an excellent way to organically promote your business to your target audience.

Social media is an excellent way to organically promote your business to your target audience. More than 200 million users visiting at least one business page on Instagram every day. It’s become an essential platform for digital marketing. Instagram is a platform that is all about images. This makes it the perfect place to showcase your business’ corporate photography. Twitter and Facebook have also begun to embrace images in their algorithms. This means that using high-quality images on those platforms is also essential. Wondering how corporate photos will set your social media profiles apart from the crowd? Here are just a few of the benefits of corporate photography for social media.

Create an Eye-Catching Feed

Social media is all about instant gratification. These platforms thrive with eye-catching content. In other words, social media is not the place to be posting your wordy business statements! Because images are essential for social media, it’s vital that you optimize your visual feed. Using high quality, professionally taken images will give you a leg up on your social media platforms. Plus, it will force people who come across your profile to take notice.

Use Your Corporate Images as Social Media Ads

Social media posts are basically free (or very affordable) advertisements. Would you ever release an ad that featured grainy, poorly lit photos? No! Invest in a series of professional “action” corporate photos.

Give Off a Stellar First Impression

More and more customers are discovering businesses on social media. This is wonderful — if your feed makes you look good! Ensure that your social media feed looks professional and trustworthy by using corporate photography. This way, when new customers come across your profile online, they’ll be encouraged to stick around and explore your business in more detail.

Looking for a professional corporate photographer? Discover Morton Visuals today!

How Professional Headshots Improve Business Leads

One of the most important parts of running a successful business is finding new leads in order to grow your business. Whether you sell to customers to other businesses, generating good leads is crucial for business growth. If you’ve been struggling to convert your leads into actual sales, you may need to make some changes to your business. Using professional headshots for business leads is an excellent way to instantly improve your growth rate. Here are three reasons why.

Professional Headshots Build Brand Trust

If you want people to buy into your brand, you need to make sure they trust you. Brands that come across as reliable and professional are far more likely to draw in new customers. It has been shown that professional branding and imagery:

  • makes an impression
  • makes you memorable
  • builds trust

Trust is crucial, as it means customers and clients won’t only choose you once, they’ll choose you again and again.

“Fake It Till You Make It”

If you are a fairly new business, you may think that it’s best to wait till you’ve grown a little to focus on brand image. However, the reverse is actually true. The best way to grow your business quickly is to adopt a ‘fake it till you make it’ attitude. This means creating an ultra professional look for your business, including branding and headshots. 

People Trust Individuals More Than Corporations

It has been shown that most customers are more likely to put their trust in individuals rather than in a faceless brand. By putting a face to the name for each of your company’s main players, you’ll help customers feel connected to the people behind the business, which will in turn, help them to trust your business as a whole. 

Discover the professional photography at Morton Visuals that will put your business a step above its competitors. 

Why Every Company Should Invest in Professional “Action Photos”

Looking for some new corporate photos for your business? Why not try professional action photos that really show off your employees in their best light?

When you think of corporate photos, you probably imagine a series of bland headshots. However, corporate photography can also include ‘action photos’. Action photos show your team in action. Them doing what they do best. Depending on your industry, this may include a range of activities. Think images of a presentation, field work, or even an image of a team meeting. 

Corporate Action Shots Create Instant Customer Trust

Corporate photos should show that you are a team of reliable, trustworthy people. They make you look experienced and polished. With action shots, your customers will have yet another reason to place their trust in your business. They’ll get a glimpse into your team doing what they do best. Plus, you’ll instantly look like a company that gets things done!

Give Your Photos Real Personality

Professional photos show clients and customers what your team consists of individuals. This gives your business a personal feel. Traditional corporate headshots have a tendency to remove personality. With corporate action shots, customers will see unique individuals, making you more memorable.

Corporate lifestyle photography of CEO Susan Salka with her AMN Healthcare team.

Stand Out From Your Competition

If a potential customer is researching your business, chances are, they are considering other businesses too. Because competition is often fierce, it’s vital that you do your part to stand out. With professional action photos, your business will automatically out shine your competitors. 

Curious to find out more about professional action photos? Take a look at some examples in the Morton Visual portfolio.

3 Ways Corporate Photography Increases Brand Engagement

Struggling to build brand engagement with your clients and customers? Discover how the right headshot photographer can transform the way customers view your brand and keep them coming back for more!

In this day and age, it’s crucial to place some focus on brand engagement. In marketing, brand engagement refers to the relationships and attachments that exist between a customer and a company. Ever felt slightly guilty trying a different perfume brand? Or, maybe you always head to the same clothing website when you need new items, without bothering to look elsewhere? That is brand engagement in action. 

Looking for a new way to improve brand engagement? Corporate photography might be just the thing you are looking for. Here are three ways professional photography can increase brand engagement.

Show Off Your Team in Their Best Light

With quality corporate photos, your team can be photographed in their best light. Professional photos will help you all to look your best. And good images will instantly make you seem more trustworthy and reliable. If you want customers to trust your brand, make sure the people behind the brand look like they know what they’re doing with corporate headshots.

Contribute to the Aesthetic of Your Brand

Every brand should have its own unique aesthetic. For a teen skincare company, it might be pastel colours and childish fonts, while, for a tech company, it might consist of sleek, monochromatic lines and modernist shapes. A good corporate photographer will make sure your headshots work with your brand’s aesthetic and contribute to its effect on customers. Subconsciously, your target audience will be drawn to your brand because of the way it looks — even in the corporate headshots!

Let Clients “Meet” Your Team

Professional photos of your team can help clients and customers to feel connected to your brand on a more personal and intimate level. For instance, when they email customer service, the response is far more likely to feel personal if the email comes with a photo of the employee responsible for customer service. By simply putting a face to a name, you will instantly help customers to feel a deeper connection to your brand. 

Discover the customizable corporate photography at Morton Visuals

Stock Photography – Can You Really Afford It?

Why Use Stock Photography?

For many years advertisers have taken advantage of lower pricing for generic stock photography for their marketing efforts, whether for print advertising or for website use. Professional photography costs money, and stock photography is cheap. But there’s a dirty little secret in the use of stock. You may have no control over who else is using the same image to represent their company. This can lead to customer confusion and marketing embarrassment. Just ask the marketing departments at Dell and Gateway computers.

Dell and Gateway use the same stock photography model for competing ads

In the earlier days of stock photography it was harder to track who else was using an image. In one particular season, both Dell computers and Gateway computers selected stock images for their back to school advertising. Unfortunately they selected images of the same model, in the same wardrobe, in front of the same building, from the same photo shoot. And the ads ran at the same time! It somewhat waters down your advertising message when the same girl appears to endorse your competition!

Wanadoo selects a popular stock photo model
Even if you change the color of the clothing and flip the photo, it's still the same model

How To Use Stock Photography

So how do you avoid this type of embarrassment? There are two primary ways. One method would be using rights-managed (RM) images rather than royalty-free (RF) images, and the other would be to use custom photography.

Royalty-Free Images

RF images are by far the cheapest. They are sold to anyone and everyone, and you have no idea who else may be using that image. You may use an online source like Tin Eye (https://tineye.com/) to search for other websites hosting your same image. Alternately you may use Google’s Image search to look for the same thing. That will give you an idea of how many times that image is being used online, although neither may know of all uses of an image.

Rights-Managed Images

Alternately you may purchase RM images, which come at a higher price. The benefit of RM is that you can ensure that either no one uses that image for a set length of time, or at least that no one else in your industry uses it. Pricing varies based on how much exclusivity you want and for how long. This is usually considered to be the best compromise between bulk RF images and custom photography.

The Safest Solution: Custom Photography

The other option would be to contract custom photography by a professional photographer. There are numerous advantages to this option, although it will come at a higher price tag. You have total control over all elements of an image – colors, style, your own colors or branding, and more importantly the usage. A professional photographer can create images using your own employees, or models you select, and can guarantee that only you have the right to use those images. Further, the models can be contracted to not work (or have their images used) with a competing company. Recent advertising showing the former “Can you hear me now” guy representing a competing telecom beautifully highlights this problem.

The Verizon guy goes to Sprint

What message does this give your customers when a (now) well-known spokesman leaves your company to go to the competition?

Custom photography can and will reinforce your brand, and over time build a familiarity with which your customers can relate. Is it worth it? Only your customers and accountant can tell you that, but (in my humble opinion) images that are created specifically for your company are going to resonate more, which should lead to a greater ROI for you and your bottom line. To learn how custom photography can help your company give Morton Visuals a call at (888) 239-6213. We’ll be happy to brainstorm with you and your marketing department.

 

 

The Value of Photography to Your Business

I recently had an opportunity to do a presentation on business photography for my Farmers Branch Chamber of Commerce, and I decided to focus on the value of photography for the business owner. In the first of two parts below we’ll talk about the value of, the need for, and the types of photography relevant to most businesses.

How Prevalent are Photos?

Some basic numbers, which will be quickly outdated (if they aren’t already):

  • Facebook has 1.5 billion users, 2/3 of whom use it daily
  • 56.5% of the US population are on Facebook
  • Facebook has over 400 billion photos, with 400 million being added every day
  • Every day 1.8 billion images are posted online
  • Instagram has amassed 400 million users, 40 billion photos, and adds 80 million photos every day
  • Instagram has grown so quickly that Facebook just bought it for $1 billion.
  • YouTube has more visits each day than Facebook, and it’s the #2 search engine in the world (behind Google)

[Update 2/10/2017: Some new, updated stats are available. Internet Trends 2017. Stats & Facts in the U.S. and Worldwide]

Why Are Photos So Popular?

Life moves at a much faster pace today than in decades past. Our shorter attention spans are likely born of our information overload. The advent and pervasiveness of smartphones and mobile devices have changed the way we not only receive information but also how we communicate. We want immediate gratification. We don’t want to leave voice messages, so we text – allowing responses even if someone is in class or in a business meeting where they can’t talk. Business is now about information availability and speed (and ease) of transactions. And of course “a picture is worth 1,000 words.” I believe that this last point is the key. We don’t have – or take – the time to read anymore, but rather take in our information in imagery. Thus the rise of the Facebook meme.

Types of Photography

More to the point of the presentation, there are many types of photography of benefit to businesses.

  • Portraits represent people
  • Advertising represents a product or brand
  • Marketing and P.R. represent events
A few of the types of photography offered by William Morton Visuals.

What Can a High Quality Image Do For You?

  •  Put a face to the name
  • Change you from an impersonal corporation to a friendly neighbor
  • Show your style (see our prior blog post on Does Your Image Represent Your Company Culture)
  • Personalize your business
  • Illustrate what you do and how you do it

studio-setting business photographyComerica Bank manager photographed by William Morton Visualsbusiness photography by Morton Visuals for First Bank annual reportoffice group portrait of Labrum Wealth Management

Other benefits include:

  • Highlighting key moments of events for marketing next year’s event
  • Public relations: awards presentations, community support events
  • Social media content – build your brand
  • Entertainment, particularly at events
  • Take-home advertising for ongoing marketing

Do images affect sales?

According to MDG Advertising, 67% of online shoppers rated high quality images as being “very important” to their purchase decision, which was slightly more than “product specific information,” “long descriptions,” and “reviews & ratings.”

Recently Sports Illustrated magazine released their annual swimsuit edition with three different covers – and they weren’t the first to do this. The magazine industry well knows how important the cover image is to that month’s sales on the newsstands. National Geographic photography is famous for the power of their images, a driving force in their success.

Images are king in social media. Aside from the fact that more and more social media channels are primarily image-based (Instagram, Snapchat, 500px, Flickr, etc.), statistics show that even text-based social media channels show a significantly higher ROI with the inclusion of photography. Adweek reports that SHIFT measured 5 times the engagement on Twitter postings with pictures vs text-only tweets.

In our follow-up blog post we’ll discuss the acquisition of photography and how important that process is to businesses. Until then, please feel free to share this article via social media, and add any comments here!