We have all seen those awkward family photos posted all over the internet. You know the ones with the horrible holiday sweaters, bad perms, mullets and other atrocities from the ‘70s and ‘80s. In fact, there is a website, awkwardfamilyphotos.com, devoted to displaying these cringe-worthy works of art.   The site recently sponsored a contest for awkward office photos. Is your company guilty of committing similar atrocities?

It’s tough to tell a doctor he’s not a good model for your marketing, but you may have to do it, or find a stylist.


If so, we have some tips for making sure that your photos and overall image send the right message about your company.

1) Take an inventory of your company’s photos. If you haven’t created a digital photo library, now is the time to do it.   Review your library and make sure that your images are not dated (check for the aforementioned hair and fashion fails), contain some diversity among people featured and reflect the kind of image you want to project.

2) Determine what photos you need for current and future marketing needs. Will you need them to refresh your website, new brochures, a press release or an annual report?

3) Hire a professional photographer if your budget permits. Professional photography makes all the difference in creating a positive image for you and your company. Whether it is executive headshots, group staff shots, or building images, a professional photographer can take your company’s image to the next level. A solid professional photo shoot can cost anywhere from $1,200 – $2,500, depending on the location (on-site or studio), the number of shots and variety of shots. Make sure to have a makeup artist included as part of the shoot as well as post-production re-touching services.

4) Learn about staging your own photo shoot if you can’t afford a professional shoot. If you must take your own photos, here are some tips for taking better photos:

  • Take photos in the morning. The lighting is favorable and people tend to look fresher than in the afternoon.
  • Have a backdrop – a large white cloth or solid colored wall will work.
  • Make sure that people avoid wearing white and colors that are closer to flesh tones that can look washed out, like beige, tan, pale peach, pink and gray.
  • Wear solid colors, no patterns or bold accessories that will distract from your face.
  • View photography tutorials on You Tube. Photographer Peter Hurley has some interesting and funny videos that have gone viral including topics on jaw placement and something he calls “squinching” which is a cross between a squint and a pinch. This technique involves narrowing your eyes slightly to create a confident look.

Whether you hire a photographer or take the photos yourself, plan ahead so that when your company images go viral, it is for the right reason. Otherwise, it could get a little awkward.

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