Corporate Portraits & Perception of Excellence

As New York ad agencies endeavor to portray a perception of excellence on their web sites, surely they would display outstanding images of their people alongside visually stimulating content relating to their work and company culture?

While doing my due diligence researching ideas for a potential portrait shoot for a local ad agency, I became deeply immersed in the variety of approaches used by the nearly fifty NY agencies whose sites I perused with a view to gleaning ideas for my own project.

To my increasing dismay I was struck by the dichotomy found in the number of agencies that had apparently put little thought into the images of their employees and leadership while projecting levels of excellence throughout the rest of their web sites. Smart phone images and snapshots to poorly thought out professionally taken images prevailed in the majority, while in the other seventeen sites whose links I gathered (available upon request!) it was revealing to see what a positive impression was left with well-conceived employee images. They significantly enhanced my view of the agency and its work.

To my mind, which images seemed to work best? Half-figure, horizontal format, well lit, smiling or intelligently revealing images, and surprisingly, some headshots in a circular format, and one that worked extremely well using a very long, vertical format showing half to two-thirds of the individual.

Images need to match accompanying content so as not to raise questions of congruence and inconsistency.