Shot Lists: Capturing Character


Teams are the heart of any sport, showcasing technical skill, synergy, and success. The same principle applies to the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry. Capturing authentic photos of a firm's team in action, along with dedicated team photoshoots, is crucial. These images highlight the collaborative spirit and expertise that drive a company's achievements.


Maximizing Impact with Team Photography


In project photography, achieving the perfect angle and lighting is paramount to highlight the project's excellence. However, when photographing your team, the emphasis shifts towards authenticity. It's about revealing the human element behind your projects, allowing clients and viewers to connect with your team on a personal level. To capture the true spirit of your team, consider the following strategies:


  • Showcase Expertise: Document architects as they draft, engineers as they strategize, and construction workers as they demonstrate their skills.

  • Humanize Your Process: Highlight genuine on-site interactions, including collaborative discussions, client meetings, and problem-solving scenarios.

  • Celebrate Diversity: Represent the rich diversity of your team, showcasing individuals from varied backgrounds to reflect your inclusive company culture.

  • Highlight Client Relationships: Incorporate images of satisfied clients and successful collaborations, ensuring to obtain consent where necessary.

  • Prioritize Authenticity: Focus on capturing natural, unforced moments that convey genuine emotions and interactions.

  • Facilitate Genuine Interactions: Engage subjects in light conversation or humor to elicit authentic expressions and emotions.

  • Narrate Through Imagery: Arrange your photographs in a way that tells a compelling story about your project, your people, and the values that define your firm.


Guiding Excellence: The Role of a Photography Standards Guide


Consistency and organization are key to presenting a united and professional team image. This is where a photography standards guide becomes invaluable. Such a guide, typically an official document, should outline the expected grooming standards, appropriate attire, and provide visual examples of ideal photographs. While the guide should be concise, it may offer distinct guidelines for various team members.


The guide can also include tips for the team. Jared Kenitzer, professional photographer and Director of Marketing and Business Development at NWL Architects, has provided some advice to help individuals prepare for the best photo:


  • Clothes: Select clothing that reflects your personal style and the image you want to convey. Stick to solid colors and avoid busy patterns or logos. If you’re unsure what to wear, bring a few outfit options to the shoot and the photographer can help you select which ones will work best based on the intended use of the headshots.

  • Grooming: Schedule any necessary grooming appointments such as haircuts, trims, or beard maintenance a few days before the shoot.

  • Rest and hydration: Get plenty of sleep the night before your shoot to minimize under-eye circles and ensure you look refreshed. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water in the days leading up to the session.

  • Practice posing: Spend some time in front of a mirror practicing different facial expressions and poses to help you feel more comfortable and confident during the shoot.

  • Enjoy the process: Remember that getting your headshot taken can be a fun and enjoyable experience. Relax, have fun, and trust that the photographer will capture great shots.


When it comes to team photography—whether it’s a professional photoshoot or candid captures on-site—it’s crucial to remember the purpose of showing the team to potential viewers and clients. Head in with a goal so your photography is aligned with your vision, branding, and values. Then remember: the team is making the winning shot; the photographer is merely capturing it.

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