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Editorial Photography and Building an Image Library (Client: Elbon Group of Companies)

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Building a content library with everything from a house-style through to generating assets for use across promotions and publications.

When I started with the Elbon Group of Companies, one of my first questions as I was getting my head around everything was “where is your image library?”

The answer was “we don’t really have one”. Smatterings of site photos scattered across jobs, with only individual people ever really knowing what photos they had taken, what state they were in and where they were located within the internal network.

Obviously, that is less than ideal.

So my first project was setting about building an image library that gave them a resource from which quality, high-resolution images covering all the business’s functions could be easily located, searched and used in marketing collateral, website pages, flyers, anything and everything.

Training

Initially, many of the images focussed on the company’s training department. This involved not only finding students willing to be photographed participating in training courses, it also required dealing with a number of compliance issues that come with working in the vocational training sector.

Collaborating with Height Safety Engineer’s compliance officer smoothed the process out considerably and allowed me to develop a system that enabled me to capture the images I required as well as minimise any disruption to classes that might be caused by having a photographer loitering around the group.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Height Safety Engineers also stock and sell a range of PPE items that would be used across most aspects of high-risk work.

As part of producing the image library, the showroom area of the building was staged and photographed. Product photography of certain items was also undertaken.

Always looking for something a bit different, I steered away from the more traditional lightbox/deep-etched view you get with product photography, instead opting for the more industrial look of the concrete floor. The idea here was to make the products seem more real, to trade off a bit of the picture-perfect feel and gain a level of authenticity.

Corporate Headshots

Perhaps the most gruelling part of the image library project was making sure that all staff members had a headshot.

Previously, when headshots had been required to be send to work sites for the purpose of access passes and induction credentials, team members had been using whatever they had available.

Many of their choices where not great. One in particular I remember as being the sort of image you would see being circulated about the host of Cory Worthington-esque party.

Having offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Dubbo required stretching the project out of a couple of months as various people came through the Sydney office at different times.

By the start of 2020, the vast majority of the staff now have a properly staged, high-resolution, edited and professional headshot they can use when required.

The Other Stuff

Occasionally, you need to quickly put together a few random images that help illustrate a particular point, but its s not the sort of thing you are likely to have on-hand.

As ever, these images look pretty weird removed of their original context.

At the time of writing, the image library has grown from a a few scraps of images scattered around the company’s network, to an organised library of over 1500 high-resolution images ready for deployment across all manner of digital and physical media.

Matthew's Thought Crimes

Matthew Hatton is a writer, photographer, website wrangler and systems designer.

In his spare time he has bad thoughts. Thought Crimes is their home.