Authentic portraits of our customers and associates are something we’ll never be able to buy as a stock photo or find online. For those, we rely on original photography.
When we use photos of our customers, partners, or associates in advertising or marketing, we want to make sure they look great and tell the subject’s story. Most of this time, this means hiring a professional photographer. We don’t want your standard corporate headshot, though. Our portraits are candid and show the subject in their natural, authentic environment.
The subject of the portrait should look relaxed, candid, professional, and confident. Natural smiles are good. Rolled sleeves, crossed legs, and comfortable leans are encouraged. We want their authentic personality to shine through, not arrogance or staged formality.
Senior Manager, Storage and Linux Platforms,
Senior Vice President of IT,
American Product Distributors
Take the portrait in the subject’s natural environment, whatever that might be. Take advantage of spaces that are unique to their role and their company. Include that environment in the shot—pull back so we see the context of the space (and to give our designers empty space to work with when it’s time to use the photo in an ad).
JASON K CORNELL
Manager, Cloud and Infrastructure Automation,
Capture a range of angles, with the subject looking both off- and on-camera.
Take a few photos that focus just on the space, the environment, and the work being done. These can be used to set the scene later on, like b-roll in a movie.
Use a shallow depth of field to put the background slightly out of focus and put more emphasis on the subject of the photo.
Systems Engineer, Cox Automotive
Director of Solutions Consulting, Acuity Systems
The more variety in the shots you capture, the better. Most of the time, this is our only opportunity to photograph a customer, and the photos may end up having a life well beyond the initial application. Take horizontal and vertical photos, individuals and groups, in indoor and outdoor environments.
LIFE AT RED HAT
When it comes to capturing what it’s like to work at Red Hat, the best photos often come from our associates. When taking photos to submit to The Show, or the Employment Branding Team, keep these principles in mind to make sure your photos are high-quality and easy for the team to reuse.
Most of the time, the camera that’s available when something exciting happens is your phone. To be sure those photos look great when they’re reused, turn your phone so that the photo is horizontal (or landscape).
The goal is to capture what it’s really like to be a Red Hatter, so the less staged the photo is, the better. Use real environments and try to get photos of people engaged in an activity, not posing for the camera. They’ll look more relaxed and the photo will tell more of a story. Watch out for photos of people eating, though—no one wants to be caught with a mouthful of food!
SHOW OFF YOUR SWAG
Red Hatters love to show off their swag, and photos that include our brand don’t look like generic stock. Branded t-shirts or hats are great, as are signs or banners (even if they’re in the background).
CREATE OPEN SPACE
Associate photos are most useful when there’s some open space where we can add text or other information. Leaving open space also gives context, so the viewer gets more of the story behind the photo.
One way to do this (and to take more visually interesting photos) is to use the rule of thirds.
Imagine that your image is divided into nine equal segments with three rows and three columns. Position the most important elements along those dividing lines. Some cameras (and camera apps) can superimpose a 3×3 grid over the preview image, making it easier to set up the shot.
USE THE LIGHT YOU HAVE
A photo that’s too dark is hard to use and doesn’t do your story justice. Whenever you can, take photos in natural light (even on cloudy days). If the photo is coming out dark, change your location instead of turning on the flash. Using a flash makes your photos feel flat and can even make it more likely that your photo will be blurry.
Pay attention to where your light is coming from, too. For the best results, the light should be coming from behind the photographer, not behind the subject of the photo.
KEEP PHOTOS HIGH RESOLUTION
To look their best, submitted photos should be as high resolution as possible. Set your camera to the highest image size, and resist the temptation to use zoom. Move closer to your subject instead.
Be careful not to compress the photos when you submit them, since this degrades the image quality. The best way to submit high-resolution images is by using Google Drive.
Shoot photos in environments that are too dark or dim.
Have your subjects pose in unnatural or unlikely ways or environments.
Take or submit low-resolution photos.
ORIGINAL PHOTOS IN USE
At the 2016 Red Hat Summit, photos of Innovation Award winners are featured on large-scale lightboxes.
Photos shared by Red Hatters on social media give a robust picture of life at Red Hat in this handout for campus recruiters.
Candid photos of Red Hat associates figure prominently in a booklet about what it’s like to work at Red Hat.
The film poster for “The Open Patient” features portraits of the protagonists in profile, surrounded by “notes”.