Staff Portraits For Startups

Or How To Create A Better Team Page

Executive and team portraits for startups can to be a bit of a drag. From the boring “Hey! It’s me in front of a wall!” shots to the corny “Look at us! We’re so fun!” kind. Often constrained by what has come before, they tend to be unimaginative and lacking in personality. But there is good news. They don’t have to be!

An increasing number of companies realize that it’s wise to insert personality and culture into their team images. There are various approaches to avoid creating a boring or ineffective team page. Smart companies dedicate true focus to this process to ensure that their team page is a strong recruiting and culture tool.

Below I’ve shared a set of portraits shot for various clients with varying degrees of editorial aesthetics based on a conversation about their goals and company culture.

The Simple Approach

There are situations in which simple and straight forward is the most appropriate aesthetic. Examples include when executives are asked to speak at conferences, when operating in a more buttoned up industry, or when there is a press request to accompany their news story.

A conference booklet is often not the right venue to show off your more artistic flair, so for these shots we went for clean and straight forward while still maintaining a quality level far above the basic boring head shot in front of an office wall.

Benjamin Habbel, CEO of Voyat
Jesse Hertzberg, CEO of Livestream
Alex Poon, founder of X.ai
The Berger-Forh team

The Editorial Approach

Some businesses lend themselves to a more editorial, magazine-like look. In those cases, we get to insert more personality into each photo. We get to play around with the company culture and the image the subject wants to broadcast. Even when our main goal is a simpler shot, I will often make sure to get at least one of these editorial shots in the set. Sometimes you don’t know what you want until you actually get to see it.

Benjamin Habbel, CEO of Voyat
Cheryl Day, Beard finalist baker and best selling cook book author
Fola, multi-disciplinary creative
Courtney Webb, owner of Hey Rooster
Brad Lande, CEO of Live In The Grey

With Much Heart

When pure love and compassion is at the core of your organization, as it is with many non-profits and companies with a social mission, we choose to really bring that out in the portraits. Below are some examples from a staff and students shoot for the Chefs Culinary Training program for homeless people in San Francisco.

In Need Of Staff Portraits?

Get in touch and let’s chat! I’d love to work together to translate your company culture into the best possible set of portraits for your team.

Check out my portfolio for more portraits and find my work in Wired, Saveur, Fast Company, Travel + Leisure and more.

I’m currently shooting in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York through the end of the year, and am always ready to travel to where you are. Drop me a line at hello@wesley.co.