Corporate Eye

Photography, Philanthropy and the Corporate Website

As you’ve never seen them before…

After last week’s post, in which I pointed to a video from Sainsbury’s containing Dragons and Chief Executives, here’s another angle on images of senior business people.

Stuart Rose was one of the CEOs on the video (did you spot him?), and here he is again, as seen by Bob Wheeler and on display at an exhibition called THIRTY by THIRTY hosted by 85FOUR and The Passage.

For those not familiar with The Passage, it’s a London-based charity supporting homeless people, running a 48-bed hostel and helping over 200 people every day to get the help and advice they need – and 85FOUR are a design and branding agency who have worked pro bono with The Passage for over 13 years.

The exhibition showcases 30 photographers and 30 people who have helped The Passage over the last 30 years. Nice idea… and the subjects of the photos include clients, colleagues and donors (including Sir Stuart Rose, Cherie Blair, Rory Bremner and more).

The exhibition looks interesting, and should work well to promote the charity. Do go: it will be held in the SW1 gallery, Victoria, between January 19 and 29 2011.

But here’s a question. I think that photo of Stuart Rose is great: an alternative view of a senior businessman, while still being a professional, dignified image. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to have such good photos on the corporate website?

All too often, the photos on corporate websites are just very… stiff and corporate, and there is at least one blog devoted to poking fun at these images of management (no, I’m not going to share the link). But check out Bob Wheeler’s site for what could be done; if images like these are being presented as part of the annual report, then they could be used on the corporate website too – in addition to the formal head and shoulders shot to go with the biography, of course.

For a while there was a minor trend offering an alternative ‘casual’ shot as part of the management biography in addition to the formal one, but these are harder to find recently (Microsoft is an example of a company that offers some ‘casual’ photos, though these are often simply taken with open collars). I recognise that there is a need for a formal shot, but it seems a pity to miss the opportunity that the web provides to present some beautiful photography as well. (Structurmarine is worth mentioning again here, because they do such a great job of this, and it is still so rare a sight.)

What do you think?

Interested in corporate imagery? Here are some other articles I’ve enjoyed on this topic:

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