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Four reasons why group portraits waste your marketing budget

Four reasons why group portraits waste your marketing budget and how to plan for effective company headshots and get the best bang for your marketing buck.

Group portraits waste your marketing budget

A group portrait may seem like a way to do a team photo for your marketing library and save time and money. However, after 20 years of creating commercial photography, I can tell you that group portraits waste your marketing budget and are often the worst way to represent your team.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for a team photo, which I will discuss later.

Four ways group portraits work against you

The Faux Group Executive Portrait
The Faux Group Executive Portrait
  1. Getting the team to reserve the same time slot on the same day also means that, for the duration of the shoot, no one is minding the store.
  2. Group portraits can’t be used for individual bio pages and linkedIn profiles. Individual portraits have many more uses, making them a more valuable and effective marketing tool. They can be used for individual bios, LinkedIn profiles, proposals, speaking engagement announcements and press releases.
  3. Technically, group portraits require a larger space to produce. And, for every person in the image, the number of frames required for everyone to have a great expression (or just have everyone’s eyes open at the same time) increases exponentially for each person added to the group. Yes, we can swop heads between frames to assemble the perfect group. But, that takes time and money.
  4. And, the worst reason is that, if someone leaves the company, the group portrait is instantly rendered obsolete, requiring a new group portrait to be done. Which means getting the team all in the same place and time again.

How Individual Corporate Portraits Add Value

William A. Headshot

Individual portraits of your team are often a much more effective use of your marketing budget and can reap huge benefits over the life of the photographs.

  1. Individual portraits can be scheduled to accommodate your executives’ busy schedules.
  2. Your team’s individual pictures can be used in a much broader way, covering your company’s bio pages, LinkedIn profiles, proposals, speaking announcements and press releases.
  3. Individual executive portraits can be set up in a smaller space, with lighting and grooming that is tailored to each individual to help them look their best.
  4. And, if someone retires or leaves the company, it is a simple matter to remove them from the web site and replace them with a new person with their own headshot.

Group Portraits From Individual Portraits

Group portrait from singles
Group portrait from singles

With a little advanced planning, we can even create a group portrait from your individual executive portraits.

We have used this method effectively for several companies who wanted a team portrait, but may not have been able to have their team together in the same place and time.

In another case, a team member left and we were able to easily swap them out for the new team member.

We have even done a team portrait where one of the team members had been deceased for over two years!

When is a Group Portrait Useful?

Like any marketing photograph, it all comes down to how you plan on using the photograph. I have already talked about the problem of longevity with a group portrait. Eventually, someone leaves the company and the group portrait is mostly useless from a marketing point of view.

Team photos are great for editorials about your company. A portrait of your team in your facilities or in front of your sign can help to illustrate your company’s story in a magazine article. They can also be effective for award ceremonies. And, of course, the press release announcing the award. They also make great art work for the office or board room walls.

These specific uses are effective and should be considered when planning your marketing library. But, for general use, most clients get much more bang for their buck with individual executive headshots.

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