Evergreen images = the gift that keeps on giving
One very important element to a thought leader's high-volume, image library is evergreen portraits.
An evergreen image is something that the viewer can’t pinpoint a time or location when they were photographed.
This helps the thought leader to be able to leverage the photo over and over again without it being too identifiable.
In order to help aid in that process, these images do not include the likeness of the thought leader, but will, nonetheless, provide a deep, emotional resonance with their tribes.
The types of evergreen images that I’ve created in collaboration with my clients involve a lot of props that are integral to their business and brands - books, posters, signs, vision boards, journals and all forms of technology - phones, tablets and computers.
How do you achieve this evergreen quality?
Well, once we eliminate the ability to identify the person in the image as a way to be able to pinpoint the time the photo was taken.
Another step is to eliminate the ability to pinpoint the season when the image was taken.
Now, in many parts of the world where there is an absence of seasons, this is not even a consideration, but, I’m in the Northeast, and up here, seasons are a big factor when scheduling the logistics of a branded, lifestyle portrait session.
Recently, seasonal change became a factor during one of my sessions.
The client wanted to capture photos that could be used to promote current and future service offerings.
I suggested that we include a series of photos that focused on her working on her phone, laptop and tablets, so that she could later instruct her designer to Photoshop in a promotional graphic on the blank screens promoting these services.
Yes, leveraging that same graphic alone is also an option, but, incorporating it into an image in this manner is way more dynamic, and it will draw the viewer’s attention much faster!
I told her that I wouldn’t incorporate her likeness into the image, so that evergreen nature would still hold true for years to come - or, when the technology itself begins to look dated, which would still buy her a couple years of usage.
When we got to the images of her holding her IPad, I took her outside on her patio and I snapped a couple shots:
I liked this shot a lot and showed it to her on the back of my camera.
Within seconds, she astutely pointed out an issue with the image - there were autumn leaves on the ground, signifying a seasonal change.
Now, if this photo were to be used as a one-time thing between now and the beginning of Winter, sure, it’s a fine image and it aptly serves its purpose.
However, keeping in mind that the client wasn’t sure when she was planning to use this image to promote her services, the leaves on the ground muddy up the messaging and unnecessarily confuse the viewer.
If she were to use this image in May or June, for example, this photo would feel dated and/or misplaced because leaves aren’t that color and are firmly on the trees during that time of year.
As a result, I went back for another round of images – this time, with the evergreen image objective in mind.
By not shooting the ground full of leaves and focusing on framing in the colorful pillows and furniture, this image can now be used any time of year, over and over again, without causing any confusing to those viewing it.
Also, by allowing the IPad screen to dominate the frame, whatever graphic that will be added on top of the screen will be prominent and very easy to read.
A little collaboration goes a long way into getting the most value out of your session, :)
Is this something that you’ve had challenges with in the past with your branded, portrait session? Does this bring up other questions you have about your own branded portraits?
I’d love to hear your thoughts - set up a call with me here and let’s talk about them.
PS - For those of you who aren’t in the know, I mail out these blogs 3x a week, and lemme tell you, they’re a real party, so, if you’d like to get in on this, sign up for it here and I’ll throw in a free gift for you...because I care, :)