After having covered sports for years, I recently made a discovery about what drives me in photography. Spoiler: it’s perfect for employer branding.
Photos in exchange for a free membership
My first real client was the local climbing gym I spend a lot of my time at, Monk Bouldergym. I had just discovered my love for photography and was trying everything. With the gym, I arranged a free membership in exchange for shooting photos of events. This turned out to be my perfect stomping grounds. At Monk, I started documenting the climbing community and lifestyle. My focus was more on the people than on the actual action. The images showed who these climbers were, and how the experienced their sport.
Covering sports behind the scenes
Since my first humble start shooting climbing, I applied the approach of focusing people to all sports that I shot. From covering the PSV championship behind the scenes, to working with Team Jumbo-Visma cycling team for a few years now. I’ve always been shooting photos of the people, instead of mostly covering the action. What drives me is showing who these athletes are. Moreover, who are the staff members that contribute to the success of the team? What does their job look like?
Recently, I had a bit on an epiphany. Maybe, I wasn’t necessarily shooting sports. Maybe, in a broader sense, I was shooting people with a passion and dedication to their job. A very unique job, a calling maybe, but still putting in the work and working towards a goal.
I discovered that I wasn’t just interested in sports. Instead, I enjoy photographing all people who are dedicated to their work. I love focusing on capturing their personality and authentic moments in job.
The approach of focusing on people can really help make businesses feel more personal instead of abstract. It showcases the people working for a company, and shows the workplace atmosphere and what the actual job looks like. For employer branding, these are essential elements.
Authenticity for companies looking to brand their workplace
The work I aim to make is different from conventional corporate photography, which tends to be a bit more commercial and polished. To me, authenticity is key. I want to show real and passionate human beings at work. My portraits capture the personality of employees and my behind the scenes work shows authentic moments. These two characteristics make this work very useful for employer branding.
Choosing the best moment, location and possibly adding some of my own light are part of my toolkit. However, the final image should still respect reality. It shows a great version of it, but it’s still real. It’s true to the person and true to the job.