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What it’s like to run a socially distanced photoshoot

  • Posted on October 19, 2020
  • Estimated reading time 2 minutes

This blog post was written by Avanade brand intern Edyta Tarcynzski.

I started as Avanade’s brand intern in December 2019. The role has included so many different responsibilities, from design to operational, and everything was an amazing learning opportunity. I was part of a small team within a big team, which allowed me to own multiple projects and work collaboratively with others. I was comfortable asking questions and my manager always provided guidance when needed, and I could feel how my opinion was valued and trusted. This allowed me to not only learn and grow as a marketer, but to try (and succeed) at new things.

This freedom to take on responsibility gave me the confidence to execute tactical projects, like our virtual Midwest 20th anniversary celebration, and brainstorm new ways of creative concepting. One of the very last opportunities I got in this job was running a brand photoshoot – and doing so in a way that was socially distanced and safe!

What goes into setting up a photoshoot? Lots of research, planning and organization. We analyzed our brand image library to see what we wanted to add. We find that using pictures of our employees not only adds authenticity to our brand, but it also builds brand ambassadors – people feel part of the brand and are motivated to share it. During the pandemic and civil unrest, we wanted to step up to support our employees when they needed it most – whether that be some time away from their desk to see familiar faces, an opportunity to gift them branded merchandise, or helping them create assets to support the employee network groups that embody the diversity of Avanade. For this particular shoot, we also brought in Pan-African merchandise to support Inspire, our Black employee network.

With that in mind, we researched the types of photos we would like taken and used this as inspiration. We ordered necessary merchandise, compiled a shot list that describes exactly each shot we want taken at the shoot, and reached out to potential participants. Because we are still in the middle of a pandemic, it was important to ensure proper social distancing. Everyone wore masks and if a shot required no mask, then we made sure nobody was within 6 feet of them. This required more care and consideration, but it certainly didn’t change the quality of the shoot.

On the day of, we hoped to shoot a couple photos around the Art Museum and the Buckingham Fountain in Chicago. Unfortunately, with record high temperatures, this didn’t end up being practical. We were adaptable and took photos outside the office building, and I think they turned out just as great!

I learned so much from this experience! Teamwork is the most important thing. Photoshoots have a ton of moving parts. Planning and organizing this shoot required multiple people working together. We were able to bounce ideas off each other and hold each other accountable. And at the end of the day, we added a lot of quality, representative images to our library that will be used across social media, campaigns, webcasts, blogs, presentations and more. It was an incredible final experience to my internship and an awesome learning environment.

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