Face It—A Story of Two Headshots

When we redesigned our website, we endeavored to manage it like we would a client project. There were times when the desire to “just get it done” tempted us to cut corners. Luckily we remembered all the times we’ve said to clients, “If you’re going to the effort of doing this, take the time and resources that you need to do it right.”

How do we focus on communicating more than completing? The word experience kept surfacing, in terms of what we try to do for audiences on behalf of our clients—creating positive interactions, but also in terms of our collective agency experience. We were able to shape case studies and our portfolio in ways that didn’t just flash work, but instead created a sense that visitors could get to know our work and process on their terms.

This didn’t address how we present the individuals who make up our staff. As a creative agency of wildly opinionated individuals, we work to distinguish ourselves from the herd. We’ve used illustrations, themed photo shoots, and other approaches to eschewing the traditional photo or headshot to be remembered.

Over the years we’ve tracked the traffic on our website, without fail the highest hits are on staff pages. This time around we wanted to do something that offered a certain level of personalization so that each of us could feel represented.

Everyone in the office chose a work of art.

Lining up a photograph
Lining up the shot for “Berthe Morisot with a Bouquet of Violets,” Edouard Manet


Oliver as “Girl with a Pearl Earring
Oliver as “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” Johannes Vermeer

The photoshoots began while Mik was still out on maternity leave, so there were two or three weeks of late afternoon shoots. Inevitably the laughter would draw a crowd. We’d look from the camera display to the artistic reference sheet, laughing at the resemblance. Other times we’d be cajoling those less comfortable in front of the camera to have fun.

Goofy faces
Megan and Staci offered goofy faces and liquid courage to portrait subjects.

When you are able to commit to a concept and see it through along with a team, you learn a lot. Revisiting what we said earlier about the difference between communicating and completing, it often comes down to honesty and vulnerability. Can you take that extra step to reveal something that makes it worth other people’s time?  The reality is that describing who you are can be tricky and a little bit scary. The ways that we learned how to be sincere and patient on both sides of the camera, the way we rallied around one another had a significant effect on the end product. We created a body of work that entertained us and united us, while also celebrating what makes us different and inviting audiences in for it all.

Here’s a gallery of the images.