The benefits of high-quality photography in recruiting efforts – Part One.

First off, let me start by saying my apologies for not having blogged in such a long time. Finding that balance between full-time employee, student, and friend has been difficult this semester. The last three weeks have been particularly crazy and have seen me virtually disappear from the social media world (aside from Twitter). But I’m back now and ready for the final semester push that includes final projects and commencement.

Anyway, this is a post that I have been working on for quite some time, and I’m not quite sure that I am done with it yet, but I’m throwing this initial piece out there to start some discussion. I’ll give you some background as well since this is really where this post started.

I’ve been trying to think of what to do for my final in graduate studies. I have three choices: comprehensive exam, thesis paper, or a project. I am not a paper person, so I immediately ruled that out, and I really don’t like taking tests. Not only that, I love working on projects, so that was really the only choice in my mind. The more difficult choice was choosing what to do for it. I wanted to do something that would not only benefit me, but something that I could use in my job. My first idea, however, did not go over so well. So, I talked to one of my professors about doing a tutorial with me this summer that would be the prelude/beginning of the project and he has agreed.

I will be working with my photography professor on a very intensive research and building project. The research will involve studying good photography and really breaking down why the photographs are good. I want to pay particular attention to higher education photography and portraits since that is what I will be shooting most often. I think I have a good eye for getting good shots, but sometimes I feel like my technical knowledge is not put to use. I can explain photography to people all day, but then I don’t always illustrate it in my photos.

Building may or may not be the right word to use here, but it’s all I can think of. I will be building a new collection of photos for the campus for use in admissions recruitment purposes and for marketing. I will be primarily photographing students because we already have plenty of campus scenery shots that are good. And the students are what a university is all about right?

The reason I am doing this is because students nowadays don’t want to see those setup shots. And believe me, they can tell. I’ve co-hosted some focus groups recently which we asked the students a variety of questions, one of which was whether they felt we portrayed the university accurately. Most said yes, but the no’s all referenced our brochures. And that my friends is why I decided this would be the perfect project.

Alright, I think that is it for this post. Over time I have realized that this is something that is really going to take multiple posts, so I’m going to split it up. I’ll bring you along in my progress and hope that you enjoy the ride. I have some other drafts started that will give some examples, etc. of the old verses the new. I will also go into more detail about HOW it will help.


8 Responses to “The benefits of high-quality photography in recruiting efforts – Part One.”

  1. April 24, 2008 at 4:09 pm


    Good on you, mate. I think that this is a great project and I really look forward to reading your results! I’ve been arguing for years that top quality photography is essential, but since I’m a photographer, nobody listens to me.

    If a picture is worth a 1000 words, they need to be good words, right?

  2. April 24, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    jeremy, I would be very interested in what you discover with your research. I shoot admissions marketing photography and have a perspective on that subject. It will be interesting to see what you discover. I have written a little on that subject in my blog. Perhaps it will help. You are welcome to look at my work for your project at http://www.photomara.com . Best of luck with the task you given yourself.

    Paul O’Mara

  3. April 25, 2008 at 9:20 am

    @Tony Thanks! I’ll definitely be updating this as I progress, it’ll be another way to document for my project. Feel free to refer people here if they need to hear it from another perspective.

    @Paul I’ll definitely check out your site. I’m not into stealing other people’s ideas and concepts, so don’t worry about that. This will be a very long process and will probably not know everything for at least another year when our new viewbook comes out and we can hold some focus groups.

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