For the inaugural redesigned issue of NURSING FOR/UM, we used a fold-out cover to showcase four black and white close-up portraits of nurses that exemplify the changing face of nursing. Photographer: Christopher Myers.
In our work for educational institutions, both editorial and marketing materials depend on telling stories. Most stories revolve around students, faculty, alumni or benefactors. When these people are featured, it’s important to hire the right photographer, one who knows how to use art direction creatively and can achieve an original visual interpretation of the story.
Portraits for Magazines
Magazines are judged by the quality and creativity of their covers, and great covers take professionals working closely together.
Because editorial publications have a shorter shelf-life than most marketing materials, writers, photographers and art directors have a greater opportunity to exercise creative freedom. An arresting portrait on a magazine cover says there’s a story inside worth your time. It takes a professional photographer to make that cover happen, particularly one with expertise shooting portraits. Working with people, and making them comfortable in front of the camera, is a special talent, and photographers with that reassuring touch can create magic.
Cover portraits also require a clarifying concept to tie the featured person to their story and convey a message to the reader. Art directors are responsible for developing and executing the process, ensuring that: the text is understood; the visual interpretation is clear; the location – environment or studio – is optimal; the photographs work with the nameplate and cover text design; and the goals of the shoot are communicated effectively with the photographer both before and during the shoot.
Working in sync, experienced editorial teams tell memorable stories.
- Mendoza Business: Keri Kei Shibata takes over as chief of the storied ND police department. The campus is hers to serve and protect. Photographer: Bob Stefko.
- York College Magazine: For a feature story on a YCP math professor and cryptology expert, code numbers were superimposed over a dramatically lit portrait. Photographer: Christopher Myers.
- Nursing FOR/UM: This issue featured nurses in the military, with a faculty member in uniform striking a pose reminiscent of a retro army recruiting poster. Photographer: Christopher Myers.
- Fairfield University Magazine: For a cover story on a student production of Romeo and Juliet, we directed the photographer to create a composite portrait of the two leads. Photographer: Bob Handelman.
- The Mulberry Tree: An SMCM alumna who started a company making hand-crafted masks returned to campus as part of a visiting artists program. We featured her in one of her masks to create a memorable cover. Photographer: Bill Wood.
- The Bridge: A Messiah College alumna parlayed an internship into a summer job at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. Photographer: Ryan Smith.
Art directors are responsible for developing and executing the process, ensuring that: the text is understood; the visual interpretation is clear; the location – environment or studio – is optimal; the photographs work with the nameplate and cover text design; and the goals of the shoot are communicated effectively with the photographer both before and during the shoot.
Portraits for Marketing Communications
Materials for admissions, development and other marketing initiatives are created with targeted audiences in mind, so profiles are written to satisfy strategic goals and are generalized enough to remain relevant for a longer period of time. Profile subjects are chosen to illustrate specific goals – how they represent the institution, how they can speak to the goals of the project at hand, and how they will appeal to the prospective audience. Criteria for choosing portrait photographers for a marketing piece are similar to those for editorial projects, but with more attention to detail, more art direction and often more approvals from administrators and other stakeholders.
Admission viewbooks, for example, often incorporate portraits of students with a profile or testimonial. Students are chosen to show a range of diversity among the student body. Working with the photographer to establish a consistent portrait style (environmental or close-up? color or black and white?) helps to make the viewbook representative of the overall spirit of an academic community and keeps the design unified.
- University of Baltimore: Takia Ross, a graduate who started a business doing makeup for models, weddings, professional speakers, and “anyone who wants to look and feel prettier” is shown in front of her mobile studio. Photographer: Christopher Myers.
- York College of Pennsylvania: For the admissions viewbook, environmental portraits and testimonials resulted in a record-setting student recruitment effort. Photographer: Peter Howard.
- Lancaster Country Day School: A student is silhouetted with his saxophone for the admissions package. Photographer: Matthew Lester.
- Leap Journal: Black and white portraits taken of the director and staff of Johns Hopkins University’s Division of Rheumatology complemented the testimonials in the Story Project, a section devoted to personal stories. Photographer: Howard Korn.
- St. John’s College: Portraits of alumni were taken around the country to accompany interviews in a Capital Campaign report. Photographer: Jamey Stillings.
- Baltimore Urban Debate League: To promote the Baltimore Urban Debate League, a program in Baltimore city schools, we photographed young students on the debate team practicing their skills. Photographer: Bill Denison
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