Helping companies tell what they're doing – visually

Engage readers with Shadows and Silhouettes

Many corporate communicators have shared their struggles with how to create photos that will engage their stakeholders, who might include employees, customers, shareholders and the public. This is especially challenging in today’s digital communications environment, which demands frequent updates.

They ask, “How can we keep our photos fresh and interesting, so people will come back to see what’s new?”

My advice is to throw shadows and silhouettes into your box of tools. You don’t want to do this every time you’re taking photos, but it’s good to be aware of how helpful this technique can be. Now and then, try throwing a shadow or silhouette photo into your corporate communications news cycle and see what reactions come in return.

Some suggestions for creating photos with silhouettes or shadows:

Had this photo exposed for both the juggler and the background buildings, there might have been too much activity for the eye to absorb your message. Placing the street performer in silhouette creates interesting contrast while also quickly showing readers that the performance was taking place in downtown Charlotte.

Notice how including just a bit of the footwear in the image below helps to quickly explain the unusual shape of the shadows. The goal is to make readers pause to study the image… and then jump into your text to learn more.

This next image is a partial silhouette. Notice how well the clean graphic lines of the frame and hammer offset the features of the woman, who is volunteering her time at a Habitat for Humanity build.

Getting low while shooting this silhouette eliminated background clutter (including the bunching up of the other boaters), and created an image with nice graphic elements.

Patrons at the Mint Museum of Art Uptown seem to become part of the artwork because they are captured in silhouette.

The shadow of this barbecue chef against his smoker.

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