A conversation with Isla Grant of Lane Neave

The majority of companies aren't aware of how many images they go through per week or month, and many are surprised to see they use more than they thought they did. This can lead to unnecessary, hidden costs and a waste of time and resources. But it can also compromise the quality of the content produced.

Isla Grant of Lane Neave

Quality over quantity is a pertinent notion amongst businesses nowadays: it's about doing more with less, defining the brand's identity, optimising products and services, and enhancing the stories told. As a tooth in that cog, the act of sourcing images for marketing collateral is susceptible to the same notion. Nevertheless, many organisations remain unaware of the number of images they use and, consequently, of how picking one good photo – as opposed to many bad ones – can be both more cost-effective and compelling.

Photo by Lorraine Neill

"While we are not a heavy user of photographic images, we do like to get it right when we do use them," says Isla Grant, the Communications Manager at Lane Neave, one of NZ's oldest law firms currently operating in Otautahi / Christchurch, Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland, Whanganui-a-tara / Wellington, and Tahuna / Queenstown.

As an NZ-based company, Lane Neave tends to require New Zealand specific imagery. And as the one responsible for their internal and external communications, Isla chooses the visuals for social media platforms and presentations to clients, industry bodies, and other organisations.

Photo by Artana

Although the number of photos varies hugely depending on the presentation’s length, topic, and audience, Isla estimates they go through a monthly average of 20-30 images; which, under most traditional stock libraries' basic subscription would amount to anywhere between US$50 and US$100 per month. Furthermore, this fee would only allow a single user to download from the library. For an organisation like Lane Neave, this is far from ideal since, as Isla explains, "there is a marketing coordinator who uses imagery for social media, individual lawyers putting together their own presentations, and some internal use of images for our intranet by a variety of staff." This all adds up to a surprising amount considering the firm is not a “heavy user” of photographs.

Photo by Damon Marshall

But whether a 'heavy' or ‘light’ user, there is another – perhaps more relevant – aspect to keep in mind: each photo chosen has either a good or poor impact on the audience. In the case of Lane Neave, choosing the 'right' photo can be the factor that distinguishes a great presentation from an average one – therefore an element Isla pays heed to. "I think it is important to have eye-catching, engaging imagery to support the text, but equally not to distract," she explains. "We also certainly have to be mindful when picking images not to include anything inappropriate or alienating."

As for how to make sure you've chosen the right photo for an impactful presentation, Isla emphasises the need to stay away from anything too obviously 'stock'. "Audiences are much more sophisticated these days," she highlights. "The days of two people smiling and shaking hands to indicate a deal are long gone!" Which is precisely what she finds unfavourable about international stock libraries, where there's a huge number of photos — but few authentic ones. "There was also a sense that sometimes the images were too generic to be really impactful," says Isla. "Excio’s images are great at offering something that feels bespoke."

Discover Excio's PhotoTokens as a flexible, cost-effective way for your organisation to source authentic NZ-specific images.

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