Photography

We’re big fans of photography at Adaptiva. When using photographic assets, choose images that convey a sense of motion, acceleration, and approachability.

Shooting original content

Motion, acceleration, and approachability. Keep that in mind whenever you’re taking photographs for Adaptiva. The sense of feeling emanating from the image is the top priority. The majority of our original photography is from events, for which the design lab travels on occasion.

Event photography involves a lot of people and even some staged portraits. When photographing people, keep the following in mind:

  • Wide apertures are always preferred when photographing people in natural light.
  • Err on the side of overexposure (not too far)
  • Leverage strong, diffused light whenever possible
  • Look for smiles
Example of acceptable photography at Adaptiva
Example of acceptable photography at Adaptiva
Example of acceptable photography at Adaptiva
Example of acceptable photography at Adaptiva

Studio photography

Studio photography is handled on a case-by-case basis, and some shoots will have different art direction than others. But in adherence to the brand aesthetic, we keep all photography relatively bright with a little contrast boost and a pleasing color treatment that aligns with our colors.

Example of acceptable studio photography at Adaptiva
Example of acceptable studio photography at Adaptiva

Stock photography

We try to avoid stock photography as much as possible. Since we’re able to produce top-tier in-house photographic assets, stock photography can only cheapen our brand. Plus, when the desired image is not available, it’s worth it to consider other methods of visual communication, as photographs come at a high performance cost in any scenario.

However, there are times when we cave and shell out for stock imagery (convenience). When choosing stock photography, remember: motion, acceleration, and approachability.

Good!

Example of acceptable stock photography at Adaptiva
Example of acceptable stock photography at Adaptiva

Look for images with streaky lights ad motion blur. Lots of blue tones are a plus.

Bad!

Example of unacceptable stock photography at Adaptiva

Busy patterns and textures don't play nice as background images, so they don't make for good "investments".

Example of unacceptable stock photography at Adaptiva

We usually don't use images of people unless we're talking or writing about the person in the photo. Using imagery of people always presents at least some sort of PR risk, and streaky lights images resonate with our messaging more anyway.

Color treament

When color grading images, we usually give a very slight S-curve with a little extra bump between the mids and highlights, and raise the output on the Blue channel a little.

When creating background images in Photoshop, we often set a solid color adjustment layer to blend mode Color, then duplicate it and set to Normal, then adjust the opacity as needed. Use masks and Hue / Saturation layers for more granular control. For background images, we often add a radial gradient in the corner on a new layer, (see color guidelines) for instructions on gradients), and adjust opacity as needed.

Example of acceptable photo color treatment at Adaptiva

As far as I’m concerned, results are more important than process when working with color grading and image retouching in the Adobe suite. As long as the end result fits the brand, you do you in Photoshop. Just name your layers.