What is an image bank, why it is so important and how to build your own image bank? Find all answers in this episode with Cecilia and Jesper.
By using a combination of CGI, photography, image retouch and image enhancement, inspirational photo assets with a unique or specific look and feel can be created.
In our discussion, we speak about:
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AE: [00:00:00.09] How are you, Cecilia?
CL: [00:00:05.73] I'm good. I'm good.
AE: [00:00:07.86] Nice. And Jesper is here as well. How are you?
JB: [00:00:11.46] I'm very good, thanks. How about you, Alex?
AE: [00:00:14.04] Yeah, I'm good as well. Really nice to have you both on this episode. So today, we're going to talk about image production and image banks. And before we start with that, Cecilia, you haven't been on the Podcast before. So for the listeners who don't know you, could you introduce yourself? What do you do at Zooma?
CL: [00:00:38.91] I am a production manager at Zooma. I started work here in 2016, I think, and before that, I actually had a short episode at Zooma in 2009, I think for a year or a year and a half. And then I went back in 2016. So yeah, that's me.
AE: [00:01:03.84] Yeah. And Jesper, for the ones who haven't heard your episode on the Internship Pod.
JB: [00:01:15.06] Yeah, so I work as a project manager. I've been at Zooma for... Yeah, I started off as an intern, so I think including that time, I'm almost closing in on like six years or something, more or less.
AE: [00:01:35.25] So when me and Doug sat down and scheduled different topics and who should be a guest in the pod, and when we came to the topic, image and image production and image banks, we thought of you two. Cecilia, could you explain a bit what you do for customers related to this topic?
CL: [00:02:05.33] Yes, I'm working with one customer, and the assignment is to create images for their image bank. We have done that for several years now, so we have developed a quite good team and production process. Yeah, what else would you like to know?
AE: [00:02:35.11] Yeah. We're going to go into the details later. Jesper, could you explain what you do?
JB: [00:02:49.42] My experience with image production is sort of similar to what Cecilia is doing just at a smaller scale. Often in various projects, we create images for customers. Yeah.
AE: [00:03:13.42] Yeah. So, Cecilia, for our listeners who don't know, could you explain what is an image bank?
CL: [00:03:22.65] An image bank is like a place. It could be a portal or an area where the company stores or make images available for all the employees. Images that could be used both internally and externally for different purposes, different communications, everything from prints or brochures to social media and web and so on. And in this image bank, they also know that the images there are on brand, they are all rights and licenses are cleared, so it's safe, easy to use and so on. And yeah, the images reflect the company in the way the company wants it to be reflected or depicted.
AE: [00:04:22.37] So Jesper, could you give an example of a project where you have created/produced images for an image bank? How does it start? And walk us through the process.
JB: [00:04:40.58] Yeah. The project can look very different depending on its purpose. I would say for a larger type project where, the main purpose is to create a big bulk of images, let's say, I think Cecilia maybe has a better knowledge of the full process, but in general and please fill in if you notice that I'm going off of fact. But in general, I would say start off by looking at the purpose, what are you creating? What need are you fulfilling for the customer, and what type of images do they need? How should they look what tonality? Yeah. And that all depends of course, on the customer. So that's where you start. And then I know that you, Cecilia, you work a lot like close to the customer to create these lists of, of their wants and needs basically.
CL: [00:05:55.94] Yeah. But it could be both big and small because it could be like for one project they could create and web page, then they need a hero image for that specific topic, that should really visualize what the topic is about. But it could also be like one topic could include several different subtopics, so to say, and for different communication purposes. So both big and small. But I would say that it's good to listen carefully and to collect as much input as possible from the customers because they know their company. But we could help them to create images that visualize their needs in maybe a bit different ways that they didn't think of at first. So it usually is a very good collaboration between us and especially when it comes to images that are a bit maybe technically advanced or maybe if we take software, for example, communication about software and software services is maybe not that easy to visualize. So then we need to have close communication. But when it comes to maybe lifestyle, it's much easier to find out how to illustrate or how to depict these. So yeah, it depends a lot on what kind of topic they need.
JB: [00:07:39.23] Yeah. And I mean, after you go through that process, then we get to the actual production of the images and that could also look really different depending on what Cecilia just said. So I mean, for instance, some images we base off of stock images from stock photos that we buy and license and edit and, you know, adjust colours and stuff like that in order to to make it more, to what the customer wants. Sometimes we arrange photoshoots and create like set a special scene, let's say if that's needed, or sometimes for like really technical stuff for if you're creating an image, they're supposed to reflect the future we create images from scratch using CGI. So there are a lot of different types of images that can be created depending on the need as well. So, yeah, basically, to summarise the process right it's...
CL: [00:08:54.51] ...a wide mix of different techniques for production. But that's also good because then it makes the images unique for the company. So if you just buy a stock image, of course, you need to really make sure you have the correct licenses and rights in place to use the images for all the communication purposes that are needed. But then it could, of course, also pop up at another site or in another campaign for another company. If you do not buy the exclusive rights, which is. Not very often they do, but so that you will avoid if you do either own photoshoots or create these environments in 3D or CGI or even then combine different techniques. So that will make the images more unique for the company. And I think that is, is good.
AE: [00:10:07.31] Thank you for that. And talking about image banks, what are the main challenges to creating an image bank?
CL: [00:10:26.00] I think that creating an image bank could be either a full portal or it could be just a folder with images. So that is not, I think, the big or the major challenge, I think the challenge is to keep the brand consistency so it really feels like it is well thought out, consistent, and on brand. So I mean, if you have a website and you scroll or browse the website, it should feel like it's consistent but also think it's, I think you had that on your list, Jesper, regarding the structure for the user, that you have a good structure and nomenclature and tags, that makes it easy to find the images that you need. And I would also say that it is important to have this as an ongoing project for a long time because if you start with 100 images, they are quite soon used in a lot of different communication channels. And if you have been using one image in one place, you will not use the same image because it feels like it's already used or old or whatever. So, I think it's critical that you continue to add images to this image bank to always reflect the actual situation.
JB: [00:12:09.38] And therein lies the challenge as well, to be consistent over a long period of time as you're creating more and more images to really make sure that, you know all about that, Alex, in content creation, the importance of structure and in terms of like naming and tagging. So that's like when you then look for the image, you find what you're looking for. You don't get the wrong suggestions, let's say if you have a search function. So, for the end user, which is usually the employees of a company, it's really important I think.
CL: [00:12:53.69] And also to feel like it's up to date. I mean with the current situation like we've had the pandemic maybe it's not a good idea to show crowded images, a lot of people and so on. We had another situation with drones because drones are quite popular in the images, but right now, thinking of the Ukraine war and so on, drones are considered quite unfriendly. So we have to be very careful in how we use drones in the images and so on. So you need to stay up to date with what's happening in the world around us as well.
JB: [00:13:40.37] Sensitive subjects, and what you should avoid.
CL: [00:13:46.42] Yeah.
JB: [00:13:47.29] There's always something.
AE: [00:13:48.77] Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah, my final question is, if you have any further or any other tips related to image production or creating an image bank, Jesper?
JB: [00:14:06.30] Yeah, I would say it's, it's sort of ties back into what we've just said. I think it's really important to have, especially if you're starting from scratch to have a really clear idea of what it is you want to create, and really think about how you should structure it long term and not only for the, for first time you create something I think that's really good to have with you. And also what we just said about, the situation in the world, sensitive subjects what to avoid, how other people could interpret what you create, in all visual communication is really important. So I think that's also a good tip.
CL: [00:14:54.25] And I can just add that we feel that the employees really appreciate having this image bank. The go-to place for images that they know are unique. They are on brand. They are consistent. All rights and everything is in place, no worries about that. So I think it is a really good idea to create an image bank.
AE: [00:15:28.42] With those words we summarise this episode. So thank you very much for participating.
JB: [00:15:35.20] Thank you. Really nice to be a part of it.
AE: [00:15:41.09] Bye bye.