Strong Images That Serve a Purpose
May 20, 2019 by Megan
“Everyone has a Story.” “Build a Better World.” “Local Business Matters.”
With headlines like that, it is no wonder we are huge fans of collaborating on the Engage magazine with the Spokane County Library District. Getting to work with kindred spirits, driven to facilitate meaningful conversations with the community, it’s like a dream. And engaging the community is something SCLD is amazing at.
Launching the quarterly publication in 2017, SCLD came up with a way to share their diverse programs, initiatives, and resources with their patrons and general public that was beautiful, useful, and tactile. Every issue has a theme that plays into the design and reflects the current calendar and content. Supporting that theme with strong imagery has been a joy when the magazine issue demands a local image. Representing the various branches and neighborhoods served has been a fun opportunity for variety!
One thing we’ve loved is every shoot has centered on community members, volunteers, patrons of the library. Crafting images with people who aren’t trained models but who can warm up to the camera and show real care for the content and place is what I absolutely love. It lends to the authenticity of the publication, even if it is handled in a playful way. Like with the final issue of 2018, which was centered on Cheney businesses owners for the library’s focus on Small Business Saturday. I thought it would be fun to bring a piece of the library to the streets of Cheney, representing the individual businesses and business reference books to the cover image through props. While we captured the idea at the end of the shoot as a “we’ll see” after the safe traditional portraits were acquired, it won out as the favorite to make the cover. The energy and fun of that shot (above) remains a favorite. Additional support images were used for sprinkling throughout the issue.
While working on the Engage magazine covers, we were also able to take photos for the library to use in marketing materials beyond their magazine covers. When we do a photo shoot with a client, we try to capture as much as we can so that they can have the option to create a media library. This can create efficiency for one of our photo clients: instead of having to do multiple photo shoots every time they need images, they can look into their ready-made media library to see if they have something that will work for their new project while still being tailored to their needs.
We have been able to provide three photos for their Engage covers that convey what is essential about the Spokane County Libraries: they create a wonderful place for our community to come together. Beyond books, CDs, and DVDs, the libraries have art shows, creators in residence, and community meetings that bring everyone together, and that collaborative spirit continues to make partnering so wonderful.
Our most recent work with the library was in February when we joined Patrick Roewe (SCLD’s Executive Director) at the North Branch to update his leadership portraits. We were able to bring a backdrop on location for a required classic suit-and-tie headshot, as well as capture two other distinctive (and more casual) portraits within feet of each other.We accomplished a lot in a short time… and only had to reshoot a couple of images when we noticed we had positioned him next to a shelf of romance novels, on display in time for Valentine’s Day!
We’ll be returning to the North Spokane branch of SCLD (our home branch!) this week, for a different expression of partnership. SCLD is currently hosting the traveling artwork installation for A Walk Through Poverty and will be screening the 30 minute documentary on May 23 at 7PM. The fact that our libraries have supported and shared the documentary (and yes, even promoted it in Engage Magazine) has been an amazing gift. We’re so excited to join SNAP and Hemmingson Philanthropy once again to share A Walk Through Poverty with our library community. Thanks, SCLD!