At Sprout, we use photography to celebrate our people, products and unique perspectives on social media. Whether of our customers, industry partners or our own Team Sprout, our photography positions people at the center, capturing their authentic selves in a creative and illuminated setting.
Portraits are captured with a medium depth of field to keep the subject sharp and grounded in their environment. We shoot at eye-level to directly connect with the subject and build a sense of trust between the subject and audience. We always pre-interview our subjects to learn about who they are and how they view themselves before hopping into a photoshoot, so we can focus on their personality and capture them authentically and comfortably.
Two-point lighting is our base lighting technique for subjects in the studio. Our key light is a large, diffused daylight flash and modifier higher up and angled toward our subject. Our secondary source is a medium, diffused modifier that serves as a fill light rather than a highlighter. Additionally, we create scenes and backgrounds that typically use a simple light for a 1:3 foreground-background ratio.
Outside, we tend towards a naturalistic lighting approach that utilizes available light first, then supplements with diffused daylight flashes and techniques that mimic dappled light from trees and sunset lighting. For a sunset approach, we utilize one powerful flash with double CTO gels as an edge light balanced with a gentle diffused key light.
Our sets are customized per project, but all aim to complement the subject and tone, and establish a well-designed environment that adds to the emotion of the portrait. Sometimes, we photograph subjects on seamless paper backdrops based on our Sprout primary and secondary color palettes. Additionally, we use textured, semi-translucent fabric backdrops that complement our core Sprout brand and the selected wardrobe. Furthermore, we love the outdoors and love capturing people in comfortable, colorful settings where they are relaxed and connected to their surroundings.
Our wardrobe guidelines favor solid colors and can be described as “smart casual.” We want our subjects to feel confident, bold and authentic. Here is a typical list we offer to subjects for consideration on shoots.
- Brightly colored clothing in our palette
- Bold, poppy, graphic patterns
- Accessories: scarves, jewelry, glasses, hairpieces, etc
- Light pastels as neutrals rather than white and nudes
- Dark navy denim
- All black everything
- Pure white tops
- Logos or graphic tees
- Sprout-branded items
- Avoid highlighter and glitter
- We will provide translucent anti-shine powder
Application: Customers, partners & leaders
At Sprout, what matters most are the business owners, agencies, brands, causes and communities that trust us to help them succeed.
We capture bold, authentic and inspiring portraits that are as diverse as the Sprout community of customers and partners. We capture people’s unique character in a creative environment that supports their story as industry leaders who embrace social media as a vital part of their overall business strategies—and the key to making deeper connections with their audience.
Application: Team Sprout
Our team is made up of talented, thoughtful and eclectic individuals who inspire us to build stronger communities, company culture and a better product every day.
We love to capture our people as themselves—curious, spirited and visionary.
When capturing a creative headshot of our team, we like to have fun with poses and color-blocking.
When telling the story of our people on social, we focus on capturing our team members via comfortable environmental portraits and authentic, candid moments.
Sprout culture / Behind the scenes / Work from wherever
When sharing what it’s like to work and play at Sprout Social, we let loose and embrace a fun, authentic photo-documentary approach that captures the Sprout Team and culture whether in the office or at home.
At Sprout, we use photography to demonstrate the power and simplicity of our product to scale growing businesses across social.
We frame our product environments in a variety of ways: center-center, rule of thirds, bird’s eye and on tangent. This keeps our audience surprised and provides the variety that our social team loves. However, our standard is that all tech devices are captured square to camera with a medium depth of field to keep the subject sharp and grounded in their environment.
We shoot both tabletop and environmental scenes to mix-and-match our more artfully curated tech scenes with real-life working environments that our audience can relate to.
In our curated tabletop scenes, we separate the background from the table to maintain a medium depth of field that highlights the subject but lets the background fall out of focus. We volley between a two and three light setup. Our standard two-light approach uses diffused key and fill lights in a low 2:1 ratio. To add emphasis, hard shadows or long reflections with various props, we use a high-intensity edge light with a narrow beam to create our desired aesthetics.
When we capture our product in working environments, we tend to use a more shallow depth of field and available daylight balanced with subtle contouring on hands and objects. We often use window light balanced with a diffused fill light with a 3:1 ratio to keep shadows defined and to add a sense of depth to the scenes.
We design environments to meet the creative needs of the project. Whether that’s photographing on seamless paper backdrops, textured surfaces or designing real-life working environments, our scenes are designed around Sprout’s color palette with a balance of simplicity and texture. We never photograph products on fabric backdrops, however.
Applications: Social imagery & beyond
Our scenes are built to draw attention to our product while being artfully designed to stop our audience mid-scroll.
Whether we design campaigns, events or content for our community spaces, we often use conceptual photography, GIFs and even stop-motion video to tell stories. This helps us demonstrate our in-depth product solutions through a simple lens that focuses on solving our customers toughest business issues.
Our creative approach for conceptual photography is as custom as it gets. We examine the goals and objectives of the project, brainstorm conceptual solutions and produce proofs-of-concept to test our ideas. Once we test to find the best creative approach, we design one-of-a-kind visuals, tailored lighting and hand-crafted set design to tell our story.
For the promotion of our Sprout Social Index™, Edition XVII, our marketing partners requested evergreen, scroll-stopping content with the goal to drive awareness and build Sprout’s reputation as a bold and creative brand, and thought leader in the space.
To partner with the report’s stellar web experience, we developed a four-part, stop-motion and photography campaign that highlighted key stats and insights from the report. We aimed to draw in marketing leaders with eye-catching motion, imagery and conceptual storytelling that highlighted the need to stand out from the competition by being a leader, and leveraging social data.
Application: Social and Content Hub
As our strategy evolves to meet our audiences’ changing needs, we have opportunities to leverage our own data to create fun and insightful content that is “snackable,” eye-catching and shareable.
For Valentine’s Day, we wanted to highlight our Social Listening solution through a low-lift, fun play on the social data that makes our heart beat fast. And to promote the Content Hub’s fall flavors article we leveraged a more live-action, stop-motion hybrid approach to draw in our audience on social.