Just one month after becoming a part of the Cisco Family, I overheard some co-workers discussing the need to update their LinkedIn profile portraits. As an avid photographer, I quickly stepped in and offered to volunteer some time to make this happen. It was a great way to bond with my co-workers, and it was also a fun way to incorporate one of my hobbies into the work day!

So you want to share why you #LoveWhereYouWork? For a lot of folks at Cisco, it’s because of the people they work with. Here’s how to take colleague photos that truly shine:

1. Ask Permission – Not everyone is comfortable having their photo taken and/or shared online. It’s best to ask before you start snapping.
2. Capture an emotion or story – Leave the viewer intrigued and wanting to know more about your experience! Capturing a team activity or outing off campus is a perfect idea. Really, anything that captures the atmosphere of the moment helps to enhance the story you’re trying to tell. For example, if your team is volunteering, taking a photo in action may be more intriguing to the viewer than a posed group picture (although those are still great moments to capture too!)
3. Make sure your image pops! This means it’s well lit, in focus, and has good color or contrast. You want to get your exposure just right—not too dark and not too light, and you want everyone’s faces to be seen.

  • Most phone cameras will expose your photo based on where you touch the screen to focus. If the image on your screen looks too dark, tap on the dark section to focus and your camera will adjust and brighten up.
  • Typically, photos taken outside work great, but be careful of harsh sunlight during the middle of the day because it creates harsh shadows. If you’re taking a photo in the office, us the windows to your advantage. Placing a subject in front of a window will create a back-light effect and your subjects will be too dark. Adjust so your colleagues are standing in good light.
  • Filters are your friend when used tastefully. They can boost your dull picture into a bright and colorful photo.

4. Share, share, share. I really enjoy sharing the Cisco brand throughout my photos partly because I love the Cisco brand so much, and partly because I like to provide some context for viewers who may not work at or know a whole lot about Cisco.  People really enjoy learning more where you work and what the life is like there “behind the scenes” so to speak.  Also, you never know who will stumble across your photos! Many of Cisco’s ELT are quite active throughout social media and really enjoy engaging with their followers and – you guessed it! – Cisco employees. So, who  knows – maybe Chuck Robbins will see your next great image!
5. Hashtags! I typically use a few hashtags, but never more than 2-3 if at all possible. Too many can start to distract from your main post. If I want colleagues at Cisco to view my photo, I typically choose from #LoveWhereYouWork, #WeAreCisco, and #Cisco and I might even make up a few… #ChangingTheWorld, #MyJobRocks #RTP to broaden the scope of my post. You also have the freedom to tag various Cisco pages in your posts. @WeAreCisco is a great one to tag on Twitter and Instagram to share your employee stories with our Talent Brand team.

As an avid picture-taker and proud employee of Cisco, I love sharing my work experiences on social media. For me, this is an example of how I integrate my work and personal life. It’s important to note that not all content works for every social media platform. You still want to make sure your LinkedIn head-shot is standard and professional, but Instagram and Twitter allow more creative freedom, so have fun with it!


Want to share your #LoveWhereYouWork story with us on Social Media?  Don’t forget to tag us! @WeAreCisco #WeAreCisco


Ileana Cates

Employer Brand Manager

WeAreCisco Employer Brand Team