One project that turned colleagues into friends

15 days of shooting, 20.000 photos, and 23 videos - these are the hard facts behind an extraordinary project, a large-scale employee photoshoot, led by Katharina Knaup. What did she learn most from it? Find out here in our blog article. By the way, all the images from this photoshoot can be seen on our careers page, recognize anyone?

  • Meet Katharina

    Katharina Knaup now works for Allianz Germany but was once a part of the "Group People Attraction" team at Allianz SE. She lead an intensive project, a photoshoot with a total of 81 real-life employees, last summer after completing her job-related studies. We interviewed Katharina about her project and were able to learn a lot about her work at Allianz. What she valued most about it was efficiency, collegiality, and fun at work. She says: "To meet so many open-hearted and committed Allianz colleagues in such a short period - that can't be a coincidence!"

  • How did the employee photoshoot project begin?

    "I pretty much started from scratch. We only knew who the photographer would be and that we would be taking pictures as well as video interviews with Allianz employees from a wide range of functional areas at various Allianz locations in Munich. The results of the photoshoot were intended to be used for the webpage, but also various employer branding measures around the globe by all Allianz entities. Furthermore, it was clear that we only had a very narrow time window of two months to organize and carry out all the shooting sessions."

  • How did the project proceed?

    "In addition to two months for the entire organization and execution of the photoshoot, we had another month to complete the final image selection, editing, and provision of the images and videos for all Allianz entities worldwide. The whole project process involved our photographer Skander Khlif, an agency for visual guidance and final provision of the images and videos, a make-up artist, a total of 81 testimonials, and me as the project manager. I was responsible to plan the shooting days, selecting, approaching, and convincing the testimonials to participate, as well as acting as a supervisor on site. We ended up with a total of 15 shooting days, in which we took around 20.000 photos and 23 videos with our testimonials at four different Allianz locations in Munich."

  • What was the most fun about the project?

    "I really enjoyed everything about this project! Especially the inspiring cooperation with our photographer Skander and the opportunity to get to know so many great colleagues with various roles in the Allianz Group, backgrounds, and different nationalities. This implied convincing our testimonials to participate in the photo project, providing them with a good time on set, feeling comfortable and lots of laughs."

  • What were the biggest challenges? And how did you overcome them?

    "The very small time frame in summer, which was caused not only by the pandemic but also by the holiday period in August, and of course the uncertain conditions and many safety measures to be observed in times of the pandemic. At the beginning of the project, I expected that it would be difficult to coordinate the schedules of the individual participants for the shooting days, but it turned out, that due to the incredible commitment and flexibility of our Allianz employees, it worked out very well. Minor challenges we were able to overcome with a great deal of communication and willingness to negotiate on the part of all those involved."

  • What was the result of the project?

    "In the end, with a heavy heart, we selected around 250 images for the final selection, produced 23 video interviews, and made them available to our Allianz entities worldwide. Seeing the results of the project in action every day on various internal and external platforms, such as company presentations, LinkedIn, or our careers website, in a wide variety of contexts fills me with a great sense of joy and pride. The fact that this project achieved great results and has such a big impact on Allianz's employer branding was something I only really realized after the project was completed."

  • What did you learn from the project and how did it benefit you personally?

    "We have an incredible number of very committed and diverse "Allianzers" who are passionate about their job and value Allianz very highly as an employer. This was shown particularly by the fact that when asked, sometimes very spontaneously, colleagues agreed to participate in the project as testimonials with the fullest confidence. I also became very aware of my strengths, which I was able to specifically integrate into the project. There was a lot of trust in me and my abilities, so I was able to manage the project completely on my own. This has given me a lot of self-confidence and enables me to tackle current and future challenging projects."

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