Professional Photography Skills for the Corporate Photographer



Corporate photography for annual reports, Pr or corporate brochures requires a photographer with extensive experience and resourcefulness. Unlike the studio product or portrait photographer, where the environment is controlled and predictable, the scenario is very different for the annual report or corporate photographer who is always working on location under unpredictable and unforeseen circumstances. The organization photographer must be a master of executive portraiture, industrial photography, architectural photography, product photography as well as aerial photography because each one of these special areas of practice will be required. One never knows what’s going to be demanded in the “day in the life” of a corporate photographer, but the “focus” should always function as the same; namely to sell the image of the company within the most positive and effective way.

Corporate photography is mostly about people and about selling trust! People leading, people working, people communicating – along with the environment that they work, whether it is in the executive boardroom, a factory setting or perhaps in a hi-tech lab; the storyline is definitely concerning the people who result in the product or who are providing the service. Regardless of what the organization produces or the service it sells, people are what make it happen and people would be the consumers of the specific service or product that they’re marketing – that is more often than not, in an already crowded and competitive market. Therefore, it stands to reason, that a good corporate photographer will have good “people skills.” Professional models are hardly ever utilized in annual report photography or corporate brochures, because the companies have to be honest in portraying their very own people, therefore, the Corporate Photography should be excellent at making his subject comfortable in order to portray a nice and sincere appearance, and that results in talking – referring to the things they’re doing; their loved ones; what they enjoy, sports – whatever appears to create a connection. This can be a skill that can be developed; I’m not an extroverted person by any means, however, with regards to “show time” I find myself doing a lot of talking. Another tip is to shoot a lot – making subtle variations in their pose; paying particular attention to the head and nose in relation to the background, even while instilling their confidence that they’re looking and doing great.

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Resourcefulness is yet another critical quality for industrial and corporate photography. Resourcefulness means the ability to result in the proverbial “sow’s ear into a silk purse.” In the case of an eco portrait for example, the office setting will likely be uninteresting, so a careful selection for the background must be found. It might be in the office, it may be with a window or staircase, and it will be in the factory or at an outside facility. Whether it’s an eco portrait, the portrait should have kind of statement about the company and the environment must work to that end if at all possible. Regardless, the backdrop must be great looking and simple, so they won’t divert attention from the subject photographed. I have often found myself in a colorless, clinically sterile lab and yet making a portrait that’s compelling and will draw attention to the topic and the environment. In this instance, composition is critical so that it is both dynamic though not distracting; and lighting is the key to creating a mundane environment sing with color and contrast. When there is no color in the scene and color would enhance the photograph, the corporate photographer can put colored filters over the light heads to judiciously create just the color effect that is desired. Another way to introduce color into the scene is as simple as allowing different colored light sources visit their natural uncorrected color; i.e. fluorescents goes green, tungsten lights will go very warm – even orange; daylight, if the scene is balanced to tungsten, the light will go very blue. The industrial or corporate photographer will learn to take what’s given and work with it.

Resourcefulness also means never quitting or accepting “no” before the “fat lady sings,” There may be times when someone says that something can not be done. I look at that as an invitation to explore every possible means by which to get it done – assuming of course that it’s vital that you the caliber of the photograph or perhaps in completing a job. Quite often a shoot schedule might have to have that it’s “now or never.” You can now just accept the simple “no” but your client will be much happier if you’re able to somehow still make it happen. I have been in situations that seemed impossible, but with persistence, optimism and perhaps an almost obstinate feeling of perseverence, still it happened!

In conclusion, the organization photographer should be diverse in the photography genre, as well as for that, extensive experience is the key. He/she is a master from the technical aspects of his craft, particularly with regards to lighting. He has the ability to communicate and reach individuals order to make them feel comfortable in front of the camera and he is really a resourceful artist, a facilitator; a negotiator, an optimist.

Critical seeing and creativity may be the hallmark of an experienced corporate or industrial photographer, as this kind of location photography requires someone to quickly adapt to unforeseen and uncontrollable circumstances. Finally, the organization photographer never says “no” until all possible means happen to be persistently tried and tested. Corporate photography is about creating strong visual photographs which will sell his client’s brand – whatever needs doing!