Corporate photography for annual reports, Public relations or corporate brochures necessitates a photographer with extensive experience and resourcefulness. Unlike the studio merchandise or portrait photographer, where the environment is predictable and controlled, the situation is quite different for the yearly report or business photographer who is constantly working on place under unpredictable and unforeseen circumstances. The corporate portraits must be a master of executive portraiture, industrial photography, architectural photography, product photography as well as aerial photography as all these areas of experience will be required. One never knows what will be demanded at the”day in the life” of a corporate photographer, but the”attention” must always be exactly the same; specifically to market the image of the institution in the most favorable and efficient way.
Corporate photography is largely about people and about selling trust! Individuals leading, people working, folks communicating – as well as the environment where they work, while it’s in the executive boardroom, a factory setting or in a hi-tech lab; the story is always about the people who produce the solution or who are providing the service. Whatever the company produces or the support it sells, individuals are what make it happen and people will be the consumers of the particular merchandise or service they are marketing – that’s more often than not, in an already crowded and competitive market. Therefore, it stands to reason, that a fantastic corporate photographer will have good”people skills.” Professional versions are seldom used in annual report photography or for corporate retreats, because the businesses need to tell the truth in portraying their own people, therefore, the photographer must be quite great at making his subject comfy in order to depict a satisfying and sincere appearance, and that generally means talking – talking about what they do; their loved ones; what they enjoy, sports – anything seems to make a connection. This is a skill that could be developed; I’m not an extroverted person with no means, however, when it comes to”show time” I find myself doing a great deal of talking. Another trick is to shoot a lot – creating subtle variations within their present; paying particular attention to the nose and head in connection with the background, all of the while instilling their confidence that they are looking and doing great.
Resourcefulness is another crucial quality for industrial and corporate photography. Resourcefulness usually means the ability to generate the snare”sow’s ear into a silk purse.” In the instance of an ecological portrait for instance, the workplace setting will probably be uninteresting, therefore a careful selection for your desktop must be found. It may be in the office, it may be with a window or stairs, and it may be in the mill or in an outside facility. When it’s an environmental portrait, the portrait ought to make some kind of statement about the business and the environment has to work to this conclusion if at all possible. In any case, the background must be aesthetically pleasing and simple, so as not to divert focus away from the subject photographed. I have many times found myself in a colorless, clinically sterile lab and yet having to make a portrait that is compelling and will draw attention to this subject and the environment. In this case, composition is critical so that it’s both dynamic yet not distracting; and light is the secret to making a casual environment sing with color and contrast. When there is no colour in the landscape and color would improve the photograph, the corporate photographer can put colored filters within the light heads to judiciously create just the colour effect that’s desired. A different way to introduce colour into the spectacle is by allowing different colored light sources visit their natural uncorrected color; i.e. fluorescents will go green, tungsten lights can go very warm – even orange; daylight, even if the scenery is balanced to tungsten, the light will go really blue. The corporate or industrial photographer will learn to take what’s given and work with it.
Resourcefulness also means never stopping or taking”no” until 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 make it happen – assuming of course that it is important to the quality of the photograph or in finishing the assignment. Often times a shoot program may necessitate that it’s”now or not.” Anyone can simply accept the simple”no” however, your client will be much happier if you can still make it occur. I have been in situations which seemed hopeless, but with persistence, optimism and sometimes an almost stubborn sense of will power, it still happened!
In summary, the corporate photographer has to be diverse in his photography genre, and for that, extensive experience is the key. He/she is a master of the technical aspects of his craft, particularly with respect to lighting. He has the capacity to communicate and reach people so as to make them feel comfortable in front of the camera and he is a literary performer, a facilitator; a negotiator, an optimist.
Critical seeing and imagination is the hallmark of a seasoned industrial or corporate photographer, because this kind of location photography needs you to immediately adapt to unforeseen and uncontrollable conditions. Last but not least, the corporate photographer never says”no” until all possible means have been tried and tested. Business photography is about producing strong visual photographs that can sell his customer’s new – whatever it takes!