Professional Photography Skills for the Corporate Photographer

Corporate photography for annual reports, Public relations 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 Corporate photographer must be a master of executive portraiture, industrial photography, architectural photography, product photography and even aerial photography because all these areas of expertise will be required. One never knows what will be demanded in the “day in the life” of a corporate photographer, but the “focus” must always be the same; namely to sell the image of the company in the most positive and effective way.

Corporate photography is mostly all about people and about selling trust! People leading, people working, people communicating – as well as the environment in which they work, whether it is in the executive boardroom, a factory setting or in a hi-tech lab; the story is always about the people that make the product or who are providing the service. Regardless of what the company produces or the service it sells, people are what make it happen and people are the consumers of the specific product or service that they are marketing – which 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 rarely used in annual report photography or for corporate brochures, because the companies need to be honest in portraying their own people, therefore, the photographer must be very good at making his subject comfortable in order to portray a pleasing and sincere appearance, and that usually means talking – talking about what they do; their family; what they enjoy, sports – whatever seems to make a connection. This is a skill that can be developed; I am not an extroverted person by any means, however, when it comes 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, all the while instilling their confidence that they are looking and doing great.

Resourcefulness is another critical quality for industrial and corporate photography. Resourcefulness means the ability to make the proverbial “sow’s ear into a silk purse.” In the case of an environmental portrait for instance, the office setting will probably be uninteresting, so a careful selection for the background must be found. It may be in the office, it may be by a window or staircase, and it may be in the factory or at an outside facility. If it’s an environmental portrait, the portrait should make some kind of statement about the company and the environment must work to that end if at all possible. In any case, the background must be aesthetically pleasing and simple, so as not to divert attention 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 the subject and the environment. In this case, composition is critical so that it is both dynamic yet not distracting; and lighting is the key to making a mundane environment sing with color and contrast. If 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 by allowing different colored light sources go to their natural uncorrected color; i.e. fluorescents will go 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 is given and work with it.

Resourcefulness also means never quitting or accepting “no” until the “fat lady sings,” There may be times when someone says that something can’t 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 completing the assignment. Often times a shoot schedule may necessitate that it is “now or never.” Anyone can just accept the easy “no” but your client will be much happier if you can somehow still make it happen. I have been in situations that seemed impossible, but with persistence, optimism and in some cases an almost obstinate sense of will power, it still happened!

In conclusion, the corporate photographer must 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, especially with regards to lighting. He has the ability to communicate and reach people in order to make them feel comfortable in front of the camera and he is a resourceful artist, a facilitator; a negotiator, an optimist.

Critical seeing and creativity is the hallmark of an experienced corporate or industrial photographer, because this kind of location photography requires one to quickly adjust to unforeseen and uncontrollable circumstances. Last but not least, the corporate photographer never says “no” until all possible means have been persistently tried and tested. Corporate photography is all about creating strong visual photographs that will sell his client’s brand – whatever it takes!

Digital Photography Tips – Get the Lighting Right

No matter how amazing your camera is, there is not much you can do about poor lighting unless you know what you are doing. I am going to show you a few lighting tips that will boost your digital photography skills to the next level and surely prevent some anxiety for you in the future. Placement is perhaps the most important factor in getting the lighting just right for your digital photos. If you are using artificial lighting, make sure that you never put the light behind the subject as this will cause a nasty glare in your pictures. The best place for lighting is either behind the photographer or on the sides and a little bit in front of the subject. Halogen lamps usually do a fine job, you shouldn’t need any more than five hundred watts.

When using a backdrop, it is probably the best idea to use a light colored one. Black and other very dark colors tend to absorb most of the light. White would be the best color, but other light colors work fine as well. You can achieve a white backdrop by simply taping a white sheet or blanket onto the wall behind the person or thing you are photographing. As long as the borders of it don’t show up in the picture, no one will be able to tell. However, your picture will look sharp and clear.

Be wary of shadows, too much light can cause overbearing shadows. If you have too little light, the photo will be too dark to see the subject. When it comes to digital cameras, most of the time the picture in the view finder looks brighter than the photo when it actually comes out. This is where testing and repetition come in. With digital cameras, you don’t have to worry about wasting money on film — you can simply delete the photos you don’t like and continue to snap away.

These are only a few things you can do to improve the lighting in your digital photos. On my blog, I review a guide that is probably the best digital photography resources around.

Selling Pictures on the Internet – How to Make Money With Your Digital Photography

If you’re anything like me you’ve been shooting with your digital camera for a while now and now you want to find some fun ways to make some money with your pictures. There are so many sources to sell your images these days, but it can be pretty complicated to know what images sell and how to share them. There are loads of online websites who are always looking for photographers to supply them with everyday images that they can sell for you.

Our family has always gone on nice summer vacations to somewhere warm and fun. I had no idea that some of these images are in demand by internet based stock agencies. Can you imagine getting paid taking pictures while you’re you take on holiday? I guess those travel and resort companies need photographs from somewhere.

I’m now taking my digital camera everywhere. You never know what you’ll come across that’s worth capturing. It’s so cool to have the opportunity to make some money and have fun being creative. I’m sure you’re the same as me, shoot lots – load up the computer with pictures and not know what to do with them all. You know they’re cool and interesting, but what to do with them? I’ve even made enough money to buy a new computer with a bigger hard drive. More importantly, I’ve learned enough, that now my images are out there making money and not sitting around doing nothing.

Now if you’re a little more creative than the next photographer, then you’ll be happy to know there’s probably even more money to be made selling your photographs online. Advertising agencies and design studios buy millions of dollars of stock photography every year, and those pictures have to come from somewhere. Many of those photos come from everyday people and not professionals. Graphic designers and advertising agencies buy loads of photographs off of the internet. Before I found this great resource site I thought those photographs only came from professionals. Here’s a helpful hint I learned, office or business photos sell really well.