From the last few hours I have spent researching corporate photography, it’s become clear to me that the above is what people associate the most with corporate photography. Type in “corporate photography important” into any search engine, and the top five results will all tell you the same thing: that corporate photography is an investment in your brand, that it will allow an individual or business to direct their image as they see fit, and that it is essential to establishing a professional online presence – but what is corporate photography? Why is a corporate photographer an important asset?
Corporate photography originated in 1920’s corporate America. At its inception, photography found little favour with the public, as illustration-based advertising dominated the first half of the 20th century. Contrastingly, we now exist in an increasingly internet-based, image-saturated era dominated by the power of the photograph – photographic imagery is ubiquitous and this extends to business practices. Individuals and businesses that do not make use of such a visually-oriented pool of consumers miss out on valuable opportunities.
Photography in the context of the contemporary corporate world is a system of visual communication at its most basic level. Photography draws upon subject matter that exists in reality, and this realistic quality allows the corporate photographer to tease out the maximum potential of an image; however, the role of the corporate photographer goes beyond merely capturing attractive and professional images.
A good corporate photographer will work closely with the marketing manager, and in so doing strengthen a company’s image and brand. Working with a corporate photographer is a process and a relationship that is built over time as opposed to a once-off transaction, involving a constant process of evaluation and re-evaluation on the part of the photographer and the client.
Oliver Karstel is a Pretoria-based South African photographer and creative consultant. As an award-winning photographer and videographer, Oliver has worked with multiple multi-national corporations and organisations including the United Nations (U.N.), NEPAD (African Union), Kal Tire (CA) Thermo King (US), GEA (DE) and PERI (DE and UAE) . Oliver has received accolades from international photography awards including the Moscow International Foto Awards (MIFA), and his work has appeared in publications including INSPADES Magazine and Construction World Magazine. He has worked across the breadth of Southern Africa, West Africa, extending to Northern Europe and the Middle East.
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