A Guide to Corporate and Business Photography
Are you looking to hire a professional corporate photographer in London for your company and don’t know where to start? Look no further, I have you covered.
I have written this comprehensive guide that delves into the what, why, and how of corporate photography to help you navigate this essential aspect of modern business communication.
In today’s digital age, high-quality photography that embodies your company’s identity, culture, and aspirations can make the difference and present your brand in a much stronger place than others.
Corporate Photographer in London
It may seem like an easy and simple task to get corporate headshots for your company at the first glance. However your company corporate portraits should be an accurate reflection of who you are and what you do. To achieve this you need to get someone with experience in business portraiture.
As a London-based photographer specialising in business and corporate photography, I have worked with many company clients who have teams and are recruiting new staff members all the time.
They need headshots of their staff for the website but also for client communications, newsletters, presentations, brochures, speaking engagement, their online activity and their social media activity Often they need someone who can make sure, everyone is happy with their profile photo and the process itself is done in a way that is non-intrusive but also encouraging.
Through this article I want to discuss the details of corporate photography, as I know it can feel confusing and complicated.
I know this guide will make it easier to understand:
- the different types of corporate photography
- the latest trends and techniques
- the type of corporate photography your company might need
- how to go about it
- how to find the right photographer
- how the booking, photoshoot, image selection etc work.
Most of all I want to make it easy to get started with booking your own Corporate and Business Photography if you decide that you want to work with me.
What is Corporate Photography?
Corporate photography encompasses a wide range of subjects and styles, all aimed at presenting the corporate world in its best light. From executive headshots to office interiors, product shots to event coverage, corporate photographers are skilled in capturing moments that encapsulate the professionalism and ethos of a company.
The photographs can be used in employee recruitment materials or digital training sessions. They tell a visual story of the company’s personality on websites and advertising materials. They also, visually articulate and support material in company reports. And they help to both market and then document corporate events.
What’s the difference between Corporate and Commercial photography?
In commercial photography, the focus is on one product or service the company offers. With corporate photography, each photograph supports and sells the company’s overall brand story. A corporate photographer doesn’t look to capture a service. They look to capture the personality and confidence of those providing the service.
Below is a breakdown of the types of photography for each category.
Different types of Corporate Photography
Corporate photography focuses on capturing images that represent a company’s identity, culture, and personnel. It aims to showcase the people, environment, and values of a company. The primary purpose of corporate photography is to create a visual narrative that aligns with the company’s branding and messaging. Some common types of corporate photography include:
- Executive Portraits/Headshots: Professional portraits of company executives, managers, and employees.
- Office and Workspace Photography: Capturing the company’s physical environment, showcasing the workplace culture.
- Team Photos: Group photos of company teams, departments, or staff.
- Event Coverage: Documenting corporate events, conferences, workshops, and seminars.
- Annual Report Photography: For annual reports and company profiles, photographs provide a visual narrative of the company’s progress.
- Environmental Portraits: Portraits of employees in their work environment, showcasing daily tasks.
- Company Culture: Images that reflect the company’s values, interactions, and atmosphere.
The primary goal of corporate photography is to create a visual representation that communicates the company’s identity, professionalism, and ethos to various stakeholders, including clients, partners, employees, and potential recruits.
Different types of Commercial Photography
Commercial photography, on the other hand, focuses on creating images that are used for commercial purposes, such as advertising, marketing, and sales. The aim of commercial photography is to promote products, services, or brands in a visually appealing and persuasive manner. It often involves creating images that drive sales and engagement. These are some types of commercial photography.
- Product Photography: Showcasing products in the best light, highlighting features and benefits.
- Advertising Photography: Creating images for advertisements, billboards, print media, and online ads.
- Fashion Photography: Capturing clothing, accessories, and fashion-related products for advertising and promotional purposes.
- Food Photography: Creating mouthwatering images of food for menus, packaging, and advertising.
- Architectural Photography: Capturing buildings, interiors, and architectural designs for real estate and design industries.
- Industrial Photography: Photographing industrial processes, machinery, and manufacturing facilities for promotional materials.
Commercial photography is primarily focused on generating interest, driving sales, and conveying the unique selling points of products or services. It often involves creative setups, lighting, and post-production editing to create visually compelling images that attract customers and clients.
In summary, corporate photography centres on portraying a company’s identity and culture, while commercial photography is focused on promoting products, services, or brands. Both play essential roles in enhancing a business’s visual presence and communication strategies.
Benefits of Corporate Photography
- Creating a Professional Image: High-quality corporate images communicate professionalism and dedication to excellence. They establish your company as a credible and reliable entity in the eyes of clients, partners, and stakeholders.
- Enhancing Brand Identity: Through carefully curated imagery, you can convey your brand’s personality, values, and unique selling points. Visual consistency across platforms reinforces your brand identity and fosters recognition.
- Building Trust and Credibility: Authentic photos of your team and workplace foster trust by humanising your company. Prospective clients are more likely to engage with businesses that showcase the people behind the brand.4
- Engaging Clients and Employees: Engaging visuals capture attention and evoke emotion. Well-crafted corporate photography sparks interest among clients and keeps employees connected to your company’s mission.
- Supporting Marketing and Communication: Corporate photography provides a visual arsenal for marketing campaigns, social media content, website updates, and print materials. Images that reflect your business’s values and achievements contribute to compelling storytelling.
Who would benefit from Corporate Photography?
Corporate photography offers a wide array of benefits and applications across various industries and professions.
- Companies and Businesses: Corporations of all sizes can benefit from corporate photography to enhance their visual identity, showcase their products and services, and provide an inside look into their workplace culture.
- Entrepreneurs and Startups: Startups and small business owners can use corporate photography to establish a professional image, tell their brand story, and compete effectively in their market.
- Nonprofit Organisations: Nonprofits can use corporate photography to document their initiatives, events, and activities, helping to raise awareness, engage supporters, and attract volunteers.
- Educational Institutions: Schools, colleges, and universities can use corporate photography for their marketing materials, website, and social media to attract students, parents, and donors.
- Healthcare Industry: Hospitals, clinics, and healthcare practitioners can benefit from corporate photography to showcase their facilities, medical staff, and patient care, instilling confidence in their services.
- Hospitality and Tourism: Hotels, restaurants, and tourist destinations can utilize corporate photography to exhibit their amenities, ambiance, and experiences, attracting visitors and guests.
- Real Estate Agencies: Real estate agencies can benefit from corporate photography to showcase properties, creating visually appealing listings that attract potential buyers or renters.
- Law Firms and Legal Professionals: Corporate photography can help law firms establish a professional image, create lawyer profiles, and visually communicate their expertise to potential clients.
- Financial Institutions: Banks, financial advisors, and investment firms can use corporate photography to convey trustworthiness, expertise, and financial stability.
- Technology Companies: Technology companies can employ corporate photography to highlight their innovative products, cutting-edge facilities, and team expertise.
- Retailers: Retail businesses can showcase their products, store layouts, and customer interactions through corporate photography to enhance their brand and attract customers.
- Manufacturing and Industry: Companies in the manufacturing sector can use corporate photography to exhibit their processes, facilities, and quality control measures.
- Event Organisers: Event organisers can capture the energy and interactions of their events through corporate photography, providing promotional material for future events.
- Public Relations and Marketing Agencies: These agencies can utilise corporate photography to provide clients with professional visual content for their marketing campaigns and media outreach.
- Conference and Seminar Organisers: Corporate photography can document conferences, seminars, and workshops, providing visual content for marketing and post-event materials.
- Interior Design and Architecture Firms: These firms can employ corporate photography to showcase their projects, emphasising their design aesthetics and capabilities.
- Transportation and Logistics Companies: Corporate photography can visually communicate a company’s fleet, logistics operations, and transportation services.
- Government and Public Entities: Government agencies can use corporate photography to communicate their services, initiatives, and public outreach efforts.
- Social Media Influencers and Bloggers: Influencers and bloggers can benefit from professional photography to create professional visual content for their online platforms.
- Professional Services Providers: Consultants, coaches, and freelancers can use professional photography to add a personal touch to their marketing and establish a strong online presence.
In essence, corporate photography can benefit virtually anyone or any entity looking to communicate their identity, values, services, products, and stories through visual means. It’s a versatile tool that enhances branding, marketing, and communication efforts across a wide range of industries and professions.
What is the cost of Corporate Photography?
The cost of corporate photography generally can vary widely based on the photographer’s experience, location, scope of the project, equipment used, and the specific needs of the client. Let’s look at these factors.
- Photographer’s Experience: Corporate Photographers in London with more experience and a strong portfolio tend to charge higher rates due to their expertise and reputation.
- Location: The cost of living and business expenses in different regions can greatly impact the pricing. Corporate photography services in larger cities or more affluent areas might be priced higher than in smaller towns.
- Type of Photography: The specific type of corporate photography required (headshots, product photography, event coverage, etc.) will impact the cost. Some types of photography may require specialised equipment or techniques, influencing the pricing.
- Duration of the Project: The amount of time the photographer spends on the project, including pre-production planning, shooting, and post-production editing, will affect the cost.
- Number of Images: The number of final images delivered can influence the cost. A larger number of images may require more time for editing and processing.
- Usage and Licensing: The usage rights for the images also play a role. If the images will be used for a single campaign, on a website, in print materials, or for an extended period, the pricing will vary accordingly.
- Additional Services: Additional services such as retouching, image editing, travel expenses (if the photographer needs to travel to your location), and rush delivery can all impact the overall cost.
- Studio vs. On-Location: If the shoot requires renting a studio or specific location, those costs will be factored in. On-location shoots may involve travel expenses, depending on the photographer’s location and where the shoot takes place.
- Equipment and Gear: Higher-end equipment and gear might come at a higher cost. Specialized equipment such as lighting setups, lenses, and commercial and medium format cameras can impact the pricing.
- Package Deals: Some photographers offer package deals that include a variety of services, which can be more cost-effective than paying for each service individually.
- Customisation: If you have unique requirements or specific concepts for the shoot, customisation might lead to adjustments in pricing.
As a rough estimate, corporate headshot sessions might be between £300 to £1500, while more complex projects like event coverage or extensive branding shoots could range from £1,500 to several thousand or more. It is good practice to request quotes from a number of photographers and discuss your specific needs.
Always remember though that while cost is a factor, quality and the photographer’s ability to meet your goals are also crucial considerations.
Choosing the right Corporate Photographer in London for your company
Finding the right corporate photographer for your company is a crucial step to ensure that your visual branding and communication needs are taken into account effectively.
Here is a step-by-step guide to help you find the perfect corporate photographer:
- Define Your Needs: Start by clarifying your photography needs. Determine what type of corporate photography you require – headshots, product shots, event coverage, etc. Understanding your goals will help you communicate your requirements to potential photographers.
- Set a Budget: Establish a budget range based on your company’s resources and the importance of the photography project. This will help you narrow down your options and find photographers within your price range.
- Research and shortlist: Look for photographers who specialise in corporate photography. You can search online, ask for recommendations from colleagues, or consult local business directories.
- Review Portfolios: Once you’ve shortlisted potential photographers, review their portfolios on their websites or social media profiles. Pay attention to the style, quality, and diversity of their work to ensure it aligns with your company’s aesthetic.
- Evaluate Experience: Look for photographers with experience in your industry or with similar types of projects. Experienced photographers are more likely to understand your needs and deliver high-quality results.
- Read Reviews and Testimonials: Check for reviews and testimonials from past clients. This can give you insights into the photographer’s professionalism, communication skills, and the overall experience of working with them.
- Discuss Details: Communicate your project details, such as the number of images needed, the intended usage (website, print, social media), and any specific concepts or requirements you have in mind.
- Discuss Pricing and Packages: Request a detailed quote that outlines the pricing structure, what’s included in the package, and any additional costs such as retouching or travel expenses.
- Meet or Consult: If possible, schedule a meeting or consultation with the photographer. This can help you assess their personality, professionalism, and whether you have a good rapport.
- Ask About Rights and Usage: Clarify the usage rights of the images. Will you have full rights to use them as you wish, or will there be limitations? Ensure you’re clear on this aspect.
- Check Availability: Ensure the photographer is available on the dates you need. Some popular photographers might be booked well in advance.
- Check Contracts: When you’ve decided on a photographer, review the contract thoroughly. Make sure it covers all the discussed details, including payment terms, image delivery, and usage rights.
- Trust Your Instincts: Choose a photographer you feel comfortable working with. Trust your instincts – a photographer who listens to your needs and understands your vision is more likely to deliver great results.
Remember that the right corporate photographer is not only skilled behind the camera but also understands your company’s branding and messaging. Taking the time to find the right match can result in high-quality images that enhance your company’s visual identity and communication efforts.
How to make the most of your Corporate Photography?
Making the most of your corporate photography involves strategic planning, effective utilisation of the images, and integrating them into your overall branding and communication efforts.
Here are some tips to help you maximise the benefits of your corporate photography.
- Set Goals: Determine the specific goals you want to achieve with your corporate photography. Whether it’s improving your online presence, attracting clients, or enhancing your brand image, having clear goals will guide your strategy.
- Plan Ahead: Plan your corporate photography sessions well in advance. This allows you to coordinate with the photographer, gather necessary resources, and ensure that all aspects of the shoot align with your vision.
- Diverse Images: Aim for a variety of images that can be used across different platforms. Capture headshots, team photos, action shots, and images that reflect your company’s work environment.
- Create a Shot List: Develop a shot list or mood board that outlines the types of images you need. This helps ensure that the photographer captures all the essential shots during the session.
- Think Beyond Marketing: While corporate photography is great for marketing materials, don’t limit its use. Utilize the images for internal communication, employee engagement, and even in presentations.
- Optimise for Digital Platforms: In today’s digital age, images play a crucial role in online engagement. Ensure that your images are appropriately sized and optimised for your website, social media, and email marketing.
- Create Visual Consistency: Use the same or similar style of photography across all your platforms to create visual consistency. This reinforces your brand identity and helps build recognition.
- Tell a Story: Use the images to tell a narrative about your company. Share stories about your employees, company culture, and milestones to create a deeper connection with your audience.
- Update Regularly: Keep your visual content fresh by scheduling regular corporate photography sessions. This ensures that your imagery remains relevant and aligned with any changes in your company.
- Integrate with Content Strategy: Integrate your corporate photography into your content strategy. Combine the images with blog posts, articles, and social media posts to enhance your storytelling.
- Engage Your Team: Involve your team members in the process. Share the images with them and encourage them to use them on their LinkedIn profiles and social media accounts.
- Use Images Across Channels: Distribute your corporate images across various communication channels – website, social media, email campaigns, newsletters, and presentations – to maximise their reach.
- Measure Results: Monitor the impact of your corporate photography efforts. Track metrics such as website engagement, social media interactions, and customer responses to assess the effectiveness of your visual content.
- Feedback and Improvement: Gather feedback from your audience and team about the impact of the images. Use this feedback to make improvements and tailor future photography sessions.
Corporate photography is an investment that can yield substantial returns when strategically integrated into your branding and communication strategies. By leveraging the power of imagery, you can enhance your company’s image, engage your audience, and achieve your business objectives.
Maximising for the corporate shoot day
Ensuring that everyone is well-prepared for a corporate photography shoot day is essential for achieving successful and efficient results. Here’s a checklist to help you ensure everyone is ready and the shoot goes smoothly:
Preparation Before the Shoot
- Communicate Clearly: Send out detailed communication to all participants well in advance. Include the shoot date, time, location, and any specific instructions.
- Confirm Details: Double-check all logistical details such as the shoot location, timing, and any special equipment needed.
- Assign a Point of Contact: Designate someone as the point of contact who will coordinate with the photographer, answer questions, and ensure everything runs smoothly on the shoot day.
- Provide Style Guidelines: If there are specific dress codes, colors, or styles to follow, communicate these guidelines to all participants so they can dress appropriately.
- Share the Vision: Communicate the purpose and goals of the photoshoot. This helps participants understand the context and approach they should take during the session.
- Prepare a Schedule: Create a shoot schedule that outlines the timing of each segment, from headshots to team photos. Share this schedule with everyone involved.
- Select Shooting Locations: If the shoot involves multiple locations within your office or premises, identify and prepare these locations in advance.
Making sure everyone is ready
- Rest and Hydration: Encourage participants to get a good night’s sleep before the shoot day and stay hydrated. Being well-rested and hydrated can make a significant difference in their appearance.
- Send preparation notes: With tips on how to get ready, how to look after their skin prior to the day, encouraging participants to get some fresh air or exercise.
- Offer Tips: Offer tips on how to pose, smile, and engage with the camera. Share resources or examples of poses to make participants feel more at ease.
- Hair and Makeup: If participants will be doing their own hair and makeup, remind them to arrive camera-ready. If you’re hiring professionals, ensure they are scheduled and available.
- Dress code: Remind participants of any dress code guidelines. Encourage them to choose clothing that aligns with your company’s brand and messaging.
- Arrival Time: Communicate the recommended arrival time to participants. This allows for any last-minute adjustments and ensures a timely start to the shoot.
- Parking and Transportation: Provide information about parking availability and transportation options if needed.
- Snacks and Refreshments: Have snacks, water, and beverages available to keep everyone comfortable and energized throughout the day.
- Comfortable Space: Create a comfortable waiting area for participants.
- Background and Set-Up: Ensure the photographer’s chosen background or set-up is ready to go before the participants arrive.
By following this checklist and ensuring that everyone is well-prepared, you can make the corporate photography shoot day a smooth and successful experience for all involved. Above all, having a positive and relaxed atmosphere will put participants at ease, which will help in capturing natural-looking photos.
Post-Production and Editing
- Selecting and Sorting Images: Review the images captured during the shoot and select the best shots that align with your goals. Sorting ensures you have a diverse collection of images to choose from.
- Retouching and Enhancing: Professional retouching enhances the images by adjusting colors, brightness, and minor imperfections. Retouching ensures the images maintain a polished appearance while remaining authentic.
- Maintaining Consistency: Ensure a consistent look and feel across all images, maintaining brand identity and visual harmony. Consistency builds recognition and a strong visual presence.
- Obtaining Final Outputs: Receive the final edited images in the required formats and resolutions. These images can be used for a range of purposes, from print materials to online marketing.
Posing and Expression
There is a lot to be said about posing and how you stand and present yourself in your professional headshots. A great corporate photographer will work with your staff to make sure they feel good and are able to try different things as per their body features and posture: whether it is standing, leaning, or sitting..
Facial expression is also important and for corporate photography you want to show genuine expressions that reflect everyone’s personality. Below are some tips on how to approach posing while working with your photographer to experiment and try different poses and expressions:
- Confidence: Maintain good posture and exude confidence through your body language.
- Engagement: Engage with the camera by looking directly into the lens with a warm and approachable expression.
- Variety: Capture a range of expressions, from serious and professional to friendly and approachable. This gives you a diverse set of images to choose from.
Integrating Corporate Photography
Once you have your own bank of corporate imagery it will be easier to regularly use the images to support your overall marketing efforts.
- Use Images Across Platforms: Distribute the images across various communication channels, such as your website, social media profiles, email newsletters, and marketing materials.
- Enhance Website and Online Presence: Refresh your website with new, high-quality images that represent your company accurately. Engaging visuals enhance user experience and encourage longer site visits.
- Leverage Social Media and Content Marketing: Incorporate corporate images into your social media posts, blogs, and articles. Visual content generates higher engagement and shares, amplifying your online reach.
- Supporting Marketing Campaigns: Integrate corporate images into your marketing campaigns to strengthen your brand’s message. Visuals have a powerful impact on the success of advertising efforts.
- Monitoring Engagement and Interaction: Track metrics such as website traffic, social media likes, shares, and comments associated with the images. Analyze which images resonate most with your audience.
- Collecting Feedback from Stakeholders: Gather feedback from clients, employees, and partners about the impact of the images. Their perspectives can provide valuable insights into how the visuals are perceived.
- Keeping Visual Content Fresh: Plan for periodic photoshoots to maintain a current collection of images. This ensures that your visual content is up-to-date and reflects any changes in your company.
- Adapting to Changing Business Needs: As your company evolves, so should your visual content. New products, services, team members, and achievements warrant fresh images that accurately depict your current status.
- Incorporating New Faces and Stories: Introduce new team members or key personnel through updated imagery. New faces can energise your visual content and highlight the diversity of your team.
- Reflecting Growth and Achievements: Use imagery to showcase milestones, awards, and achievements. Visual representations of your company’s growth contribute to building a positive brand image.
Keeping your visual bank of images fresh is a continued effort which should be aligned with your marketing strategy and business goals.
What if my boss thinks we don’t need corporate photography?
When planning for corporate photography, there might be many objections from various stakeholders. These can be related to concerns, confusion or not knowing where to start. Here are some common ones with some tips on how to address them.
- Cost Concerns: Highlight the long-term benefits of professional photography, including enhanced branding, increased engagement, and improved credibility that outweigh the initial investment.
- Time Constraints: Highlight the efficiency of the process and how a well-organised shoot can be completed within a relatively short time frame. Schedule the shoot during less busy periods or plan ahead to minimise disruption.
- Dealing with Personal Comfort Issues: Provide reassurance and guidance on posing to help individuals feel more comfortable in front of the camera. Stress the importance of representing themselves and the company effectively.
- Explaining the Value and ROI: Share examples of companies that have benefited from a corporate image in terms of their presence, reputation and engagement.
- Perceived Vanity: explain to the skeptics that corporate photography is not about vanity, it is about creating a professional corporate image that reflects competence, improves client relationships, and supports business goals.
- DIY Approach: Highlight the difference in quality between professional and amateur photos. Explain that professional photographers have the skills, equipment, and expertise to capture images that align with the company’s branding and goals.
When addressing objections, focus on the long-term benefits, return on investment, and the tangible value that professional corporate photography can bring to the company’s overall image, communication efforts, and business growth.
Why does working with a corporate photographer matter?
We’ve all seen mediocre corporate photos. There’s the overly-done stock photography, where everyone looks like a model and not a real employee. There are the office headshots where uncomfortable looking employees stand against walls badly light or looking messy.
A professional corporate photographer directs your staff into shots that feel natural and welcoming to the viewer. They capture or create believable moments that convey emotion. And they make sure that the company’s overall” brand feel” threads through all types of corporate photography they’re producing.
Here’s why collaborating with a professional corporate photographer matters:
- High-Quality Imagery: Professional corporate photographers possess the technical expertise and equipment to produce high-quality images. This ensures that your photos are visually appealing, well-composed, and properly lit.
- Brand Consistency: A professional photographer understands the importance of aligning the visual content with your company’s brand identity.
- Greater Professionalism: Professional photographers will deliver results in a greater professional manner, from interacting with your staff to the actual images produced.
- Storytelling: A skilled corporate photographer can capture images that tell a compelling visual story about your company, its culture, and its people. These images can be used to engage your audience and create a connection.
- Efficiency: Professional photographers are experienced in managing the logistics of a photoshoot. They can work efficiently, ensuring that the shoot is organised and runs smoothly.
- Editing and Retouching: Post-production is an essential part of photography. Professional photographers have the skills to edit and retouch images to ensure they meet your specific requirements and look their best.
- Versatility: Professional photographers are versatile and can adapt to various types of corporate photography, from headshots to event coverage. They can deliver a range of images tailored to your needs.
- Saves Time: Hiring a professional photographer allows your team to focus on their core tasks. The photographer takes care of all aspects of the shoot, from planning to editing, freeing up your team’s time.
- Long-Term Investment: The images created by a professional photographer become valuable assets that can be used across various marketing and communication efforts over time, providing a return on your investment.
In conclusion, working with a professional corporate photographer is an investment in the visual representation of your company. Their expertise ensures that your imagery accurately reflects your brand, engages your audience, and contributes to your company’s success in the competitive business landscape.
Ready to tell your company story?
Thank you for reading. I hope this has given you some in-depth information about corporate photography, what it is, why you might need it, what are the different types of headshots, how to prepare, how to choose the right photographer, what is the cost range, discussing what might hold you back and how to go about taking that first step towards more visibility.
Professional headshot photography is an investment in your image and brand. A good headshot can open doors and make a lasting impression. By following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well-equipped to create headshots that truly reflect your unique identity and aspirations.
Laura Shimili Mears, Professional Corporate Photographer in London.