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The Quick Guide To Corporate Photography

Businesses as well as individual business professionals have a wide range of photography needs that may need to be filled over time, and as a professional photographer, you have the opportunity to profit when you make an effort to fill these needs.

Photo by SplitShire

Photo by SplitShire

There are essentially two types of corporate photography that you can focus on, and you may choose to focus your efforts on both of them.

This includes taking pictures of special events, such as galas and conferences, as well as taking formal individual or group portraits. The first type of photography is not generally staged while the second type gives you greater control over lighting, poses and other critical elements of photographs. 



Be Prepared for a Special Event


Before you arrive on-site to shoot a special event, it is important that you learn as much as possible about it. For example, you will need to know more about whether you will be indoors or outside at the event, what time of day the event will be how, what the lighting conditions may be like and how far away you may be from your subjects. Get more information about the types of images that the client wants to capture.

Photo by Andy Templeton

Photo by Andy Templeton

For example, you may need to capture group shots of guests seated at a table, pictures of guest speakers on stage, images of a table of catered food or other items. The lenses, the type of camera, your lighting equipment and more that you bring with you to the event will be influenced by each of these factors. In order to please your clients, you will need to be fully prepared for the specific event. 



Dress Like a Guest at Corporate Events


If you will be attending a corporate event to take pictures of individuals, groups or other aspects of the event, you do not want to stand out like a sore thumb. Instead, you want to do your best to blend in so that you can take candid pictures of the attendees without drawing obvious attention to yourself.

Certainly, you will be carrying your camera and other gear with you, and you may have a flash go off periodically, but you will be far less likely to go unnoticed in a group when you are not dressed suitably to blend into the crowd. Therefore, take time to inquire about the attire for the event, and wear a suit, a tux, a gown or whatever other attire that the other guests likely will be wearing. 



Focus on the Main Players at Corporate Events


Whether a corporate event has a few dozen attendees or several hundred or more, you likely will need to learn more about who the main players at the event are. The last thing your client may want is for you to get tons of pictures of spouses and administrative assistants without getting pictures of executives and other major players.

Photo by Andy Templeton

Photo by Andy Templeton

You can speak with your client in greater detail about what types of images they way, and you may ask your client at the event which people you should largely focus your attention on. 



Pay Attention to Lighting


Lighting is critical in all photos, and this includes with both portraits and event pictures. The wrong lighting on a person can highlight wrinkles, a double chin or other unpleasant attributes. Generally, lighting that shines downward on a person’s face will be unpleasant, but lighting that shines upward on their face will create a better result.

Photo by Andy Templeton

Photo by Andy Templeton

This is not always the case, but you should be aware of the different types of shadows that can be created on a person through lighting. If possible, you may consider bringing an assistant with you to help you with lighting equipment and supplies. The last thing people want is to have unflattering images of them captured on film. 



Choose the Right Lenses


In addition, you should choose the right lenses for the corporate photography session. This is critical when you are working with action shots, low light situations, wide angle views and more. When you are working on corporate portraits in a staged environment, you may only need access to one or two lenses. When you are working at a corporate event, however, you may need to have several different types of lenses available to pull out as needed.

More than that, you will need to know the capabilities of your lenses so that you always choose the best lenses for the types of shots that you are trying to take. Your experience at corporate events will build over time, and you may find that you more easily can switch out lenses as needed and almost without much thought about it. 



Bring Different Cameras


Just as different lenses have different capabilities, the same holds true for cameras. For example, a point and shoot camera can help you to get amazing candid shots, and the auto focus capabilities on some of these cameras is fabulous.

Photo by Andy Templeton

Photo by Andy Templeton

However, you can also get fabulous results with various photographic effects when you choose advanced cameras with special lenses and filters. It is important that you understand the specific capabilities of different cameras that you own. If you only own one camera, you may consider the benefits to your clients and to your photography business of adding another one that has different features and benefits to your arsenal.



Use a Great Photo Editing Program


You should also consider spending time reviewing your images carefully before you send them to your clients. In many cases, your raw images can be dramatically enhanced with the use of the right photo editing program. You do not want to over-edit your images and make them look fake, but you can smooth out problem areas on faces, settings and more to make your images look fabulous.

In corporate event projects, you may find that have hundreds of images to choose from. You may not have time to edit all of them, so you should focus only on editing the ones that have the greatest potential or that may be most important to your clients. For example, a picture of a CEO chatting with a top executive may be far more important for you to edit that a picture of a guest looking at the buffet table. 

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As a professional photographer, you may already have many of the skills that you need to take great corporate pictures. This may include portraits as well as events. While you can apply your knowledge and skills to your projects, you may also find that your finished work improves as you gain experience by working with your corporate clients. 

Andy Templeton

Andy Templeton is an award-winning corporate photographer currently living in the Orange County. After graduating from CSUF, he worked as a photojournalist at various publications in Southern California. Andy was a staff photographer for the Los Angeles Times and The Orange County Register newspapers. Feel free to check out his website.
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