Corporate photography may be perceived as the opposite of fine art photography. But, that shouldn’t deter you from pursuing it as a viable source of income plus there is a craft to great corporate photos. If you want to break into corporate work then start by building your own brand. The corporate world can be very break neck, take no prisoners, and above all – professional. It doesn’t hurt to have a plan with where you want to go with regards to corporate work. I would suggest doing a few projects for free to build your portfolio and then the better you get, with the more work you can show, the more you can charge – or start charging. A solid website, good SEO, and online presence are key.
It also doesn’t hurt to register your business with whatever state you’re in and start paying taxes for your business. Why? Well, the corporate world needs a paper trail, checks are somewhat outdated, and cash payments from big clients hardly happen. Think about investing in a credit card reader that plugs into your smart phone that is attached to a business account. An entrepreneurial spirit is essential and you have to remember to be up to date with how you go about running things. There is literally an app for everything. You can schedule client meetings, share portfolios, accept credit cards, all on the go and all on the way to your next gig, which is the goal!
If you Google “corporate photography” or “corporate headshots” you will find a bevy of photographers who specialize in the field. Many have their own distinct style and many are people you can learn from. One thing I find is that shallow depth of field really ads to corporate style headshots and corporate event photos.
This is an example of a corporate style photo, shot on the streets of NYC. You get a nice blur in the background with a serious subject in focus. Keeping clothes clean and eyes focused on you are key for any headshot. Corporate photos are a necessity in today’s market. No one wants to see a LinkedIn profile photo from the kegger last summer.
Chances are if you work in an office, you would have had to have your picture taken at some point. If you love photography – every shoot is a fun one and if you enjoy talking to people then you will certainly meet a lot of interesting folks that do a variety of things.
Corporations also hold events throughout the year whether they be conferences, holiday parties, or milestone celebrations. If you’re locked in as a photographer for an organization then you can expect to be called back several times a year for their different events.
One big thing with breaking into the corporate photography world is your personality. People will want to work with you if you’re an ambitious go-getter as cliche as that sounds. You don’t have to have the fanciest equipment or the most high end lenses. What counts is your eye and your ability to function within a corporate environment, hold your own, and deliver quality work!