Corporate photography is one of the major tools in the modern business. It is different from other forms of picture making in that the client here is the company itself—its executives, employees and facilities. Although it is not a particular style, the word “corporate” in the term is a clear indication that it needs a unique treatment. Photos are usually headshots of the important figures in a company, or they can simply be a documentation of an event such as a conference. But why exactly does a business needs to have these stuffs?
For Public Relations and Brand Development
Perhaps the most popular application of corporate photography is for the purpose of building a brand image. Companies would usually invest a good deal of money just to bring a warm, personal touch to the otherwise reserved image of the business world as often suggested by its strict dress code and office culture; after all, a company is actually a community of people running a particular business. Every organization needs a “face” from which to cull a favorable first impression.
It is impossible for the prospective clients to get any idea about a company unless the latter tells its story. This can be achieved through capturing the images of people who represent the firm. Many companies opt for portraitures and group photos that are meticulously arranged to convey a particular message to the clients.
For Documentation of Events
If the entertainment press has photojournalists and paparazzi, the business sector has more professional photographers to do the job for corporate people during conferences, seminars and product launching. It is necessary that the photos portray the businessmen in their conservative yet lighter side, that’s why a photographer with a corporate specialty is usually hired to handle such affairs. Because these “motion” images often appear in annual reports and company newsletters, they should also reflect the professionalism of the people being photographed.
For Recruitment Purposes
Similar to a public relations strategy, a company that is eyeing a future expansion needs to market itself to those who aspire to become part of the team. If you have a business that is currently in need of people, you must be able to convince the jobseekers on why they should choose to work for your company. The trend nowadays is to use conceptual images of the corporate powerhouse to suggest the dynamic and diverse environment that a company has. Thus, many emerging businesses are signing up for corporate photography to make sure that these constructive ideas are captured.
The current trend of using stock photos from the internet is a threatening prospect for corporate photography. Since they are almost always cheap, several companies have taken this opportunity to save on marketing expenses. Little did they know that instead of helping to improve brand image, they are actually ruining the credibility of their businesses through such cost-cutting technique. To be fair, stock images have their extensive applications in many commercial dealings. It is just that they are not deemed suitable for use in the corporate world for so many reasons.
Stock Photos are Unoriginal
A company that values integrity should put in all efforts to make itself known in the industry. Being the one at the helm, your principal goal is to establish the image of your company; and by establish, we mean starting from scratch. The brand must be well-thought-out and unique. This is why stock images basically do not qualify for any corporate use. They are simply hoarded from several agencies and photojournalists and later sold to clients. Don’t be surprised if you happen to find out that some company out there has been using your photos for its advertising arm—that’s really not impossible.
Stock Photos Demand Royalty Fees
Because you are using someone else’s photos, you are required to pay the owner a portion of your income. The fees can get really high especially if you want to purchase “exclusive rights” for the stock images. Hence, it is either you get the photos exclusively at a high cost, or compromise originality and make do with low-priced photos, which may have been previously used by others. Alternatively, if you opt for corporate photography, you don’t need to waste a lot of money for your business campaigns.
Stock Photos are Amateurish
Even if the stock images portray a similar concept as yours, using them is a stark sign of unprofessionalism. Sure, there are readily-available photos depicting men in business suits and looking respectable. However, none of those “businessmen” represent anyone from your company. The images are also too clichéd to be of any remarkable use: men shaking hands, representatives wearing headsets and so on. Clearly, they are posing for the sake of concept and not exactly to convey the spirit of the company.
Your corporate photos should be able to capture the values and vision that your company uphold. This can only be achieved through taking the images of your own people—perhaps including yourself. Corporate photography does the job better through its personalized approach and unique concepts.