The art aside, corporate photographers offer much more than just professional images; they provide authenticity. Photography is a powerful art form that is not just about taking pictures but also about capturing moments and emotions to elicit a particular response from the viewer.
Great photography is about capturing the essence of a business or an individual. Quality photography will make the ordinary look extraordinary and encapsulate the beauty of an environment to transform and elevate the subject in the mind of its audience. In photography, the “whole is greater than the sum of its parts” always rings true.
The feelings conveyed by these images are experienced by the audience in their raw form, which can better serve a business for generations to come or even destroy it on the spot. Take the “United Colors of Benetton” advertising campaign which relied on controversial photography. The campaign began in 1982 when Benetton hired photographer Oliviero Toscani. 1984 sales were $303 million, and the business grew substantially to towering revenues of $17.7 billion in 2019, according to Reuters. It can be argued the iconic photography contributed significantly to giving the brand global awareness and its subsequent success.
The most successful companies are those that invest heavily in their branding, marketing, and public relations efforts, which all rely heavily on photography. The corporate photographer's job is to portray the company and its employees in a way that will set it apart from other companies and organizations, establish trust with potential customers and promote the company's products or services. All of this can be accomplished by paying attention to who the audience is, and by ensuring the creative output generates the desired response.
Photography has always been thought of as a "truthful" medium when contrasted with other visual arts or media that manipulate images to produce an artificial reality that suggests superficiality or dishonesty. The portrait photographer's job is to capture an individual or group’s personality in a way that reflects their character, ethics, integrity and business paradigm in a truthful and transparent manner. Therefore, photography needs to be done right. The relationship between the subject and the viewer (or customers and potential customers) has the potential to blossom, grow and transform into something much greater than ever imagined, like the Benetton story.
The adage “the camera never lies” comes to mind when considering the impact of photography. If properly executed, corporate photography can portray a business or organization in the best possible light. Expressing honesty and integrity via quality photography can go a long way to developing trust with its audience and propel a business way beyond its lofty goals.