17 February 2014

Corporate photography – should businesses DIY?

With the ubiquity of easy-to-use digital SLR cameras (DSLRs), digital cameras and smartphone cameras today, it seems like anyone can take a photograph for their corporate needs. When then would you need to call in a professional to help you with it?

Two professional photographers weigh in. Ellery Chua, Founder of Ellery Chua Photography, says that professional photographers have invested a lot of time in delivering services at a certain standard.

According to Chua, photography is a blend of science and art, applied by a person who has spent time developing an understanding of what visual communication is all about. 

“In literature, it is all about words and sentence construction; in images, it is about visual elements: what to have present, what should be placed where to attract and hold a viewer's attention, what people call composition, and how it has to be lit - which element should be clearly highlighted, where should shadows be, the colour choices,” he explained.

“Some may be born with the ability to do these things instinctively, but everyone does much better with training. Most professional photographers spend a lot of time learning, practicing, evaluating and redoing it till they can get it right. The training is an ongoing cost as there are additional software skills to pick up. “Even if you use only PhotoShop, the program gets updated every 18 months or so, so there needs to be constant retraining.” 

Julian Tay, Founder, Camera-Crew Photography, emphasised the need to work with the client to establish relevance with five tips:

1.      The photographer should ensure that the technical details are taken care of and the pictures are properly lit, focussed and sized for the intended use.
2.      He or she should help suggest ideas to compose and make the pictures tell the client’s story better based on the client’s needs and requirements.
3.      The professional photographer can help to plan the session so that it proceeds smoothly and in accordance with the allocated schedule.
4.      Ideally, the photographer should contribute and share ideas based on the client’s needs, and
5.      Have the opportunity to work directly with the design consultants who produce the client’s websites or printed collaterals.” 

Source: Camera-Crew Photography. Copyright Camera-Crew Photography. All rights reserved.
Businesses looking for a professional photographer should consider the individual’s portfolio and whether the photographer has done similar work before, Tay suggested. “Look at his or her samples and website to see the style of photography, whether it’s appropriate for the way you want your company to be featured.”

A subsequent meeting is essential, Tay added. “Talk to the photographer to see if he or she understands your company and find out what his or her ideas are for showing your company in the best light possible.”