The guide to corporate photography for startups

Becky Bushell Written by
Becky Bushell

Selfie? No thanks!

Let me start by saying a work-related selfie does have its purpose and I am not proposing an out and out ban. Celebrating an impromptu awards win, capturing a natural team working moment or spotting something amazing on your commute are all winners in my eyes as they will undoubtedly generate a lot of interaction on social media. However, a selfie doesn’t really cut it for a national newspaper, a business trade magazine or even your LinkedIn profile pic.

Gone are the days when PRs had endless budgets for photography admittedly, the rise of the smartphone has put a stop to that and as many have cameras which can rival a professional lens, it’s understandable. However, there is still very much a place for having professional photos taken and they can still make all the difference.

A well-executed high-resolution photo taken by an experienced photographer can still secure national media placements over even sometimes (dare I say it) the copy. There are even placements in national newspapers just for photos with a small caption.

Budgets for photography have been slashed not only for regional papers, but nationals too. Even publications like The Times ask you to submit your own photography for consideration for profile pieces. The BBC used all a previous client’s photos for an interview-based article which got translated into multiple different languages and uploaded on BBC news sites throughout the world.

So how do you ensure a photoshoot keeps on giving? The best advice is to source your photographer wisely. If you don’t know anyone personally, ask around for recommendations and look at their websites for examples of their work or approach them for examples. A professional photographer (depending on where you are in the country) can cost anywhere between £400 and £800 per day so booking one is an investment. Therefore, plan by putting together a list of photos of photos you want to achieve against a timeline and a draft a brief for the photographer.

The checklist

The key ones for any entrepreneurial led business are:

head and shoulders shots of the key people in the business either against a white or neutral background. These are frequently requested for viewpoints and opinion articles.
natural/ made to look as natural as possible (!) photos of the CEO at work. To maximise the use of photos, get a few different shots (sitting down, standing up, showing off a good view in the background or next to any business logos) so that they can be used multiple times. And, if there’s time, ask the CEO to bring a change of clothes to give some variety.
photos which depict what you do a business without looking too staged. If you are a manufacturing or technology-based company show this in the photos as they can be used for trade publications. For creative businesses let that creativity show in the photos as it will say so much about your business.

Managing a day/two-day photoshoot is time consuming so consider asking your PR agency to oversee the day. Although it will add some additional cost, it frees up your time and they often spot other opportunities on the day to capture something which could also pay dividends later down the line.