Industrial photography

Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
Ed Shapiro
Ed Shapiro Contributing Member • Posts: 561
Re: Industrial photography

BAK wrote:

Do you feel your question has been answered?

RE >> I'm wondering if there is such a thing as an industrial photographer. Someone who takes industrial PR images. <<

I've been a multitasking, journalist pr man and business photographer since 1966.

Several points:

a/ In all that time, only about half a dozen photographers have pitched me in my role as a PR practitioner.

My point here is that PR people are good prospects, and photographers do not do a good job of pitching us.

b/ in my job as an editor or production manager of several trade or industrial magazines, many PR people gave me handout stories with pictures that were taken by construction workers, or by photographers hired by construction companies.

c/ magazine editors of then take their own pictures.

d/ the editor of a magazine for which I was production manager knew I was a photographer, and he assigned his assistant editor and I to go to the Athasbaska Oil Sands (Fort McMurray) and several power plants in the Rocky mountains .

e/ when working as a PR consultant to the PR director for the company that makes polio vaccine, we decided to create a company-wide collection of pictures.

If you offered this same idea to dozens of pr directors, some might bite. Pick industrial-oriented companies, if this is what you want to shoot.

Yes!  ther is such specializations as industrial photography. I offer it as one of the services of my commercial photography business.

In past eras, man big corporations had their now in-house photographic and audio visual departments.  The photographers continuously supplied images of annual reports, advertising, internal training, documentation and a raft of public relations applications. The Professional Photographers of America had and possibly still operate a section for industrial photographers.  The head of that section, some years ago, was the in-house photographer for the Hughs Tool and Die Corp. and served as international president for a term.

Nowadays, many corporations outsource this work, some through agencies and others directly. I get clients for both sources.  The work is done in factories, plants, smelting operations, construction job sites, and ranges from a wide variety of heavy and light industries.  Usually, the subjects are people and machinery at work, different manufacturing and construction operations, just about anything that can happen in a factory or job site that is worthy of recording or public relations or interest. I photojournalist, good commercial shooter or even an alert and savvy wedding and event shooter can adapt his or her techniques to industrial photography. Sometimes the work is in a dirty, messy, perhaps even mildly dangerous place or perhaps in a pristine "clean room- in both cases you need to suit up for the job. It is not for the faint of heart or those with a fear of heights, stepladders, cherry pickers and other elevating devices.  You may need a hazmat suit, safety work boots and protective clothing, protective eyewear and a hard hat.

The work is extremely interesting, sometimes a bit challenging, and pays well!

Ed Shapiro- Commercial and Portrait Photographer. Ottawa, Ontario Canada

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