Many people believe that being a photographer is a glamorous job and that we, as corporate photographers, take photos of fancy events and famous people and surround ourselves with all sorts of prettiness. Although we do take photos at fancy events occasionally attended by famous people, we wouldn’t really describe a photographer’s job as a glamorous one. Being a corporate photographer or wedding photographer takes a lot of hard work, more patience than one would think, creativity and sometimes even a bit of magic to get the perfect shot.
We are in the business of making others look good, whether it is a person having their professional portrait taken or a product making its debut in the virtual world – we need to make it look even better than it already is. Corporate photograph poses many interesting challenges, and we love a good challenge!
Recently we were commissioned to take photos for SEDA’s Annual Report showcasing their Success Stories. The Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) provides SMMEs with business support and training to grow their business, and every year a select few of those businesses are picked to be featured in SEDA’s Annual Report. We were asked to travel to all nine provinces of South Africa to take photos of the selected businesses. The other part of the project was to take corporate portraits of the management team and executives using a mobile photography studio which we set up at their head office in Pretoria. Our mobile photography studio comes in handy when we need to photograph people using professional studio lighting instead of natural light because it is super convenient for the busy business person to pop into the boardroom next door between meetings instead of having to drive to a photography studio off-site. We have various paper backdrops so we can accommodate any mood – light and bright or dark and dramatic.
We travelled far and wide, from a small town in the Northern Cape to the depths of Thohoyandou and beyond, we got to take the road less travelled to reach many of our destinations within South Africa. This is probably one of the best things about our job – travelling. We see people and places that the average person will never get to see. When travelling to remote destinations away from any big city, you need to be ultra prepared. There is no Plan B if your camera suddenly decides to freeze or if your CF card acts up. Your photography kit needs to be well prepared for anything and you need to be able to take a really good photo in midday sun if need be. We employ our trusty Canon 5D IV and Canon 24-70mm f2.8 and 70-200mm f2.8 lenses, as well as a reflector to capture portraits and product photos using only natural light.
Through our photography journeys, we meet wonderful people with fascinating stories, and with this SEDA project, we saw how you can build yourself a thriving business through very hard work and a lot of determination. It is always humbling and encouraging to see how people have created something from nothing ensuring a bright future for themselves and the generations to come. The best part is listening to their story, seeing them glow with pride and of course capturing the smile that says it all.
We are happy to share some of the photos we took on this corporate photography project with you.