Flip through an episode of Man vs. Wild, and you’d be raving mad not to applaud the courage and bravery of Bear Grylls. But we tend to forget that someone with a camera chases after him, also facing danger. The same can be said of industrial photographers. Their photos help us appreciate the efforts of blue-collar America. Yet, we fail to notice the difficulty they themselves overcome to capture those images, while being tied to a harness or perched on a ledge several stories high. Thankfully, these industrial photographers in New York make the difficult look easier than it should be, armed with the proper safety training to ensure no one gets hurt while the camera keeps snapping away.
At Wonderful Machine, industrial photography “shows people building and making things (especially on a large scale), including construction, mining, manufacturing, transportation, and energy.”
No matter the demands of your next campaign, these photographers will go the extra mile to find that one perfect shot… or several, for that matter.
Jayme Thornton is a New York City-based multimedia artist specializing in portraiture. He first started in the theater community, but while in Minneapolis, the sight of a neon liquor sign changed his course. It sparked an obsession with composition, lighting, and detail — one that forced him to build a portfolio leading to opportunities in the Big Apple. Ever since, Jayme has loved the problem-solving nature of photoshoots, working for clients such as Hugo Boss, BBDO, Rolling Stone, and Tag Heuer, among others.
His newest obsession, though, happens to be workers and workshops, photographing the blood, sweat, and tears that go into labor. His portfolio in the industrial space spans everything from space centers to cloth manufacturers, providing an intimate look at the lifestyles of the blue-collar worker.
After a long stint overseas covering news, politics, religion, and culture in the Arab world, David Degner returned stateside to document the unfolding story of the COVID-19 pandemic. While he studied photojournalism and continues to work within that branch of photography, he has expanded his scope to include the industrial specialty as well.
He pays close attention to his clients’ requirements, ensuring their vision is translated into clean and professional photos to be used for marketing and PR avenues. As a result, David has been hired by Oracle, Sanofi Pharmaceutical, iFit, and UNHCR. His photos have also been published in the New York Times, Der Spiegel, and Le Monde Magazine, among many others.
While he makes for an excellent partner during Karaoke night, Nick Kova would do just as well for your upcoming photoshoot. Among New York industrial photographers, he’s not afraid to get up close and personal, capturing the mini-firework displays that are typical of these work settings (with safety in mind, of course). This remains true whether he’s shooting stills or motion projects, giving equal importance to the process on display and the person behind the effort.
Nick has worked with the likes of Apple, Tesla, Google, Mastercard, and Ariat International, to name a few.
It takes a special kind of talent to transform an industrial setting into a work of abstract art. Connie Zhou, though, pulls it off by paying attention to the nitty gritty and the bigger picture. In essence, she sees the forest and the trees. Her work in the interiors and architecture specialties undoubtedly cultivated this ability, finding beauty through proximity and from a distance.
Connie’s portfolio in industrial photography discovers patterns and symmetry at the workplace, combining color and composition to reinterpret workplaces many would consider mundane. By doing so, a quotidian environment like a data center becomes a zen garden with flashing lights, or a tangled mess of multi-colored pipes turns into the latest edition of a LEGO set. The photos are a sight to behold.
Her far-reaching and numerous clients include Google, Architect Magazine, Viceroy Hotel Group, IBM, Prologis, and Wired.
Excellence, or perfection for that matter, comes with years upon years of practice and experience. We’d say Joe McNally is closer to perfection than most, an award-winning and internationally-recognized photographer whose assignments have taken him around the world. He achieves even rarer status by being one of the few photographers to cross over successfully from photojournalism to advertising work, collaborating with brands such as FedEx, Nikon, ESPN, Adidas, MAC Cosmetics, The New York Stock Exchange, and Lehman Brothers.
McNally’s awards include the first Alfred Eisenstaedt Award for Journalistic Impact and regular honors from Communication Arts, PDN, Graphis, American Photo, POY, and The World Press Photo Foundation.
Perhaps the most versatile of our industrial photographers in New York, Joe can tackle an intimate portrait shoot in a studio or the welding work done a mile above ground with equal levels of diligence and care. We couldn’t recommend him enough for commercial and editorial assignments.
When we see a photo of the sun hiding behind a series of verdant hills, or the expanse of a lake reflecting the sight of mountains in its waters, a sense of wonder just takes over. Christoph Morlinghaus’ photography does the same with industrial environments, where the man-made world is primed for awe and astonishment to match Mother Nature’s. His images capture the gravity of humanity’s ambition, exhibiting scope and scale of immense magnitude. If he were around during the time of the Great Pyramids’ construction, we’d give aliens much less credit for it.
With such a unique understanding of the camera, Christoph’s work has earned him awards, exhibition features, and projects for the likes of Wired, Exxon Mobil, Mercedes-Benz, American Airlines, Bloomberg, and IBM.
Chris New is a New York industrial photographer with a true passion for his craft. While some photographers’ have strengths and weaknesses in their portfolios, falling short in one specialty or another, it’s hard to find any holes in Chris’s work. His output is always top-notch, whether it’s portraiture, food and drink, or industrial images.
Chris’ industrial photos utilize color unabashedly, while finding compositions that provide an alternative perspective of the focal point. The systematic frenzy of industrial machinery in operation, the blades of a windmill shot from below while wisps of cloud drift by, or an offshore rig lit sparingly by the crimson sun on the horizon. He observes subjects differently than most, a significant advantage in a market saturated with similar styles and approaches.
Chris’ clients include Target, Levi’s and Barneys New York, General Electric, Pfizer, Absolut, Avon, Reebok, Ford, and Aetna.
With more safety hazards than on a typical photoshoot, finding the perfect shot during industrial projects is harder than it looks. Thankfully, the seven industrial photographers in New York we’ve highlighted have the necessary safety training and skill behind the camera to do wonders. Any of them would be a sound fit for your next commercial or editorial assignment.