Show people building and making things (especially on a large scale), including construction, mining, manufacturing, transportation, and energy.Since photography evolved toward the end of the Industrial Revolution, early documentarians were photographing the changing landscape of American and European industry. Now, entities from multinational manufacturers to Etsy sellers use industrial photography. Despite the name, industrial photographs often feature people. In an age of automated manufacturing, people are often used to help industrial settings feel more human. At first glance, industrial photography doesn’t need any specialized equipment, but it may require specialized knowledge and skills. Gerard Yunker’s images of workers standing on wind turbines required the use of specialized safety equipment to keep the photographer (and subjects) safe. In other cases, a sure foot and a healthy dose of common sense can keep most photographers out of trouble.
Shooting for industrial clients often brings another level of safety requirements and consideration. Harnessed while standing at the top of a 270 foot wind turbine required three hours of safety training with onsite safety personnel prior to starting my work. It’s a really exhilarating part of my job, and I’m thankful to have such unique experiences.Gerard Yunker for Enbridge.
Industrial work requires a unique skill set. You have to work efficiently and safely in complex & strange environments and come away with something creative.Thomas Winter for Siemens. In this case, candid imagery focuses on people maintaining industrial machinery. Similarly, many brands market themselves by touting local manufacturing or handmade techniques. These advertisements by Tadd Myers show the craftspeople that make New Balance shoes in the United States in a more stylized, high-contrast advertising style. Tadd Myers for New Balance. Finally, the ultimate in corporate prestige projects: the annual report. Annual reports can have a huge impact on a business, and the photography and design set the tone for the coming year. Generally, the larger the business, the more important the annual report, and the higher the photography fees associated with producing it. Rüdiger Nehmzow for Berwicks LTD. The annual report above for energy consultant firm Berwicks Ltd. by Rüdiger Nehmzow focuses on clean compositions with a simple color palette that is beautiful and supports the overall message of the report. For those interested in a deeper look, see our Pricing and Negotiating: Industrial Shoot for Annual Report article or some additional examples from Karen Pearson‘s work on the Progressive Annual Report on our blog. Industrial photography is definitely a wide-ranging specialty, and there are almost as many approaches to it as there are outlets for this type of work. The popular adoption of renewable energy and government subsidies for environmental improvements will likely continue the focus toward that aspect of many industries. As new technologies are created to automate the shipping, transport, and manufacture of goods, the demand for images that highlight these gains will only increase. Wonderful Machine has many industrial photographers you can find right here, and if you want to chat more about this specialty or have any questions feel free to reach out to me!