On a weekly basis we receive emails from graduate or young amateur photographers asking us for advice on how to become a corporate photographer. We reply asking for samples of their photography and if they have had any experience in corporate work. The majority of the email replies have no corporate portfolio or experience.
If you want to get into corporate headshot and event photography then it is essential that you gain experience by offering to assist or shadow a professional corporate photographer over a series of varied commissions listening to their advice and guidance. It can be a struggle to get to this position as it means the photographer will have to factor the extra person into their day to day business. Once you have gained this experience you will need to put a corporate photography portfolio together to show potential clients that you can assist them with their photographic marketing. This is the catch 22 though as how do you create a corporate portfolio if you need to have one in place already so you can undertake commissions. We suggest that you use family and friends to capture headshots and business portraits. Also offer to undertake work with no fees so you can get access to corporate offices and London business events and conferences. This can a long process but it will greatly benefit your chances of becoming a corporate photographer.
A good bit of advice for the budding corporate photographer is to ask why they want to pursue a career in this field of photography. Do not assume that as your client base will be in the financial sector that you will be earning more than you would in another business sector. That is not the correct reason for choosing this career. You need to be very inspired and interested in generic corporate photography and how your photographic style can benefit businesses and what your photography will bring to their corporate marketing.
Be careful not to confuse corporate photography with commercial and business photography. There is a difference as commercial work can be any photographic service such as product, retail, property, interiors, location, people and many more. Corporate work tends to be headshots, portraits and event work.
Once you have a decent corporate photography portfolio then the next tip and advice is to start marketing as you will not get any business if people do not see you what you can offer. There are several ways to do this and it can become a full time job in itself but you have to find what best works for you. Networking, SEO, advertising and recommendation all have a part in you becoming a successful corporate photographer.