Mathias Vestergaard Corp.

Creative Misfit

Corporate photography 2.0

Published on January 17th, 2011


You know how it looks. Corporate photography. You see it in company brochures. On company websites. Usually real employees exposed in very unnatural situations. Carefully instructed by the photographer. Always very aware of the camera and the flashing studio strobes. Always smiling like lunatics – although never enough to cover up for their anxiety about the whole situation. As a professional photographer I can see that these photos are usually of very high technical quality. The lighting of the scene is close to perfect. Not a single unwanted shadow or highlight. Everything is sharp. Crystal clear. My colleagues are as professional as I am, and they do their jobs very well.
Nonetheless, these photos are so incredibly boring. So polished and fake. I don’t blame my photo colleagues. I just wondered what would happen if a corporate client was willing to try something different. And then it happened. While my current employer (idea- and design agency Hatch & Bloom) was developing the new visual identity for Fibertex Personal Care we wanted to do something different, and luckily the client was brave enough to trust us. The art director suggested a much more authentic, contrasty, black/white, soft focus style, and from a photo brief the client agreed to try it. I spent a day at their facility in Aalborg, walking around with my camera, talking to employees and clicking around 700 frames. Large apertures gave the photos a soft look. Also, the exposure times were short enough to avoid general blur, while maintaining a feel of activity in rapid movements. Most of all, however, the photos show real employees, actually working. Dedicated to their jobs. And that is exactly what we wanted to communicate.
In post production I worked a lot with contrast and also added a small amount of film grain, but that is all icing on the cake. What makes this case special is that technical photographic perfection was exchanged for authentic and dedicated workers.
The CEO of Fibertex is a hobby photographer, and after her saw the photos in the first draft of the corporate brochure, he requested to have my raw files for review. He simply loved the look and feel so much that he also wanted to see the rejected frames.
I am very happy that Fibertex had so much trust in me, and I am proud to show the results. Thank you for trusting in my fabric.


See also: Fashion Photography, Written exam: Photography and reality, Project: GadeMode™,


This entry was filed under Blog, Photography.