Get the Right Look of Manufacturing in America
If you have a sales force, marketing manager, social media expert, or even an event coordinator, they all need collateral materials—whether in print or digital to back them up. Your investment in machinery, technology, and expertise will fail without the right visual images. You have an audience you need to appeal to, and in manufacturing, it is often aimed at engineers.
As a professional photographer specializing in industrial photography and video (dion.com), I can tell you, first-hand, that I have often heard these words, “It’s only directed to engineers.” They say it as if the “engineers” don’t have eyes or emotions. With this mind‐set, customers have settled for cell phone snapshots. No light, no depth of field, no interesting angle—and no visual impact. For some reason, some of my clients think that the engineer is only interested in the materials, tolerances, and reliability of a product or part being manufactured at their factory. Certainly, this is vital information for any engineer to know. But they also are drawn to elements that catch their eye. They are human and are attracted to cool, visually stimulating things just like the rest of us.
Another common practice regarding manufacturing images is that companies want to showcase the new $300,000 machine that just went online at the factory. Proud to have a new member of their high-tech line‐up, they want to show it off and share their excitement about their new capability. They usually don’t consider the fact that someone has to pay for this machine, and—ultimately—it’s going to be the viewer. As part of the overhead expenses, it will get passed along to customers.
So now, Company X has this new, expensive machine. Anyone can buy the machine and plug it in. Working it to its potential is another story. And you need to tell that story visually. After many years of experience in manufacturing photography, I know and can easily portray to the client that the machine is only part of the solution for their customers. By adding a technician and/or a manufactured part into the image, the viewer sees the operation as much more than just a high-priced consequence of doing business with this supplier. They see it as the ingenuity behind the process and the solution to their problem.
Industrial photography plays a crucial role in attracting new customers or impressing old ones. Some factories are on the dirty side due to the processes they perform, and some are very clean. An industrial photographer sees the overall factory differently than the machine technician, sales, or management team. We see—and capture—the art inside the machine: the 3‐dimensional alignment of shapes, textures and colors, highlights, and shadows.
When we look, we envision what can be done before it’s done. I always take a walk‐through prior to starting the day, or even add a site survey to the project days before the shoot. Adding a key light, a colored gel, getting the right angle, and choosing the right lens and depth of field allows me to tell the story that the factory personnel never thought about telling. Fresh eyes and a creative perspective from a professional industrial photographer usually surprises the client.
It’s not form over function; it’s the harmony between the two, like a fine Swiss watch. Both are needed to create a dynamic image. No matter how dirty or how clean your factory is, a professional industrial photographer can breathe new life into your visuals. Choosing the right one is important. Carefully navigate their online portfolios to find the one that’s right for your needs, has researched your industry, and can create images that will not only grab more attention, but build your brand while doing so, and provide prospective buyers the vision to see you as their solution.
Stimulating professional photography and videography are cornerstones of all industrial manufacturing marketing strategies. If you need to take another look at how you are—or are not—employing contemporary, inspiring visuals in your industrial marketing, contact us for an evaluation of your photography and video needs.