5 Trailblazing Corporate Photographers Who Bring Authenticity and Impact Through the Lens

5 Trailblazing Corporate Photographers Who Bring Authenticity and Impact Through the Lens

Traditionally, professional headshots are simple, clean and stiff. A handful of contemporary corporate photographers want to change that with their work. Their innovative techniques and creative approaches make their photos more genuine and impactful. Cover photo by Ailbhe Flynn

A Photographer Celebrates His Monumental Achievement

David Hume Kennerly recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of his Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs, joined by other accomplished professionals like Nick Ut and Peter Arnett. While the celebration marks a monumental turning point in his career, it also highlights the work he produced in the five following decades.

While Kennerly is not just a corporate photographer — he also shoots politics and advertisements — he enjoys working with corporations. His focus on portraiture and documentary-style techniques clearly influence his work for clients.

Kennerly is one of the better-known people in his field, but many other corporate photographers have techniques that promise to be just as impactful. As distinguished professionals and publications celebrate a lifetime of achievements, looking toward the future for similar talent becomes more pressing than ever.

What Does It Mean to Be a Trailblazer in Photography?

Photography has rapidly evolved in only a few decades. For a while, the jump from black and white to color was one of the few historical advancements in the field. However, things began moving much faster once the world entered the digital age. Digitalization, Photoshop, mobile cameras and generative artificial intelligence have been revolutionary.

Nowadays, it seems almost anyone can become a photographer. After all, billions of people hold a camera in their hands daily. Since beginning a career in this industry has become much more accessible, what it means to be a trailblazer is now much more meaningful.

In this industry, the images you capture define who you are. In fact, a portfolio is one of the most important aspects of your career. Not only does it showcase your technical abilities, but it is representative of how you see the world. Even in corporate photography, the way you frame, light and pose a subject tells a story. 

Corporate photographers can only be true trailblazers if their work’s vision and message are clear. Anyone can take a simple headshot on a white background — it takes effort, patience and a good eye to turn a professional photo into something more.

The Corporate Photographers Deciding Tomorrow’s Trends

While many corporate photographers push boundaries with their work, few are truly trailblazers. These people are redefining their field by making professional photos as impactful as other genres of photography.

1. Steve Uzzell 

Steve Uzzell is a distinguished corporate photographer with decades of experience. His career began over 50 years ago as a member of National Geographic’s photography staff. He quickly moved on to more prominent positions after his authentic, creative work made him stand out.

Uzzell has accumulated tremendous acclaim and awards throughout his career. Notably, his images have appeared in more than 80 publications over the years. Time, Newsweek and Smithsonian are some of the most prominent. His work has even aired on media outlets like NBC, PBS, ABC and CBS.

Many of Uzzell’s clients would say he is one of the most innovative corporate photographers in the field. After all, he spends much of his time on international travel to explore the boundaries of creative thinking — he believes perspective changes empower imaginative work.

2. Scott Ramsey

Scott Ramsey is a corporate photographer based in the United Kingdom specializing in professional headshots and staff portraits. After spending over 30 years in the field, he has developed a unique editorial-like style.

Ramsey often uses clients’ corporate environments in a creative way, wanting to differentiate his work from the typical head-and-shoulders standard. He carefully considers colors, reflections and poses before taking the shot — and has won several photography awards this way.

Since Ramsey believes in visual storytelling, he adds flair to conventional practices. His dynamic work plays with depth of field and ambient light, giving viewers an eye-catching alternative to standard, stiff professional portraits.

3. David Kennerly

David Kennerly is a prominent American photographer and has been a trendsetter for over 50 years. He has been celebrated and acclaimed on numerous occasions — in fact, his work made him one of the youngest Pulitzer Prize winners of all time. Even though he has been in the industry for decades, he continues to establish himself as a visionary.

While Kennerly specializes in documentary-style photography, he has longstanding relationships with corporate clients. The Girl Scouts of America, the Home Depot, eBay and the Bank of America are notable examples. His work has even been featured in the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress and the National Portrait Gallery.

Kennerly is one of the greatest corporate photographers because his work tells a story. He prioritizes dynamic framing and patience to get the best shot. Afterward, he chooses images that speak to him instead of relying on editing software.

4. Adam Lerner

Adam Lerner specializes in editorial-style corporate photography and portraiture. His experience in advertising and lifestyle adds a unique flair to the headshots he takes. Some of his most impressive clients include Apple, Discovery, Honda and Scholastic.

Lerner is one of the most inventive corporate photographers because his work preserves a moment’s movement and atmosphere. His subjects do not stand rigidly in suits for a classic headshot — instead, they pose next to their work.

5. John Ferguson

John Ferguson is a London-based corporate photographer specializing in personal branding. He may technically center his contemporary work around people, but he emphasizes their projects. His trailblazing techniques make his photographs engaging, relatable and stylish.

Ferguson serves a long list of commercial and corporate clients. His unique eye for lighting, framing and contrast makes his work highly desirable because he makes professionals’ headshots feel lively and impactful.

After 25 years as a professional photographer, Ferguson has come to believe impression is what matters — and showcasing someone’s personality and career with a single image is possible. His creative outlook shines through in his work.

Corporate Photographers Are Redefining Their Field

While corporate photographers are not capturing gripping, emotional moments with wildlife, sports or celebrations, their work is still impactful. Novices and experts’ photos take on more meaning as they adapt to the rapidly advancing field.

A quality photographer can capture a person’s identity, passion and career in a single image. Visionaries like Adam Lerner and Steve Uzzell prove this sentiment with their unique perspectives and techniques. These artists’ work promises to reshape how newcomers approach corporate photography. 

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