Glossy photography. Over the years I have used this term to describe photography that looks too good to be real. The lighting is perfect. The people are models and are without flaws. It lacks a good dose of reality.

Corporate photography needs to be quality work. Lighting is important and so are the people that represent a product or service in an ad or annual report. But many times magazines and other publications create photographs that are perfect in every aspect, but are not believable.

The trend in  photography today is away from the “glossy” look to a more realistic treatment of the subjects photographed. Hospitals are using more actual patients, nurses, and doctors in their ads rather than relying on models and actors. Clients are looking for a more journalistic look instead of a heavily lit set-up. People identify more with realistic situations and people, than with the “perfect” interpretation of everyday events. “Reality” television has added to this transformation. There seems to be a reality program for just about any situation.

Making lighting look real has its own challenges. And using real people instead of models is not nearly as easy to get the desired results. Developing rapport is vital to achieving success. The photographer must use his skill to “present” his subject in the “best light”.

Reality programming is here to stay. Photographers should be ready to create great images that sell for our clients when those being photographed “let their hair down”.


All photographs copyright 2011 Jim Lockman/Click!


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