When my clients book my corporate photography package, they want more than mass-produced, unimaginative stock photography. They strive for better and want the individuality and unique edge that they know a commercial photography commission gives them over their competitors. They know they have a great brand – they just want to really shout about it. That’s where great commercial photography comes in, reinforcing your brand and increasing sales.
Working as a commercial photographer
I work quickly and unobtrusively and am happy in a team of photographers or alone. I use a variety of small cameras including the latest DSLRS or mirrorless cameras and ideally no flashguns. My interest is in taking beautiful photographs, not selling prints or books.
The images I create are your photographs and are provided unwatermarked and at high resolution so you can make your own prints and albums. I simply retain the copyright and ask for an appropriate credit and website link for any images used commercially.
When photographing for a company, I use the same unique, natural, reportage photographic style as I do when photographing a wedding or family (internal links). When photographs are authentic; they look and feel real – because they are real.
I don’t need lots of set-up photo opportunities. Where there are people and activities that can be photographed naturally I always advise it – because the resulting images bring alive the core of the business, which is exactly what we aim to achieve with commercial photography.
If required I can also use off-camera lighting which is light, portable and wireless. This enables me to set up studio-style lighting in just about any environment – outside and inside, on a hillside or in a confined office space.
Variety and diversity in commercial photography
I thrive on the variety that comes with commercial commissions and have travelled all over the world from my home county of Cornwall to London, Tresco, Europe, Dubai, Singapore and America. These commissions have seen me working on beaches, up mountains, in hospitals, out at sea, in the sea, in vast corporate exhibition halls…even in conflict zones.
If there are people or an activity/process that can be photographed naturally then I’ll always do that as the resulting images bring alive the core of the business.
“I worked with James on two editions of the Tresco Times and on images for our website. This involved everything from interiors to kayaking to chickens to food. Nothing seemed to ruffle his professional feathers and his work was consistently of the highest standard. He is extremely good at dealing with a diverse range of people and situations and is a joy to work with. I would recommend him unreservedly.”
Tresco Estate & Island
My style as a commercial photographer
I photograph what is happening in front of me, capturing that moment, that emotion, that memory. Which for me, is what photography is, what photographers should do: fitting 1/125th of a second of real life into the 35mm viewfinder and distilling that moment.
Commercial photographs have to be natural and real so that they are interesting and different enough to subtly grab customers’ attention – making them instantly aspire to buy that bottle of Harbour beer or to book that holiday to Tresco Island.
“Photographer James Darling lives near to our brewery and regularly joins us for a surf. He is an amazing photographer and has worked with us to create the photographic images to support our brand. You’ll see more of his images throughout our website and supporting our brand in marketing material. Our website is a showcase for his work – we love working with him.”
Eddie Lofthouse Harbour Brewing
Variety and diversity in commercial photography
I work with a number of charities both as a photographer and more recently as a consultant to direct brand photography. Previous and current clients include Bliss, FareShare, St John Ambulance, Macmillan and Girlguiding. I offer a discounted day rate to all charities.
As with any business, great commercial photography can really help a charity with fundraising and raising your profile. This is an area I am immensely proud of and a brilliant arena for my photojournalistic skills to come into their own. The photographs have to be real enough to pull on the heart strings, personify the charity’s cause and thus make their target audience feel compelled to donate immediately.
“Due to the sensitive nature of photographing on a neonatal unit, where anxious parents watch on as their tiny and sick babies receive intensive, sometimes lifesaving care and treatment from doctors and nurses just yards from where they are sat, finding a photographer who could work effectively yet considerately in this environment was key. With his considered and personal entirely professional approach, James was able to capture a whole range of intimate moments on camera, with such subtlety and delicacy that he never once disturbed the environment he was working in. James more than fulfilled the brief he was given and I would not hesitate in recommending his services to anyone looking for a highly skilled, qualified and yet personable photographer.”
In 2018 I received my first consultancy commission from the UK charity Girlguiding. Who wanted me to do more than just capture great imagery.
My first role was to cull their photographic archive (from 26,000 to 1,000 images) which, thanks to the recent advent of super-fast broadband in our leafy valley, I was able to do remotely from Cornwall. I then identified key gaps in imagery and after meetings with all the HQ departmental heads to determine image requirements, I wrote the charity’s photography guide, style and content strategy. I also recruited young photographers – straight from their degree courses – and trained them in real time at key Girlguiding annual events. This was extremely rewarding work and Girlguiding now has a really focused photographic plan which should visually transform their brand and attract many more members in the future.
“It is a pleasure to work with James, his understanding and love of the coast, the elements, people and life in general jump out in his work. I like photographs that stand out from the crowd, James finds that unusual picture you want, when it arrives it’s a YES moment. This is what separates him from other photographers, as well as working with a thoroughly nice company, it is a joy to work with him.”
Bun Matthews Menai Holiday Company
What fuels my passion for commercial photography
I love the variety commercial photography offers; photographing tiny babies on special care baby units to help Bliss fundraise, long days and nights capturing wild, Cornish imagery for award-winning Harbour Brewing. Photographing a young family on holiday for The Tresco Times, running up mountains and discovering remote beaches on beautiful, mysterious Anglesey for Menai Holiday Cottages. Capturing the essence of Cornwall for John Bray & Partners, interior property shoots for private holiday rentals and large banking conferences across the World.
Commercial photography commissions take me all over the world and in lots of different directions. To find out more about the commercial photography I offer and for a quote please do get in touch. I look forward to hearing from you.
“You worked tirelessly, yet so unobtrusively and have produced some wonderful images that will help cement the party in our minds forever. You have so beautifully frozen the night in time, that we can enjoy it all over again. It’s a huge compliment to you that someone said ‘photographs? I didn’t see a photographer..’ you worked your magic without people realizing it – so a million thanks.”