How Industrial Photography Helps Tell The Stories of the Workforce 

Written by Staff Writer

From time to time different staff writers will write informative photography posts for us.

Published May 20, 2022

large forklift unloads train

The modern workforce is diverse. Across industries, there are countless job descriptions and career paths that are filled by hard-working individuals. Whether an individual sits at a desk working on a laptop or is on an assembly line running a machine, every job tells a different story — and a story that is worth telling. 

An unfair stereotype or lack of attention gets paid to industrial work. “White-collar” jobs are often put on a pedestal, receiving more praise and notice from the media and general public. This is no fault of the industrial industry, but instead a lack of promotion and coverage from outsiders. Sectors like manufacturing, agriculture, mining, fishing, and others are the backbone of the global economy, and silently keep our daily lives running smoothly. For example, without industrial work, we wouldn’t have smartphones to text from or fancy salmon salads to order at local eateries. 

But a switch is happening. Both media, professionals (like photographers), and the public are gaining more insight into the industrial world — and thus giving it more recognition. Industrial photography is becoming more popularized and necessary to accurately depict society. Today’s modern workforce can’t be lumped together like a pocket of loose change. Every segment of the modern economy is uniquely different. Some of the work that falls under the industrial industry umbrella might not be the sexiest or most sanitary, but it is filled with important, respectable jobs that hold stories we all should care about. 

Industrial photography is helping rewrite the narrative that surrounds “blue-collar” jobs, and accurately portray the lives of individuals who work in these economic sectors.


Industrial Photography Helps Showcase Diversity 

The world is a melting pot of people. Diversity is what makes us as humans so interesting and worth celebrating. While working is a part of life, job titles, salaries, and promotions don’t define who we are as people. The workforce is filled with individuals that differ for countless reasons. From ethnicity to religion to special talents, the list goes on. 

Today, people are waking up to the fact that what separates us, also makes us closer. Consumers are becoming more conscious and concerned about the businesses they support and the role those organizations play in how they treat and acknowledge their employees. 

Industrial photography helps businesses across all sectors showcase the diversity that lives within their organization. Hiring a photographer who specializes in industrial photography will be able to perform a photo assignment that accomplishes several important elements. 

Related: The Different Types of Industrial Photography

Industrial photography tells stories
A locomotive moves down the tracks.

How Industrial Photography Brings Industry to Life 

  • Representing the true day-to-day work that industrial professionals carry out 
    • This includes showcasing the nitty-gritty details that accompany these hands-on jobs, the dangers associated with them, and the distinctive environments this type of work is carried out with 
  • Illustrating the mental work attached to manual labor 
    • As many industrial jobs involve intense physical labor, workers in these fields might be seen as an extension of the machinery or equipment that they work alongside. Industrial photography brings to light the creative, critical thinking, and intrapersonal skills that industrial workers hold 
  • Bringing human emotion to the forefront 
    • Whether that is putting gas in your car or food on your dinner table, there is emotion behind getting raw materials ready for the consumption of the general public. Industrial photography can underscore the emotional work, the highs and lows that come with skilled industrial workers doing their jobs. When the emotions exerted by this workforce are able to be captured, a greater appreciation can be seen by those who have little insight into the work that makes everyday life livable

The Short & Long-Term Benefits of Industrial Photography 

Industrial photography presents several key benefits to both the individual businesses and people that make up these sectors of the economy, but also advantages to those who are unfamiliar with these core industries. 

In the short-term, photography that covers areas such as metalwork, textile production, and other hands-on work, opens up the eyes of general consumers to the blood, sweat, and tears that go into it. The goods and services we consume daily are often taken for granted, as a lack of understanding exists about what is done in order to create and supply these items and services

Therefore, when photography assets can be taken and displayed properly, it adds greater appreciation and value to the hard work attached to these industries and their workforce. In the immediate, it also gives businesses and their employers a platform or avenue to show off their voice and personality. It is important for industrial workers and their respective organizations to cultivate, maintain, and grow their unique identities within the global marketplace. Photography allows for the human side of work to be noticed and celebrated, not brushed under the rug of economic bottom dollars. 

A mechanic welds a cart in the machine shop of a canada post facility. Getting these welding shots is tricky because you can’t really look through the view finder without damaging your eyes. There is quite a bit of guess work with these types of ind…
A welder makes repairs at a mail sorting facility

In the long-term, industrial photography yields several benefits that will be instrumental in the evolution of these trades. Photography helps bring awareness and vantage points to jobs that might otherwise “work behind the scenes.” This is critical as these industries need to fill positions with skilled workers for the foreseeable future. Many of these jobs present great career paths, opportunities, and pay, giving young adults alternative options to college and university. With more touchpoints and limelight on the industrial industry, these businesses that make it up, are able to better market themselves and their products/services to third-party vendors, consumers, and other relevant parties. 

Industrial photography is a growing need, as well as an increasing demand, as economic trends and societal expectations shift. Telling the stories of the workforce isn’t a new idea or concept, but it is surely something that can be done better, more frequently, and more professionally. 

Need to Hire an Industrial Photographer? 

If you’re in need of professional photography resources, contact us today. As a business owner, Robert understands how important it is to market successfully. High-quality photography is now an essential part of any business. With specialization in a variety of photography areas and experience with hundreds of businesses and entrepreneurs over his career, Robert is able to take your brand to the next level.

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