Images of the practical aspects of industrial Endeavour are typically created for specialized or internal purposes and are consequently of little interest to a wider audience. In general, the subjects are technical, often sequential, and designed to document the stages of a manufacturing process, details of products, and the layout of equipment. They show details of highly-sophisticated machinery, materials and processes in a way that informs a particular audience, and are consequently of little interest to people not involved in the particular field of work. They are not normally intended for general publication, and the content may be of a proprietary nature, although some commercially less-sensitive images in this category do occasionally appear in company reports and other similar documentation.
The other category of industrial photography, which shows people in their working environment, is more visible to the general public. The images tend to be more aesthetically pleasing, and typically portray aspects of working environments, training, work units, and the overall culture of companies and organizations. Their purpose may be administrative, or perhaps associated with industrial or public relations . The photography work may be undertaken by external professionals, in-house photographic departments or other employees.