I photograph numerous executive portraits each year, both in studio and on location. Each subject has their own personal reason for having their portrait captured. Some hire me to replace an older portrait that no longer represents them properly due to age or stature. Others need a professional portrait because of new employment or job promotion. And many feel a need to have a quality portrait for their social network such as LinkedIn, to stay competitive in the business world. The environmental portrait displayed above is of the famed Detroit chef and restaurant owner, Joe Muir. Joe needed a professional portrait for a completely different reason; he was producing a new cookbook. Bon Appetit !
I photograph portraits of executives frequently, on location at client’s facilities as well as in studio at Blue Sky Photography in Troy. I enjoy photographing both location and studio portraits, although shooting against environmental backgrounds can often be more challenging. There is a fair amount more involved than just a standard portrait lighting set-up against a paper backdrop.
In the above photograph, the art director preferred a limited depth of field which required shooting through neutral density filters of three stops, even with the flash heads output to their lowest setting. To complicate matters even worse, the conference room had two walls of glass that I had to contend with their inherent reflections. But that’s why I enjoy shooting within environmental backgrounds; bigger rewards come from bigger challenges.
When I’m not photographing products for commercial clients, I can usually be found shooting executive portraits. Asked recently by an executive during his portrait session how many portraits I’ve done in my career, I quickly responded “hundreds”. I thought about that for a moment, and then changed my answer to “thousands”! Not that I really have the time or the inclination to research the exact number, I do find it to be a fascinating amount of people that I’ve worked with over the years.
A company out of Dallas hired me last week to photograph these three attorneys for a feature article. Its not often that I shoot against a true black background but it was a good exercise in lighting and separation, and it fulfilled the client’s requirement design. This legal trio was a treat to work with; consummate professionals! Here is a link to my Blue Sky Photography “Lifestyle” site: http://www.blueskyphotographyinc.com/html/lifestyle-people-portrait.html
Most commercial still photographers will receive a client request at least once during their careers to shoot on a motion set. I can remember even as an assistant when I first moved to Detroit, that this type of assignment, although somewhat rare could be gratifying and profitable in its own way. Like everything else in the commercial world of photography, there are positives and negatives to this sort of gig. On the plus side, there is very little photo gear to haul since you’re working on someone else’s set. On the negative, you’re working on someone else’s set! That means of course, you’re second fiddle for the day. But you know that going into the project so its really just a matter of creating the best possible photography you can, under situations that you have very little control over.
I was hired by an agency to shoot on a Chrysler motion set for Dodge Truck. Much of the work was keeping a low profile and shooting when I could without disrupting the film/sound crew. But on occasion, usually between “takes”, I could create my photographs such as the corporate portrait shown above. I had to work quickly, directing my subject, knowing that I had only a short window to work within. Would I shoot on a motion set again with the limitations I know it brings? Absolutely! Working under pressure and lacking total control is often the norm when photographing on location. Its what brings us back time and time again.
I was recently hired to photograph a testimonial group portrait for a BrassCraft ad. This project was particularly enjoyable for me as I had the opportunity to work with an art director from BrassCraft, as well as the senior art director from the advertising agency that hired me. Having art directors on site seems to be a bit less common these days, but I do enjoy the collaborative effort when the opportunity arises.
Individual portraits were also done, as well as a secondary ad featuring just one of the men, also in testimonial fashion. BrassCraft has a long term history with Blue Sky, and as always, we appreciate their repeat business.