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.
I’ve been photographing executive portraits for quite a number of years at my Troy, Michigan studio, as well as on-site at client’s facilities. The deciding factor as to where to shoot usually is determined by how many subjects need headshots for their business. Typically if there is only one or two from a company, its more economical to come to my studio. Situations where a business needs a half-dozen or more of their executives photographed, it is much more advantageous for me to come to them.
This woman executive I photographed (shown above) came to my studio on short notice. She works for a New York IT consulting firm, but is based out of the Detroit area. As is often the case, she was to have a press release published regarding her work and needed a professional photographer to capture her portrait. Although I’m a bit biased towards having a corporate portrait done, I believe it is money well spent.
I was recently commissioned to photograph an executive portrait for an automotive technology company from the United Kingdom. The Advanced Propulsion Centre helps to fund green technology companies as they embark on getting their vehicles to market.
For me, it was a chance to embrace a somewhat different directive than a typical executive headshot. The client was looking for a black and white portrait, something that I lacked in my portraiture repertoire; plus a very tight crop of the subject. Any assignment that breaks the mold is a photographer’s delight; this was one of them.
Photographing executives on location can often be challenging, primarily due to limits on time. Add to the mix finding a suitable setting for your client’s portrait, one can feel a bit of stress creeping into the photographic process. Fortunately most clients realize that giving their commercial photographer the time he or she needs, will reflect well on their final image.
My recent assignment with Morgan Stanley was a testament to cooperation between client and photographer, resulting in an executive portrait we could both be proud of.
There’s an old adage that says you only get one chance at making a good first impression. There are variations to that theme, but as a professional portrait photographer, I am whole-heartedly in agreement with it. With the proliferation of inexpensive digital cameras along with decent quality camera phones, there seems to be a tendency to use what I’ll call “grab shots” in lieu of professionally photographed portraits. It’s probably fine for one’s FaceBook headshot, but I find more and more business executives hiring Blue Sky Photography to photograph them for their LinkedIn page, company bios, business cards, and websites.
Detroit Executive Portraits
These businessmen and women have a desire to stand out from their competition and are willing to invest a bit of their time and money to achieve those results. They realize hiring a commercial portrait photographer may give them an edge, and more importantly, they know that in the competitive business world we live in, it is essential to make a great first and lasting impression.