Tag Archives: Portraits

Inergy Team

I had a multi-day shoot on location recently, photographing employees both as traditional portraits as well as in team photos. Inergy, an automotive supplier located in Troy, Michigan, hired me for this project after seeing samples of my photography on our Blue Sky website.Detroit Location Photographer David TrottRelying on professional talent when shooting commercial photography can get you spoiled, but these two Inergy employees were terrific to work with. They took direction well and were very pleasant to work with. Lots of laughs during the shoot, and we came away with great results.



Industrial Portraits

Corporate portraits can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Most often it seems executives need head-shots photographed against a simple seamless or traditional portraiture backdrop. I photograph many executives each year this way, both in my Troy, Michigan studio and also at the subject’s business headquarters. But environmental portraits, or more specifically as in the photo below, an industrial portrait, brings with it more challenges and often times a more enticing photograph.

Industrial Portrait

This particular portrait was photographed inside a forging plant, which was hot, dirty and noisy. It was nearly impossible to communicate with either my photo assistant or my corporate clients by speaking, so hand signals became my primary source to convey directions. As with any corporate portrait, the subject is the star, but an environmental portrait can also help tell the client’s story.

Corporate Photography

I used to think of corporate photography as annual report photography or any “corporate communication”, from PR to capability brochures. There was a time when annual reports were thick, glossy, well designed, and had lots of photography. Now, many annual reports are mostly on newsprint; an expression of our current economic times. Corporate Photography now seems to mean a business portrait or headshot.

Executive HeadshotsThere is no question of the value of an excellent executive portrait. It may be the first impression that one gets before actually meeting someone in person. It also represents the company’s image as well as yours. It can illustrate your corporate culture: casual, aggressive, or buttoned up.

Is it cheap? No. Professional photography is a business. We have years of experience making people, products and places look good. It’s how we make our living, and like all businesses there is overhead that we contend with too. It’s true we don’t use film anymore, and that was an expensive part of photography; but now we have computers, printers, networks, and digital cameras. In addition, there is all of the basic overhead, like rent, insurance, advertising, utilities, transportation.

Studio Portrait

Is it worth it? Well of course I think it is, but objectively, it depends on your individual situation and how important your image is to you.


In all the years Tom Kirby and I have been business partners, well over two decades worth for those counting, it’s been a rare opportunity for us to actually work on a project together. We have collaborated numerous times with Tom shooting the studio portion of an assignment and myself handling the out-of-town location photography, but recently we had the occasion for real teamwork.

"Chefs Joe Muer and Jim Oppat"

In case you haven’t heard, Joe Muer, the famed Detroit chef is making a comeback with a new downtown restaurant in alliance with the Andiamo chain. And fortunately for Blue Sky, we were chosen to create the photography for this upcoming event.


Shooting at Andiamo’s flagship restaurant, Tom and I worked in close quarters, with Kirby photographing the plated foods and myself taking on the lifestyle shots of Chef Muer and his associates. We shared an assistant and equipment, but more than that we shared an experience of real teamwork, both of us working together to create photographs the client would be proud of showcasing for their new endeavor.

In business, choosing a team that you can trust is one of the most important decisions an entrepreneur can ever make. I knew early on that to have a business capable of riding out both the good and bad cycles of our industry, I would need a partner that I could trust, and in turn, for that partner to be able to rely on me.

Don’t get me wrong. Tom and I can be like The Odd Couple at times, from the differences in our lifestyles, to our politics, to our choices of restaurants; but, we do have that one paramount notion in common…..to run and sustain a business using teamwork.