I was recently awarded a project to photograph professional models for a medical device maker in Michigan. Stryker is a Fortune 500 company whom I’ve worked with numerous times. This particular shoot was done in studio with an emphasis on building a library of images the client could use for future marketing needs. It was an enjoyable photography session, as our talent pool was exceptionally good. Likewise, I had great art direction and a knowledgeable staff that knew the medical nuances of surgical wear. All in all, it was a great team effort.
I photograph executive portraits frequently, in studio at Blue Sky Photography in Troy, along with shooting on location at client’s facilities. Although I enjoy both studio and location portraits, shooting against environmental backgrounds can often be a bigger challenge. There is more involved than just a simple portrait lighting set-up against a seamless backdrop.
In the photograph above, the client desired a very shallow depth of field which required shooting through nearly three stops of neutral density, even with the strobe lights set to their lowest settings. And to complicate matters even further, I had to deal with reflections from the conference room glass walls. But that’s why I like shooting environmentally; bigger challenge, bigger reward.
I was awarded an assignment recently to photograph semi trailer trucks. Shooting big rigs isn’t that much different than photographing cars on location, except that they’re BIG! Whether its cleaning and detailing them, or scouting for a location, one has to keep in mind their enormous size. They are far less maneuverable than your typical car and require space; lots of space.
This project was for Point Dedicated, with an emphasis on their dedicated team of drivers. I did several different photos with their team members, including interior cab portraits, using a mix of ambient light and auxiliary strobe lighting.
A mysterious or fascinating quality. That’s how the dictionary defines the word “intrigue”. I can still readily remember how I felt working in my college photography darkroom, waiting for an image to appear on my photo paper as I gingerly sloshed developer back and forth. It was magical and suspenseful at the same time. That same feeling of intrigue kept with me over the years as I waited for my film to come back from the lab, never truly knowing the results of my photographic efforts until I held them in my hands. It added mystery to the process of photography.
Now with everything photographic being digital, we’ve lost some of that mystery and suspense within our chosen profession, and exchanged it for the immediacy of pixels on our computer monitors. To be fair, we did have Polaroids that removed a portion of the intrigue from our shoots. These days there is still an element of suspense in our work that keeps me engaged. In the photograph shown above, all the elements to create a quality image for my client came together, proving to me once more that photography can still carry with it a little bit of intrigue.
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.Relying 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.
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.
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.