Professional Pittsburgh Corporate Photography
I’ve been a corporate photographer here in Pittsburgh for quite a few years now and I’ve decided rather than just post an image now and then, I would post an image and then talk about the various issues involved in its execution.
This should be the first of many such posts and I’m guessing that the people most interested in this kind of article would be those interesting in possibly becoming a corporate photographer of maybe a photo editor or even a graphic designer. Of course, all are welcome, but I will be writing these as though I was talking to a wanta-be corporate photographer. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them in the discussion box down below.How corporate photography shoots begin
How corporate photography shoots begin
Most corporate photography shoots begin with an email or phone call asking the photographer for a price and availability on a particular shoot. Sometimes the information about the shoot is a little sketchy because the details of the assignment haven’t been determined yet, so the photographer’s estimate reflects those uncertainties. The photographer may assume (and you know what they say about that) that the shoot will take you only a couple of hours, but it may end up taking five times that. What’s the purpose of the corporate photo?
The photographer needs to determine the purpose of the photos and how they will be used. The shoots purpose and intended usage should be the basis for all photographic decisions during the corporate photo shoot. Would the photos be horizontal or vertical? The usage should answer that question. Which subject should be emphasized? The purpose of the photo should answer that…. You get the idea.Corporate location is important
Corporate location is important
The corporate photographer usually doesn’t get much say where the photo shoot will happen, but if he does, it often times works a scouting trip to determine the best location and the best background for the photos. The background should be appropriate to the message and purpose of the photo, but it also should be visually and graphically interesting. After all, corporate photographers get hired to make interesting and beautiful photos, and if the background is ugly or distracting, then the photo shoot won’t end up being a total success.
Since this is a portrait of a Dean and a Lawyer, we decided that the University’s mock courtroom would be an appropriate setting for the portrait. I choose an area of the courtroom that I thought was interesting but not distracting.
The corporate photographer’s first objective is to make his client happy and the second is to make a portfolio-quality photo. If the photographer can pull off both of these objectives, then the photo shoot is a complete success. If he can only achieve one of these objectives, it should be to make the client happy, so he comes back and gives the photographer more opportunities in the future.
If the Corporate Photography assignment is a portrait, like the one here, the expressions of the subjects may be important to the message of the photo. The subject shouldn’t have a big grin on his face if the caption of the photo will be something serious. The photographer needs to keep in mind what the photos will be used for. When I shoot portraits, I like to do a range of expressions, but then after I think I have a good variety, I then concentrate on the expressions I think most appropriate for the purpose of the assignment.
Executive portrait pose
Besides having an appropriate location and subject expression, the pose too should be fitting to the message and use of the photo. The corporate photographer needs to pose his subjects in such a way that they look attractive and comfortable. In reality, there are only so many poses appropriate to executives, but it’s sometimes worth experimenting with new ideas. In this case, the two subjects are lawyers, so everything about the shot needed to be conservative. Professional corporate photographers need to keep in mind that their subjects are often very important people that have better things to do rather than pose for a silly picture. Their time is valuable, so the photographer needs to get a feel for the amount of that time he can devote to the shoot and not take a second longer.
Professional corporate photographers need to keep in mind that their subjects are often very important people that have better things to do rather than pose for a silly picture. Their time is valuable, so the photographer needs to get a feel for the amount of that time he can devote to the shoot and not take a second longer. Pushing the envelope in professional corporate photography
Pushing the envelope in professional corporate photography
When time allows, it’s a good idea for the corporate photographer to push the envelope a little. Most photographers fall into ruts, and corporate photographers are no exception. They tend to find a solution to a challenge and then use that solution over and over again. The challenge may be “how to light a subject” or “how to pose a subject”, so after time, all the photographer’s shots tend to look the same. Some people may consider that look as the photographer’s style, but sooner or later that type will be out of date and it will end up looking more like a rut.
Corporate Photographers need to “keep it fresh”. A good way to do that is to try something a little different on every single shoot, preferably at the end of the shoot. It might be lighting, posing, or even a different lens, just something a bit different than usual.
Camera settingsWhen I’m shooting Corporate Photography Portraits like the one here, I usually like to shoot pretty “wide open”. When there are multiple subjects in this shot, I need to make sure that the depth of field was sufficient to keep both people in focus. The story was about both subjects, so I thought it was important to have both gentlemen in focus.
When I’m shooting Corporate Photography Portraits like the one here, I usually like to shoot pretty “wide open”. If there are multiple subjects in this shot, I need to make sure that the depth of field was sufficient to keep both people in focus, so I’ll stop down enough to assure that happens. The “story line” of the photo was about both subjects, so I thought it was important to have both gentlemen in focus.
The lens for this photo was selected in order to compress the background elements into a graphic design. By using a long lens, I was able to “stack” the different levels of the background to create an interesting composition.
- Camera – Nikon D800
- Camera – Nikon D800Lens – Nikon 80-200 F2.8 (shot at 135mm)
- Lens – Nikon 80-200 F2.8 (shot at 135mm)Shutter Speed – 1 / 200th
- Shutter Speed – 1 / 200thAperture – f 4.5
- Aperture – f 4.5ISO – 800
- ISO – 800Color Balance – 5880k
- Color Balance – 5880k© – Michael Ray 2017
- © – Michael Ray 2017Lighting
LightingI used my three heads of my ProFoto B2 electronic flash units to do this executive portrait. I overpowered the ambient light only slightly. No filtration was used on the lighting in order to let the warmth of the ambient light to influence the feel of the photo.
I used my three heads of my ProFoto B2 electronic flash units to do this executive portrait. I overpowered the ambient light only slightly. No filtration was used on the lighting in order to let the warmth of the ambient light to influence the feel of the photo.So that’s the story and technical details behind this Pittsburgh professional corporate photography shoot. If you have any questions, please leave them below.
So that’s the story and technical details behind this Pittsburgh professional corporate photography shoot. If you have any questions, please leave them below.