It is important that we enjoy as much photography around the office as we can even if that means pretending to be excited about that special time of year again. You know, the (dreaded) company headshot day. Just mentioning the event would make you think everyone was taking a trip to the dentist and getting a couple teeth pulled. I’ll admit when you are used to being behind the camera (or computer for that matter) having to be the center of attention is not always high on everyone’s list. As the photographer, it is my job to make everyone feel comfortable and at ease. I assured the team that I would make this day as pain free, quick and full of laughter as possible. With me behind the camera, entertainment is a given.
I wanted the photos to be simple and classic and not necessarily what you would expect. I chose to photograph rich Black & White’s on a black background using window light and a reflector. This minimized set up as I took all of the images in a colleague’s office and was limited on available space.
Here is a iphone pic of the setup. Remember I said I had limited space so yes, that is me standing on the edge of the couch so I could get above my subjects for a better perspective. I had a wall of windows on my left and an assistant holding up a silver reflector on my right. For my background I thumbtacked a piece of black fabric to the wall.
While I could have dragged the team to my studio for a more formal shoot, having the challenges of throwing together a studio in the office really made this fun for me. Often times in those make it work moments I pull off some pretty fabulous images. I tried to keep the photos fun and light hearted. I knew some of my models were nervous and I wanted everyone to feel comfortable and be themselves. I started each session with a little teasing resulting in images such as this.
I am not sure who was laughing harder after this but it put us off to a great start. From there I worked at finding and capturing the personality of each of my co-workers. Here are a couple of my favorites. (Each image was processed in on1 Effects).
Working with the ON1 team every day made photographing them easy! The more you know someone the more comfortable they are and the easier it is to “see” them. As a portrait photographer clients that have been with me for years are always the smoothest sessions. They know what to expect and I know them well enough I can get exactly what I need. I like to tease that I have trained the kids I photograph. Although, it may actually be that they have me trained. Either way, the more you get to know a client the better your results will be. Take the time to get to know your client prior to their session with you. Schedule a consultation or a quick in person meeting. That extra invested time with your client will help your end results.
I really had fun at our company headshot day and am fairly sure everyone enjoyed themselves, even if they won’t admit it. Thanks to the entire office for letting me take your photos, you guys were awesome!