Wednesday 5 January 2011

Making your 'Boring' corporate head shot work for you

We have all been there

Some relatively staid corporate portrait we have been commissioned to shoot

It can be quite a challenge, there is always the danger of it turning into yet another man in a grey suit in an office shot, which can be.....very dull and boring

Believe me I have been there and got the t shirt on this one on many occasions, who hasn't?

So the night before the shoot do a quick web search on the person you are shooting so you have at least some knowledge not only of their job, and their business, but also who they are and what makes them tick.

This for me is invaluable, as it gives you that vital advantage of playing for time and persuading them to spend a few more moments with you to get a shot which makes them look better and gives you a cool pic which better represents your talents to help ensure you get the gig again.

After all, if the CEO of Acme paper gets a pleasant photographer knocking on the door of his or her office, and that photographer knows a little more about them, takes an interest in their company and their achievements I would contend that photographer would get the next gig over the mouse of a photographer who conforms to the stereotype the CEO has in his or her head.

So hearts and minds it is my friends, it makes the job a lot more fun and makes a ton of business sense

Ok, we now know a little more about our subject, but what is his or her office like?

A quick web search can reveal photographic location opportunities within their office and importantly reveal the high or more often than not lamentable photographs the company currently uses, yes yet another opportunity to up sell your services, you make sure you pop some of your better interior shots on your iphone, ipad or whatever.

You may not get the chance to show your stuff off but if you do you are prepared.

Ok, you have been diligent and checked the CEO out on the web and discovered that the Head office is 5 feet square and a mess.

Now what?

Google street view to the rescue

What did I do before this came along? It has saved me a time or two

Here is a 'scouted'  and commented Google streetview

Is this rocket science? Absolutely not, but it means I have 'done' the shoot the night before and it makes a cool location an easier sell to my sitter and drag them out of their dull office, should the need arise

We have so many excellent tool at out disposal and yet we, myself included, often don't make the most of them

It is a tough photographic market out there, and it is about survival for the fittest photographer who makes the most of any edge he or she can to gain that valuable advantage

Just think, I have been talking about doing a shoot and have not mentioned gear once

The gear is all so often the easy bit these days.

All the fancy gear is just a tool, the brain is where a shoot really happens

Blimey, you can tell what mood I'm in today!


Oliver Edwards said...

Really really useful post, no one seems to blog about stuff like this but I find preparation and thought process a much better tool than any bit of kit

Unknown said...

Thanks Oliver

I took my own advise today and made sure my laptop was primed with my best work, just in case.

And you know what?

I got a chance to show it to the right person in a BIG company

Not holding my breath but I feel it may have opened a door or two