Business Portrait Photography
A series of business portraits done recently for a well known Irish firm.
Some people are relaxed in front of the camera from the first moment. Others, not so much. Its fair to say there are people out there who would rather visit the dentist when it comes to getting their portrait taken. When a subject stands in, and they don’t look comfortable its really important to acknowledge this and try to establish some empathy and rapport with them. This usually helps people to relax and disarm their anxieties. It pays to have a couple of techniques to help in this department. Its always good to give specific instruction on posing and standing, especially when it comes to the question of what to do with your hands. I find that once this is covered, the process of getting good facial gestures is a lot easier.
The portraits were shot with four lights – one on the foreground and one ‘hair light’ from the top, left and two for the background to create an even seamless lighting on the background. The main, front-light was positioned close to the subject and a little higher than the head. Two reflectors were used to soften shadows and lessen the ‘drama’ of a one-light scenario. We weren’t going for ‘moody’.
After importing the images into Adobe Lightroom the first edit was completed and the number of shots wittled down. The toning of the shots was like the background – sober, neutral, subdued and chosen not to distract from the subject.
The element of communication between the subject and the photographer is all important. The photographer must show that they know what they are doing and not leave any time vacuums in the process. When the subect is left wondering about delays, doubt and anxiety creep in and this is never good for getting people to relax. Creative portraiture? Thats a different kettle of fish altogether.