Building a studio in a workplace staffroom.
This week I shot what I'd call a typical business portraits session. What makes these jobs interesting apart from meeting so many business people are the set up challenges I have with the portable studio. For the record this is a easy one as there's space and plenty of power sockets for my lighting and computer.
Once all my kit is in the room it's a case of just clearing some floor space, using the room furniture to rest my computer kit on and get things ready to start doing the lighting tests.
It's quite a simple set up, the devil is in the detail. Using one main light on the subjects, a hair light which I don't want to overwhelm the image but it also provides a little bounce back light from the reflector to light under the chin and give a classic "Clam Lighting" look. The white background isn't lit and will look grey in the photograph. Cameras are set to kill off all ambient light.
The Camera is tethered to the computer which enables easy instant viewing. Having done a grey card test I know the colour balance is correct. I always pop a little mark on the floor...(hitting your mark in the tv and film world) which is the sweet spot for the lighting. I do numerous self portraits to finesse the lighting.
I think it's a great thing when the company staff arrive to see photos on the screen, they know what we are aiming for. Taking portraits is the most natural thing in the world for me, for many a subject this is the first time they have had this experience. If I'm okay showing my photo to them it's okay for us to shoot and review their shots together... That's how I feel about it, I should ask if that's what comes across.
The team members arrive, it's showtime.... Posing, relaxing and making subjects laugh time!
What's great is for staff that hate having their photos taken we can instantly review images and carry on until there is a shot they are delighted with. If it's going to be on a website everyone needs to feel confident they look their best.
One of the self portrait set up shots. I like to keep my images online refreshed on a regular basis, for this I was aiming for a more serious photographer, business photographer look, however after testing the image out on my facebook friends I had feedback that I look angry. During the shoot I always get a number of expressions for clients so I have a much more cheery one to hand.
The finished article, full frame. This can be cropped down to various sizes for the clients requirements. For example staff notice boards which often are 8x10 ratio to images for linked-in or social mediawhich are square.
After the shoot the studio is packed away quickly. Having the shoot at a place of business takes the least amount of time from the working day.
Thanks for reading the blog and please do call for a quote if you need Portable Studio Business Portraits.