Tuesday, May 3, 2016

New Environmental Background for In-Studio Corporate Portraits

Dave arrives with shirts cleaned and pressed, on hangers. Yes!

These days there is a growing trend towards environmental business portraits (in which the background is the space where you're shooting, as opposed to a photographer's fabric or paper background). Environmental portraits tend to be a bit more interesting and a bit more 'real' looking. I love this trend. However, not all business people have access to an aesthetically appealing boardroom or office or professional looking space in which a photographer can set-up and shoot. Typically, if the shoot is an in-studio one and there's no budget for creating an interesting custom set, we would be limited to using plain seamless paper or painted muslin. So I decided to create a simple to set-up option for affordable in-studio corporate portraits, that kind of hints at an office (or a somewhat appropriate interior) environment. 

I also wanted a fresher, brighter look this time. I've shot Dave before and one of the tests we did at the beginning of the session looked similar to a past portrait in which the shadow areas were larger and deeper, and the background darker, making for a moodier image...

Wrong shirt for a bright background,
but I didn't want this dark, moody look

not what I wanted at all, but we tried it because the first shirt Dave put on was so pale it didn't separate enough from the lighter background. In this test, the shirt stands out well from the background, but to the detriment of the shot overall. 

Dave is a really happy, positive, friendly guy which serves him extremely well is his capacity as a real estate agent for Re/Max Hallmark Realty Ltd., so we knew we wanted him in a bright environment, smiling. In fact in Dave's case the challenge was to rein in his infectious smile enough that he didn't look too happy (not that anyone can ever really be "too happy").

Dave - Final Portrait
How could you not trust this man?

Is there anything I don't love about the picture? Dave could have worn a plain shirt so I could have retouched out the wrinkles, but this shirt is a favourite of his, it's a great colour on him, and the wrinkles aren't really too distracting. Other than that I think the shot captures Dave's personality perfectly, and I like the feel of the "place" where this photo was taken.


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