We recently returned to the offices of Screen Australia in Ultimo to set-up for a series of corporate head shots.
I love shooting head shots because I get to meet and interact (for a brief while) with members of various companies and organisations who commission me to produce portraits. Often, in my role as a photographer, I might work with only one or two people from a company – be it the PR person or the head of marketing. However, when staging head shots, I am able to meet other professionals within an organisation, and establish a different rapport.
I maintain a lot of respect for my subjects and for each situation. To be in front of the camera, and under the spotlights, is not the most comfortable position for many people. It is my job to make it as pleasant an experience as possible, also for those people who are not normally on the screen themselves.
Producing multiple head-shots can be both a challenge and a rewarding exercise. It is challenging in the sense that you have limited time available with each subject and within that short time frame you must capture the best possible photograph of that person. Part of the task is to make the person feel relaxed and confident in front of the camera. Every photographer has his or her own individual “bag of tricks” to make sure that this happens. I enjoy this challenge as much as I like the chance to meet the many diverse human faces behind the organisation you are working for … from the personal assistants to the senior executives. You have the privilege of photographing a vast range of people, although you don’t always know their professional roles within the company . While the days can be long, they are, at the same time, invigorating.
I recently completed the task of updating head-shots and corporate portraits of Multiplex employees. It was a complex job spanning numerous days over a period of months, based on setting up a series of mobile studios in different offices in Sydney.
I recently photographed studio portraits as corporate profiles for the team at Prime Constructions. For the occasion, a studio set-up was temporarily installed at the company’s Artarmon offices, as pictured. Sometimes as a photographer, the key is to be mobile.
Prime chose a standard grey background with a slight gradient for the portraits. The subject was seated, to create a corporate mood that was relaxed and open. The images are all shot in a landscape orientation, rather than portrait. This choice was made based on the proposed layout of these profiles on the Prime Constructions website. The main lighting is high key with not too much contrast on the face, and I added a hair-light to separate the sitter from the background.
In 1983, Ron Masters & Phil de Gail established Prime Constructions, now regarded as one of the leading building contractors in New South Wales. Paul Christopher joined Prime in 1988 as a cadet and John Drake commenced as a general foreman in 1989. Having prospered and developed within the increasingly expanding company, John and Paul became directors and shareholders in 2000. In 2010, they became joint managing directors.
Prime’s services include new construction, refurbishment and fit-out for projects up to $80m, offering innovative construction solutions and undertaking industrial, commercial, retail and institutional projects. Over the past several years, I have photographed many building sites overseen by Prime, documenting each stage from the earliest preliminary phases to completion. With a proven record of successful project delivery for over 35 years, Prime is one of my long-standing architectural clients.
At the lofty heights on the 22nd floor of the Multiplex headquarters in King Street in Sydney, I spent the day photographing the diverse and cheerful team of this global construction company.
The idea was to capture how individual personalities can shine through in a standardised corporate pose. My challenge is to portray each person as interesting and engaging in their own unique way. For me it is really cool… not many assignments give me the opportunity to interact with so many different people over the course of a single day.
I arrived at the 38th floor of Tower III at Barangaroo, the Sydney offices of the international consulting group KPMG. I had been asked to take corporate portraits of the team. These shots are being used as part of an upcoming tender for a project. The look was for an uncomplicated and clear representation of the people involved.
We set up the shoot in one of the many meeting rooms at KPMG offices. We constructed a white paper background and set up two strobe lights to photograph each person, under the competent guidance of Emma (Senior Personal Assistant) who managed the logistics of the shoot. It was hard not to be distracted by the amazing view from the window.