10 Things you should know before you shoot “Guys With Ties” !

Hi Everyone !

This post is about something we normally only do on assignments : Corporate Portraiture.
Thank the Lord, Mister B, a good friend of mine and also a brilliant and very successful CEO was so kind to open his office’s doors for a shooting on a Sunday. As always, shooting on locations has a stress component since you are always confronted with things you can’t or don’t figure out before the shoot starts to roll.

So I thought you could be interested to read the learning effects of this experience:


Tip number ONE
Make sure you have all your gears with you, meaning by that : Camera, Triggers, Stands, Gels, Light Modifiers, Batteries,… Sounds kind of “it-is-so-obvious-you-do-not-have-to-mention-this-!” but trust me such things happen. And you don’t want them to happen when the guys from the board are coming in the conference rooms to get their portraits made. Make sure you have Gaffer Tape.

Tip number TWO
Take your time to look at the location to get the best of it : what room is best? What angles is more appropriate? How is the decoration? What about available props?… You gat the idea don’t you? 🙂 At this point as if your options are runnable and for how long.

Tip number THREE
Each photographer has his own style. His own style in the sense that for some reasons nobody knows, you will instinctively shoot a special way. So if your client hired you, it’s because you provide a look, a style he likes and would like to find in you pictures. Photogs are no industrial visual products makers. This means

a) You  need to talk with clients before the shoot to make sure he likes your style
b) You need a portfolio you clients can see before he hires you. When I got married, my wife did chose our photog only because of a few shots in a portfolio. This awesome portfolio is HERE.
c) Be confident, even when you have to say : ” Ok, I now see what you are looking for. And I am sorry to say that what you look for is not what I can give.” Too bad, but this provides trust, and there will be another project where you will fit better and you will get the assignment.
d) be consistent in your style and postproduction. Your client should not get the feeling he hired 5 different photographers. Finally you are the one he wanted.

Tip Number FOUR
Guys in Ties have no time, or claim to have no time which makes for you no difference : you have to set up everything before they come in so you only have to focus to make them confident and forget about the lighting-things that only interest photos but not clients. Crack a few jokes – the ones which work – and try to get the thing done quick. Those clients are not models, they were having stress a few minutes ago and they are probably still thinking what they are going to do right after the pictures. And they probably hate being in front of a camera and are here because their boss told them to.

Tip Number FIVE
Take a zoom rather than a prime lens. I love prime lens but you are more versatile with a zoom-lens. I had taken a 24-70mm and a 70-200 which stayed in the bag. But you never know…

Tip number SIX
Don’t mess up. Gather your stuff in a spot and don’t spread them around. This not your place and they don’t want to be disturbed.

Tip number SEVEN
Get an assurance. For you gears and for the damages you can create. For example : A manager gets his feet in you stand and falls and breaks his left hand. Who is reliable?…

Tip number EIGHT
Get information about the firm and its communication’s design: Colors, logos… and make your shots match that. And while you are at it search Facebook and any pro-socialnetwork for personal information. So when Shirley is coming in front of you, you kind a know her a little. You will feel more comfortable and it will help her to feel the same way. Wich is fine because the pictures will be better. In my case, I knew my subject before as we are good friends and we just needed a few minutes to shoot.

Tip number NINE
If you have problems, don’t let it know. Just solve it as if it is a normal thing of the shooting. So your models won’t get nervous.

Tip number TEN
Now that you have shot the guys of the Board, thank them! Because, you are not the important guy of day, for them you are the guy they would run away from. Only their boss may feel and think different.

More to come…








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