A softened approach to Corporate Portraits

I was very pleased this month to be commissioned by Southbank BID, (Southbank Employment group) to photograph all their new company profile portraits and team shots.

I understood the brief that the portraits were to convey both professionalism and warm approachability. A friendly group of people that are focused on contributing to the regeneration of positive use of the surrounding public realm for visitors, businesses and local residents and therefore needed a softer look. I decided against the traditional corporate portrait shot with a bright plain white backdrop and went for the softer subtle interior look, still keeping it uncluttered but featuring posters commissioned by Southbank BID’s marketing team in the background and a natural feel to the lighting.

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The skill to photographing portraits of people not use to their picture being taken is beyond the technical aspects of handling camera and lighting. It is firstly the ability to communicate warmly and relaxed, putting them at easy and actually making it fun. It always puts a smile on my face when editing images later to see the laughter in the ones that do not make the final cut, as they look like they are having far too much fun! It is the hardess thing to capture that fleeting subtle smile across the eyes and in the corners of the mouth. Once achieved my feelings soar high that I captured it in camera.

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Another essential ability of a portrait photographer is to find, but not force a pose from the subject that communicates to the viewer, and recognise different poses suit different personalities and body types. After 21 staff portraits it was an achievement that day that every one of them found their best side : – )

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Capturing the pose in portraiture is all about the eyes, arms, shoulders and the hands… the most important aspects that reflect a lot of what is going on inside.

I enjoy people – meeting new and interesting charactors to photograph, and look forward to all those I am yet to meet and photograph.

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A road trip to Suffolk and beyond…

It was great to be invited by Country Living magazine to photograph one of their first ‘Dream Business’ features. I could not have asked for a better visually beautiful business to shoot than ‘The Pump Street Bakery’ in Orford, Suffolk, (Issue February 2013). They are the winners of BBC Food Awards – Best Food Producer 2012. I was blessed to have a bright Autumn day for my shoot and thought I would share some of the images I like to wet your appetite…

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The Pump Street Bakery

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The Pump Street Bakery The Pump Street Bakery The Pump Street Bakery The Pump Street Bakery

I arrived at 6am after a VERY early start driving out of North West London. These guys though had been there from about 2.30am! They held back some of the product for my arrival but very rapid photographing was required as rising dough needed to be put in and out ovens with specific timings. I dashed between floors in the bakery photographing pastries on the ground level and breads on the first floor. I grabbed sips of a freshly made coffee and did not say no to a freshly cooked doughnut straight out of the machine whilst at the same time re-setting up my tripod in different spots around the busy workers. There was just so much that caught my eye to shoot.

Once Cedric Citroen, (the mobile bread shop) was loaded up, we took a short trip down a country lane into Orford itself to the shop and cafe. The staff were so friendly and very patient as I had to pick my way around customers and cake stands fully of wonderful crafted eccles and a variety of pastries to get my shots.

THANK YOU! to all there that day. For my wonderful homemade soup, the interesting conversation exchanged with locals and accommodating my efforts to do a good job. Cheers!

Country Living Feature Feb 2013

http://pumpstreetbakery.com

@pumpstreetbakery