Click on images of Irvine Executive Portrait above for larger views
Last week I was asked to produce an Irvine Executive Portrait of a new CEO at a large global information services group here in Orange County.
Have a plan when photographing a busy executive
CEO’s are busy people and the marketing department was hoping to get as much as we could given the limited time this gentleman had. A lot of communication with my contact prior to arriving helped. Of course I brought an assistant. Working fast, moving lights from location to location, composing, and dealing with the unexpected makes having a second set of eyes and hands mandatory on a shoot like this. Also need to plan.
The plan was to arrive at least one hour prior to shooting to set-up a background, test the lights for the portrait photo and scout out the building for some informal portraits. We produced the formal portrait first knowing that he would be fresher that way. I try not to over use Photoshop retouching software too much, but the cameras I use sees the details that most eyes do not. A little shine on the skin, a blemish, stray hairs can be easily fixed without making the subject look unnatural. In the formal portrait I also put a little gradation on the background in post production.
The building was beautiful and provided many opportunities. However after returning to some these locations an hour or so after the scout we found the light had changed. Some fast thinking was required. Being well prepared and equipped helped put the panic aside. I love this type of photography and could photograph an Executive Portrait all day if given the opportunity. But like I said CEO’s are busy people. This CEO gave us more then one hour which was VERY generous for a person in his position.
Lighting for a Executive Portrait
A lot of photographers will try to get away with not bringing lights and will just “fix it in Photoshop” I prefer to bring lights to most situations and get it right out of the camera. The Formal portrait was done against a portable gray background with a standard two light set-up. A large umbrella main light just to my camera’s left along with a smaller one a little further to the right to add some fill light. Also a small strobe backlight for his head and shoulders. All of the informal portraits were supplemented with off camera fill lights.
Please view my website for more examples of Corporate Branding and Executive Portraits.