Quite often I am asked to photograph numerous team members, in one session, when working for corporate headshot clients. Its often easier for me to setup a portable studio in an office, and have all the companies team members come to me to have their corporate headshot created in one easy session.
On this occasion I had been asked to photograph the staff of Estate Agent Alisdair Morrisons, who have offices in both Newark and Southwell in Nottinghamshire. The company needed some up to date heashots for their staff as they were starting a new marketing campaign and all their existing images had been shot on personal smart phones with inconsistent lighting and distracting backgrounds.
Luckily both offices have a reasonable amount of space in the main reception areas. My only concern was that I didn’t want to interfere with any of the companies day-to-day business. I made sure I arrived early at the Newark Office, before there was any significant footfall in town. The office had just opened, so while the office staff were setting up shop, I began setting up my studio equipment. Unfortunately the only available space was directly in front of the main shop entrance. I had to work quickly to make sure I reduced the risk of interfering with any potential trade.
I used a simple three light set-up. An 80cm Phottix Pro softbox was used as the main light source, with a single speed light fitted with a grid as a hair light. Lastly a speed light fitted with a collapsible rubber snoot, produced a central spot on the background. I used a large collapsible white reflector as a backdrop, simply because it meant I could prop it up against the wall and save valuable studio space. By placing the main light far enough from the background, the bulk white reflector dropped to a mid grey, only the centre of the background, which was lit by the speed light, remained white.
I used the incredible Fuji XPro2 camera, which has quickly become my go-to camera, fitted with my Bronica Zenza 105mm Macro lens for most of the photographs. This amazing legacy lens, from the 1980’s is razor sharp but renders skin tones smoothly with not too much contrast. It makes a lovely portrait lens when fitted to the XPro2. I also used the brilliant Fuji XF 56mm f1.2 lens on some of the shots to give enough of a variety of photographs to keep everyone happy.
Photographing the staff at the Newark office was relatively quick. I short coaching session, to help with posing and to get everyone comfortable and then we were off. Each member of staff was photographed in quick succession, and because I had briefed everyone on how to stand I only had to shoot a few frames for each person. Once I was finished, I quickly packed up, said my goodbyes, and made my way to the Southwell office, about 25 minutes away. Then it was simply a matter of repeating the whole process with the remaining staff, and because I had used a standard studio setup I was able to create a set of consistent images that matched the company image profile.