An Executive Photoshoot in Downtown Portland, Oregon
One of the services I offer is what I call an "Executive Photoshoot." I consider it to be quite similar to a "personal brand photoshoot" or even a "social media photoshoot."
The goal of all these photoshoots is to create images that the client can use to tell a story on the internet. I've done personal brand photoshoots for writers and bloggers who want fun photos to illustrate their online work. I've also done social media photoshoots for people who just want images to share with their friends - images that show their lifestyle and their families.
The photoshoot you see here was done for a Portland, Oregon attorney who was in the process of finding a new position in the corporate world. He wanted extremely professional photos that showed his forceful personality and formidable intellect.
We did the entire shoot in about two hours. The first four photos were taken on the top floor of a Portland parking structure.
In the background you can see the Pioneer Courthouse, which we felt was an important element in the story.
My client also owned a high performance BMW and had extensive race track experience. We felt this was another part of his story and tried to create images that would make it interesting.
After shooting in the parking structure, we walked over to the old Pioneer Courthouse for a closeup of the historic building.
My client was quite pleased with his images and immediately began using them in his marketing efforts. This is a good example of a very basic Executive photoshoot that was completed in one morning. They can easily be more complex, involving multiple locations at various times.
This shoot was done entirely with a Canon 5D Mark III and various lenses. Lighting when we used it, was provided by a single Alien Bees B1600 with a medium sized umbrella.
A few weeks ago, a client asked me to help her create some great photos for her social media campaign. The purpose was to promote herself as a yoga instructor and personal trainer. She wanted the photos to show her outdoors having fun, looking sexy and being the picture of perfect health.
We talked about several possible locations to do the shoot and settled on two places in the Columbia River Gorge. This shoot took place on a cloudy day in May of 2016. The client received more than the usual number of images, because she wanted a wide variety to choose from as she designed her extensive social media advertising campaign. The photos will also be used on her web site and blog.
Our first location was at a small waterfall, with plenty of lush ferns and native rock. In order to give her the greatest flexibility, I made sure to shoot both horizontal and vertical images.
Leaving the waterfall, we drove to a location farther East that would allow a nice view of the river and the cloud filled sky. The look for this part of the shoot required hiking boots or swimsuit.
My client and I were both very pleased with the results. We spent approximately five hours in the gorge and created more than enough images for her needs. She will be using these in her blog and social media posts for the next six months at least. Already, she has had a big increase in followers on Twitter and Facebook. She was kind enough to allow me to share these images to show how a social media photoshoot can work for you!
There are several ways to approach a senior portrait session. Usually the senior talks it over with his or her parents and comes to me with a theme in mind. In this case, they were interested in featuring some of the local landmarks of their hometown, Vancouver, Washington.
In this area, it seems pretty standard to do senior portraits outdoors, which can be tricky during the rainy season. Fortunately, cloudy days can make for some great photographs. As long as it isn't raining enough to damage the camera gear or dampen the hair, we can create great images.
One classic Vancouver landmark is the Interstate bridge and you can use the river itself as a neutral background for a closeup portrait.
A interesting new landmark is the amazing tentacle sculpture on Main Street. We got several fun shots here.
Esther Short Park makes a great place for a photoshoot on a cloudy weekday. On weekends it can be a bit too crowded.
Watch out for that salmon!
The photos you see here are a pretty good example of my style. This shoot took about two hours. The young lady was delightful and only needed a few minutes to get into the mood. I feel we captured her personality pretty well.
Her parents were quite pleased and she loved sharing the pix online with her friends and relatives.
Not All Headshots Are the Same!
When someone contacts me to arrange for a headshot photo session, they are sometimes a bit surprised when I start asking a lot of questions. After all, they think, isn't a headshot simply a portrait that shows only the head and shoulders?
There are actually many choices to make when doing a headshot session. First, we need to establish the purpose of the photos. Do you need a corporate headshot? Or perhaps you are an actor, writer, musician or model who needs professional images to promote yourself?
Once we have that established, there are various questions that come up. What kind of lighting? What kind of background? For example, if your headshot is for a corporate website, does the photo need to look just like all the other photos of corporate employees? If everyone else used a white background, it might look out of place if yours has a black background. Did everyone else wear a suit for their photos? If so, you need to do the same. Corporate headshots should always be done indoors with professional lighting and a plain backdrop, usually white or gray. This example shows a mottled gray/white background - that's about as exotic as you should get!
Actors and musicians have more leeway. Their headshots can be done outdoors like this one on the Vancouver waterfront.
Writers are fun to work with, because their headshots can take on the flavor of their writing. For example, this lovely lady writes romance novels and wanted a sexy headshot, not something you normally think of when discussing headshots.
If you're an actor, musician, artist or model, you do have a lot of choices - it just depends on the image and mood you wish to project. These shoots can be a lot of fun. I tend to do most of them in urban areas, either around old buildings or on scenic waterfronts. If you can get out of the classic head and shoulders box, you then have room to create a classy, playful or sporty image.
So the next time someone tells you that you need a good headshot, take some time to think about your options. Your headshot photo makes a big impression on all who view it. Make it represent your special personal brand.
A Portland business executive needed some very professional photos for a sophisticated social media campaign. In order to build his image, he requested several black and white images showing him at his best. He did not want any images showing him at his desk or in business meetings. He also did not want any traditional headshot photos. His goal was to create something special - something outside the normal box. He agreed to allow me to share some of the photos with you as an example of what I call my "Executive Photoshoot" which is a big step up from the usual corporate headshot.
We scheduled an outdoor photoshoot in downtown Portland, nor far from his corporate office. Mid-morning is a great time to avoid the crowds. I shot the whole job with my amazing Canon 5D3, hand held, and with only available light. We had agreed to go for an informal, photojournalistic, look, reminiscent of the golden age of black and white film photography.
The entire shoot took less than two hours out of his day and he ended up with some great photos for his social media campaign. One thing we wanted to include was his hobby of buying and wearing great hats. So we popped into the famous hat store in downtown Portland, John Helmer. It's one of the shops that gives Portland it's personality. The sales guy was very friendly and accommodating. I even learned quite a few things about how to take care of fine hats. My client couldn't resist buying a fedora by Stetson, which we used for some more outdoor shots after we left the shop.
The Executive Photoshoot is a great option for businessmen and women who want to stand out from the crowd and take their image building campaign to the next level.