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  • Welcome to my blog

    "I am a Boston-based commercial photographer and short film maker. This blog is a companion to my main website. Instead of simply offering up more photos, it is the place for behind-the-lens glimpses into campaigns, reflections on the photography/marketing industry, and a more expanded view of a shoot - not just the best image. Enjoy!"

I’ve been working with Surface Oncology since its inception in 2016.  I’ve photograph

ed pretty much everyone who works there, either individually or in a candid work setting.  I like to think of clients as friends, and the photographer/subject rapport has become an interesting part of their marketing.

Recruitment and self-worth.

We recently created a banner image for Surface’s recruitment site.  Shot in their Kendall Square building, the banner celebrates the Surface community of scientists.

Surface is a burgeoning company in a competitive marketplace.  To that end, they’re trying hard to recruit talented new people, and producing custom, individual portraits is a great way to show their employees that they’re valued.

Pulling it all together.

All good campaigns are cohesive.  The banner compliments the fresh and friendly feel of the offices.  The headshots are beautiful and understated, using the natural light in their lunch area.  The candid working imagery, too, is accessible and bright.  This look is the defining face of the company.

Women Authentic team portraits for the life science industry: David Shopper Photography. David Shopper Creates compelling natural portraits that brand companies. Photograph of female scientist in Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA for company branding and LinkedIn headshot. David photographs employees of botique companies for their team pages and LinkedIn profile photos. This natural light company portrait was photographed for the team page of Surface Oncology Compelling company portraits in Boston. David Shopper creates compelling team portraits for life science company Surface Oncology As you can see here, business portraits can be informal and approachable like these workers in the workplace of Surface Oncology. Professional businesswomen headshots in Boston, MA


Lately, I’ve been working with Search Fund Accelerator to re-brand their website and collateral.  SFA is a boutique Boston firm that trains and funds young aspiring entrepreneurs in their quest to own a company.

Naturally, most of the “searchers” spend their days in front of a computer.  They’re finding leads, analyzing financial data, and devising potential business plans.

So to portray the searchers in their natural habitat, they’re staring at screens.  I mean, there’s only so many ways to create this picture in a compelling way, right?  Well, that’s the challenge.

I guess the trick is to firstly shoot in a way that feels real.  Secondly, create an image which is as dynamic in its nature as the brainpower that you’re not seeing.

Here are some images of the searchers and their founder from last month’s shoot branding SFA as a company with grey matter and purpose.

Young tech worker in situ at office in Boston Real people in real workplace environments for company branding. Candid workplace corporate photograph of Boston tech firm. Collaboration among business associates in Boston daily life. Boston commercial photographer David Shopper creates corporate photographs of senior staff engaged in everyday activities. His photographs are used for corporate websites, advertising, and collateral work. David

This business candid photograph shows team members working in Boston financial firm.

Talk about a singular client…

I’ve been shooting the Cognex Corporation’s annual reports for over a dozen years now.  They’re campy affairs, pushing the boundaries of the genre and consistently garnering awards for their creativity and production.  They feature founder Dr. Bob Shillman, who we’ve shot in a Martha Stewart wig (in a “Martha Stewart Living Magazine” parody), in a fright wig (as Doc Brown in a “Back to the Future” parody), and now with bald pate in this year’s annual: the “Scanning for Love” dating-website parody.

Not your normal approach to corporate reports, but Dr. Bob isn’t your normal CEO.  His sense of humor is overshadowed only by his business acumen.  Naturally, the annuals display both.

To see the on-line version of the report, click here.

I know that running a $8B company is serious business, but once a year it’s really fun.

A Realization.

Last week, I was scouting an executive office space with a client for a corporate candid slice-of-life shoot in Boston.  As we were wrapping up, she shows me the last set of pictures done in her offices, with a different photographer.  This photographer had used dual strobes to light the scene: one on either side of the subject.  The people in the pictures looked like they were uncomfortable at best. Their faces poorly hid their discomfort, and they looked as though they had just been told to smile, whilst receiving a root canal.  Additionally, their props were placed in a neat and tidy way, looking decidedly staged.

It occurred to me that I take the photographic process for granted.  I generally don’t encounter subjects who look stiff or uncomfortable, even though I’m photographing people who don’t necessarily like to have their pictures taken.  There is a surprisingly simple explanation for this.  They don’t look uncomfortable because they don’t feel uncomfortable.  I only ask them to do the job they came to the office to do that day.  I’ll tell them: “Get together with your team and bring something you’re really working on.  But work on it here in the good light.”

When people look nervous, it’s often because they’re self-conscious.  They worry about how they appear.  They’re worried about making the picture look good so the company looks good.  In situations like this, I’ll pause for a moment and remind them how people who aren’t having their picture taken look: they sit back in their chairs, put arms on the table, they look other people in the eye.  In truth, as they listen to me explain these things, they’re usually sitting as I’ve just described, and I point this out to them.

I have found that using natural light to shoot these images helps ease subjects a great deal.  Team members aren’t as self-conscious as they are with the strobe lights; the rest of the office isn’t watching and those being photographed aren’t grimacing, waiting for the next bright flash.

So, the most successful shoots don’t look or feel like shoots at all.

The Proof is in the pudding.

These images were taken for Bulger Partners, a boutique, strategic, consulting company for the tech industry.  Bulger team members tend to be young, as well as innovative, collaborative types.  The offices have an open floor plan and people drift about, sharing ideas.  Their conference rooms are consistently filled with groups, collaborating and pondering.

To me, in the corporate world, the secret to good corporate candid photography is to make yourself part of the team and have the group work on an assignment they’re excited (and trained) to do.

Why is authenticity so important?

The images a business uses to represent itself encapsulates the personality of the company.  If the people portraying that message look awkward, the takeaway is that the business is not at home with its work.  If subjects look engaged, professional, and approachable, we embrace the message and include that company in our lives.

Boston portrait photographer David Shopper captures candid meeting imagery for Earthport Boston corporate workplace photographer David Shopper collaborating with financial client Bulger Partners to create a series of branding photography. Boston commercial photographer David Shopper creating corporate executive portraits for client Bulger Partners Professional portrait and workplace photographer David Shopper working with Bulger Partners in Boston and NYC to create new branding imagery. Corporate photographer David Shopper creates branding photography for Boston client Bulger Partners Businesswomen corporate photo shoot