Click here for more fashion and beauty photography.
Any photographer calling themselves a professional can’t help but have a personal style. It’s what sets you apart; it’s the way you see the world. But if that style remains static over time, then you’re shooting the same photo over and over again with different people, and you’re dead in the water.
I just had an opportunity to revisit a couple of executives at my longtime-client Cerulean Pharma. I produced Cerulean’s original life science portraits in 2009 when it was a fledgling startup, and they asked me to update their portraits.
Successful companies, like successful photographers, can’t afford to remain static. Cerulean expanded, moved to new digs, became established. Hello theme.
Here are two new portraits of previously-photographed executives, with the older ones underneath:
Notice how the new images have a more polished, established, and confident demeanor.
Every photographer wants to shoot for growth companies: they get bigger and have bigger projects. But as companies grow, they get more sophisticated, and this is the time when a lot of photographers lose their clients.
I believe a photographer’s visual sensibility has to evolve in tandem with their clients’ growth. As your clients mature and come into their own, your photography has to embody that confidence and stature as well.
I don’t shoot product.
Well, not as a rule. But who can resist shooting EMC’s worldwide releases for their kick-ass VMAX and XtremIO data storage systems?
They’re as big as a refrigerator and sport a mixture of highly-reflective surfaces, matte perforated metal, and inner LED glows — a veritable photographic Disneyland.
These days, I’m usually photographing people, but many clients know that in a former life I used to be one of Boston’s top product photographers. I enjoy spending days in a dark room moving a light head around by fractions of an inch until it’s just right. And balancing that strobe light with the colored light emanating from a product. And gracefully handling highly reflective surfaces. Because you don’t light a product like an EMC rack system, you create an environment that its reflective surfaces can “see” and come alive around. Whereas shooting portraits celebrates the emotions and uniqueness of the moment, still life work explores the technical perfection of a subject.
A technical challenge for sure: probably the hardest thing you can think of to shoot. Except for maybe the human face.
“David is a superlative photographer. Beautiful product photography with wonderful lighting, interesting angles full of depth and nuance.” –Denise LeBlanc, Principle Graphic Designer, Brand and Creative, EMC Corporation.
For clients in the financial sector, traditional portraits (lit with strobe and set against a canvas background) have been the default setting for decades. But in a crowded marketplace, a company’s natural light portraits can define their individuality.
More and more I am asked to capture the credibility and professionalism of traditional portraiture using natural light and a soft conference room background. And for some reason, a horizontal format lets personalities come shining through.
It’s more genuine and engaging to present executives in their natural habitat.
These portraits were taken for my longstanding client HarbourVest Global Private Equity Partners. They were taken at a short break during their Board of Directors meeting.
I am very excited to be starting a new rebranding project with Tully & Holland, one of the premiere boutique investment banking firms in the area. We’re creating new portrait, candid, and architectural stills and a 2 minute film for their website.
This is a one of the first photos we’ve taken for their “about us” page.
The short film will not so much try to tell everything about the company as much as give a feel for the values, personality, and culture of the firm. It’s a chance to present the firm to potential clients and make a lasting impression before the client even walks in the door.