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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!"

The team page of executive portraits from Bain Capital Ventures.

Shooting more executive portraits at Bain Capital Ventures today.  Joking around with one of the new recruits who turns out to be a former bigwig of a CA tech company.

He texts his buddy, the CEO of Adobe, a shot of me taking his portrait and my recommendation that Adobe get working on a George Clooney Photoshop button.

The result?  Coming soon to Creative Suite: a new button (command-C/Alt-C in Windows) that will simplify the previously laborious process of transforming execs into rakish movie stars.

 

If a company can be seen as the sum of its parts, what parts are more important than its employees?  All too often, formal head-and-shoulders corporate portraits can make employees look too conservative or regimented.

I have been working with Windham Capital Management for many years to brand their executives in a professional yet accessible and personable way.  Instead of shooting a corporate portrait with a canvas backdrop and strobe lights, we take advantage of the great natural light that floods their John Hancock Building conference room.  No blinding flashes.  No manufactured look.  Just authentic images of staff happy where they are.

My client described working with me this way:

We rehired David to take additional headshots of our newer staff.  At every point he was generous with his time and insight and he was able to turn around the product to us very quickly without any compromise of quality.  David is a pleasure to work with and highly recommended for his eye and talent.  -Sanaz Rafailzadeh, Windham Capital Management

This is the 4th advertising photography shoot we’ve done for Zimman’s, a legendary Boston fabric and furniture store. When art director Martha Sutyak introduced her layout, she described the mood as dreamy and wondrous, like Alice in Wonderland.

As a Boston advertising photographer, over the years I’ve naturally developed preferences for how to light things. My customary thought process is “Less Lights is Better Lights,” believing that simple lighting setups render the most natural and unassuming presentation.  But the approach has to advance the message; simple lighting doesn’t invoke a dream state.

So I thought back to the NYC Bergdorf Goodman holiday window displays, which captured that other-worldly quality, and decided to light the set like that. We set up 35 point light sources to hit each focus point and achieve the theatrical mood.

You can see new banners we shot for Zimman’s website here.

DojoBTLI’ve always had a special place in my heart for film.  And by film I mean cinema, not TMax.  Before I was a “professional” photographer, I considered going to NYU film school to train as a Director of Photography.  Instead, I chose the path of still photography (obviously, another passion of mine) and have not regretted the decision.  Now, with HD video and the web’s ease of streaming, our whole industry has changed: you can’t just produce Boston Corporate Photographs, you need to produce Boston Corporate Videos.

As long as we’re speaking of passion, there’s martial arts, which I’ve been studying and teaching for over a decade.  So, hey, what could be a better choice for a first film than a promotional film for my dojo?

Behind The Lens blog: the making of short film "Welcome to our Dojo".This very short film was shot for raw visceral impact rather than my usual polished style.  I suppose it’s more of a personal piece.  I wanted to present not only the power of the discipline, but the discipline behind the power.

For the dojo’s new web site, I also shot portraits of our staff, with rollover tough-guy faces:

Staff portraits that support the short film directed by David Shopper.

 

 

CEO Portraits photographed in Boston and NYC

The word “branding” is bandied about a lot, but at its most basic, it puts its stamp on all the parts that make up a whole.

The Mortar Agency (San Francisco) and I have worked to brand Bain Venture Capital, so when Mortar was asked by Leerink Partners (Boston and NYC) to create a new website, they brought me in for the team bio and the banner photography.

Our goal was not only to put a cohesive and polished face on the company, but to capture the executive’s and CEO’s personality.  You might think that shooting CEO portraits would be intimidating, but it doesn’t really faze me (my first CEO portrait was for the Grossman’s annual report in the ’80s; I was told I’d have 1 minute of the CEO’s time, and he left after 15 seconds — but I got the shot. A great intro to the process, as everything after that has seemed easy).  So back to Leerink: to reveal the real person behind the formal face, clicking on an exec’s portrait reveals a relaxed and engaged image.  Click these links to see Leerink’s new home page banner and team page individual portraits.