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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!"

Advertising photographer David Shopper shoots natural lifestyle: real people in real environments.

Created with Integer Midwest, this ad series for Pella features testimonials from contractors who have been chosen as the new face of Pella Windows.  These natural lifestyle ads were featured in trade and consumer magazine ads and front page wraps (Sports Illustrated).

And of course it follows that if these windows are distinctive, polished, and clear, so too must be the ad photography.  Choosing black and white for the portrait gives a timelessness and sophistication to the image and helps the branded yellow stand out.

You can see another version of the ad here.

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.


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.