We have all been there
Some relatively staid corporate portrait we have been commissioned to shoot
It can be quite a challenge, there is always the danger of it turning into yet another man in a grey suit in an office shot, which can be.....very dull and boring
Believe me I have been there and got the t shirt on this one on many occasions, who hasn't?
So the night before the shoot do a quick web search on the person you are shooting so you have at least some knowledge not only of their job, and their business, but also who they are and what makes them tick.
This for me is invaluable, as it gives you that vital advantage of playing for time and persuading them to spend a few more moments with you to get a shot which makes them look better and gives you a cool pic which better represents your talents to help ensure you get the gig again.
After all, if the CEO of Acme paper gets a pleasant photographer knocking on the door of his or her office, and that photographer knows a little more about them, takes an interest in their company and their achievements I would contend that photographer would get the next gig over the mouse of a photographer who conforms to the stereotype the CEO has in his or her head.
So hearts and minds it is my friends, it makes the job a lot more fun and makes a ton of business sense
Ok, we now know a little more about our subject, but what is his or her office like?
A quick web search can reveal photographic location opportunities within their office and importantly reveal the high or more often than not lamentable photographs the company currently uses, yes yet another opportunity to up sell your services, you make sure you pop some of your better interior shots on your iphone, ipad or whatever.
You may not get the chance to show your stuff off but if you do you are prepared.
Ok, you have been diligent and checked the CEO out on the web and discovered that the Head office is 5 feet square and a mess.
Google street view to the rescue
What did I do before this came along? It has saved me a time or two
Here is a 'scouted' and commented Google streetview
Is this rocket science? Absolutely not, but it means I have 'done' the shoot the night before and it makes a cool location an easier sell to my sitter and drag them out of their dull office, should the need arise
We have so many excellent tool at out disposal and yet we, myself included, often don't make the most of them
It is a tough photographic market out there, and it is about survival for the fittest photographer who makes the most of any edge he or she can to gain that valuable advantage
Just think, I have been talking about doing a shoot and have not mentioned gear once
The gear is all so often the easy bit these days.
All the fancy gear is just a tool, the brain is where a shoot really happens
Blimey, you can tell what mood I'm in today!