Executive Environmental Portrait Photography

Environmental Business Portraits for Accenture

 

Executive portraits on location, like this one in an Accenture office, are always more interesting than studio.

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Also called executive environmental portraits, the end result is not just a crafted depiction, but a master portrait which reflects achievement and the years of hard work it took to stand in those shoes.

From this photographer’s perspective, environmental portraits stimulate creative juices in much different ways (better) than studio photo-shoots.
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When I photograph a CEO or do portrait environmental photography for other big-shot executives, I know I have to be at the top of my game.  Time is sometimes short.  And I never keep my clients waiting for me to get the technical parts under control.  Pre scouting the office location has already been done days or even weeks before I focus my lens for an executive portrait.  I arrive early to set up lights and choose the most interesting backgrounds within the location.  Even grand offices can present logistic problems to be solved, so once I’m at the site, I like to have a few quite moments to plan the course of the executive portrait photo-shoot.
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Board rooms for example, present an interesting challenge.  It’s not that they lack grandeur – most are austere in a majestic style.  But the function of a boardroom is to hold a meeting right?  So what all boardrooms have in common is a really gigantic unmovable table surrounded by big cushy chairs on wheels.
Now, lighting the subject (as any photographer knows) is done best by bringing the umbrella or soft-box quite close to the subject’s face.  Tough to do with a boat sized table in the way.
So I’ve collected some mini stands and a few ultra-light alien-B 300 WS strobes that I can place on the enormous plank.  And the results are terrific.
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When I do an executive portrait session on location, my first goal is to give my client what they’re expecting.  I start with the kinds of poses and settings we’ve all seen before and that I’ve done countless times.  I must admit my disappointment when tight schedules permit nothing beyond.  But my charming persuasion usually leads to an augmented photo-shoot.
Creativity doesn’t always just turn on with a flip of the switch.  And a portrait that will be revered as art, is a collaboration between the photographer, the executive and the stylist or M/U artist.
But the event of a businesses photographic portrait is not a drab overly long session to be endured with clenched breath.  In fact, it’s a rare day when, at the end of the photo-shoot my client doesn’t say
“Hey Edward, THAT was really fun!”  Or something to that effect.
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Paul at boardroom table.

Accenture executive George portrait on location.

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The Chicago based advertising agency C-Change contacted me to do an executive photo-poratait shoot.  Their client – Accenture (formerly Arthur Anderson) needed to have business portraits of one of their top executives.  As is my habit, I arrived early to set up and conjure creativity before photographing Paul.  But visiting from St. Louis that day was another Accenture executive named George.  The photographs posted  here are a few of my favorites of Paul and George.
Still waiting to photograph John and Ringo.

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