Business portrait photography is very interesting to me. On one hand I fully enjoy refined lighting, on the other hand, I find pretty engaging dealing with the unexpected of having different people on my set. They all interact in different ways with the photographer and they all show up with different attitudes in front of the lens. In other words I find really interesting trying to picture human nature dressed in professional suits.
In business portraiture, rather than in regular portraits, I feel an extra layer of responsibility in front of my subject as at the very least I want to make a person look at best, but then I also want my subject to be comfortably pictured in his or her professional role.
Here below is a small selection from an editorial work I’ve been pleased to shoot for TXT group, including some production notes and a few behind the lens pics.
Beside locations restrictions, I’ve been able to have a classic 3 lights diagram although somehow tweaked and boosted. My key light was a Chimera beauty dish in classic position reshaped with a 30° Lighttools Egg Crates. From the sides, I backlit using a small reflector from camera left, and gently balanced with a Chimera Small from camera right also refined with 30° grids.
Finally, I used a spot projector serving the glow on the backdrop and a white card filling from the bottom right off the frame.
Speaking about the workflow on set, I like to take a couple of pauses during the shoot and go over selected pics with the professional, discussing about image feeling, style, and look. This is one of the reasons why I like to shoot tethered if possible, having my tech man going through files and instantly sorting out by predetermined criteria.
As far as production design, I set my goal in having at least two finished images per person and my brother Andrea, who is great in production and planning, managed to provide me with a time span of 20 minutes of shooting time for each professional. Across two shooting days, I’ve created more than 60 final images out of thousands of shots, working with some 30 persons with flawless tournaments.
On my experience, a 20 minutes shoot is the perfect time to properly shoot a business portrait where I get to know the subject in his role, I interpret his style and posture, compose the posing and gesture, and get the right shot done.
Counting on good looking and well organized raw files, I fully enjoyed the time I spent into the beautiful retouching world. My typical post processing workflow for this kind of pictures goes through 7 to 9 steps from image clean up, to retouch and color grading that typically takes 20 up to 30 minutes. Those steps are not necessary all the times and some step may require more or less time on some issues, never the less it’s really important to me having a well designed workflow that provides also some style consistency throughout the whole series.