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Types of Corporate Portrait Photography

Corporate photography is not just about taking photos of men wearing dark suits in white background. It can be broken down into different categories.

In this blog post, we’ll give you a rundown of the different types of corporate portrait photography. Let’s explore the different types of corporate portrait photography to help you decide which one to use for your website, promotions, marketing materials, social media etc.

Traditional portrait

This is probably the most common of corporate portraits. Here, the face is the pre-dominant element. The subject is asked to look directly to the camera to depict visual representation of the person. It may either be up to the bust or the area above the waist.

You can have it done against a white or colored background in your office or in the studio. This is often used in marketing literature such as a business profile, a website, press publications or annual reports.

Environmental portrait

Corporate portraits don’t always have to be studio-type shots. It is often a good idea to incorporate the subject’s business when possible. Here, the pictures are taken in a place that is relevant to the individual’s business or corporate identity. A teacher, for instance, will be photographed in the classroom; while an engineer will be photographed at the construction zone. Aside from the facial expression, the relationship between the subject and his environment is also given emphasis.

Group portrait

Group portraits may feature three to hundreds of people. In this type of portrait, the subjects would sit or stand side-by-side. The photographer’s task is to highlight the bond existing between the group members.

Business in action

Today’s corporate portraits need to tell a story, and this is one of the best ways to do that. Here, the subject uses some props of his/her workplace and the photographer captures images of the individual while in action. The focus is not on the person’s profile, but on the business activity.

types of corporate photographs

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Tips for Choosing the Right Corporate Headshot Photographer

Images do not only tell stories, they also sell products, ideas, brands and experiences. When shot well, your professional headshot can not only be used for business cards or website pages, but also for marketing collateral in the future. You have poured countless hours of work into your professional appearance and your business portrait is a great way to appeal to clients and customers. That said, it is important to find a headshot photographer who can help you better establish your personal brand.

G Thomas Photography Headshot Photographer in Chicago

Here are some tips for choosing the right professional headshot photographer.

Budget

How much are you willing to invest in your image? Answering this question before you start looking will help you focus on professionals that suit your budget. Keep in mind, though, that the saying “you get what you pay for” applies when considering a headshot photographer.

If you want quality photos, be prepared to pony up some dough.

Check portfolio

Go online and spend some time looking at the portfolio of the photographer you’re considering working with. This will give you an idea about their style and ability. Take note of what you like and dislike in the various photos you see.

Field of expertise

Taking professional photos of an individual while capturing his or her personality is different from taking photos at a wedding, concert or sporting event. Be sure to choose a photographer that is experienced at taking thoughtful corporate headshots.

Experience

The more experienced the photographer is, the more extensive their portfolio is. Also, you can expect that they have better equipment as compared to those who are just starting out.  Ultimately, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that they are capable of capturing great professional photos.

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Corporate Portrait Photography Tips You’ll Never Want to Forget

Not every corporate photographer works with models. As photographers, we often face the challenge of posing our subjects. Our clients may not have any idea about how to pose in front of the camera. We are here to help you look your best in your professional headshot.
corporate headshots in chicago

Here are some tips for making your corporate headshot pop:

Lift the arm

When taking photos, most people would stand naturally and just place their arms on the side. No matter how relaxed the person is, he or she will look stiff and uncomfortable in these photos. Try to lift your arms slightly during your photo shoot.

Chin out and down

To hide a potential double chin, try to bring your chin forward and then down. Make sure, though, that the chin is not pressed closely against your neck.

Hands

Your hands are often a giveaway as to how your are feeling at the moment. You may look relaxed, but if your hands are clenched then you are going to look tensed. Make sure the hands are relaxed and do not overtake the shot.

If your hands are busy, try holding onto something. This provides a distraction to curb your anxiety. If you can’t seem to relax, your photographer should just focus on the face and upper body and not include the hands on the shots.

The relaxed look

Time and time again, we’ve encountered clients who would raise their chin and give some sort of blank expression. That’s how a model poses, right? Wrong!

Expression is important in portraits. A portrait without a real expression doesn’t connect with the viewer.  Try to relax as your portrait is being taken. The photos will not look natural if your don’t feel natural.

G. Thomas Ward in Action – Corporate Headshot Process

Last year I had the privilege to take business portraits at ChannelCon 2015. Take a look at the video we recorded of the headshot photography process and peruse through our gallery of the final product below!

Sample Professional Headshots from ChannelCon 2015

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“The Collectors” Series

After my first few photography classes and trying my hand at a variety of photographic genres, I took a class in large format photography and the view camera.   Even though the age of film photography is for all practical purposes dead, most people over the age of 30 are probably somewhat familiar with 35mm cameras.  But view cameras use negatives that are 4×5 inches or larger…so, the negative is roughly 15 times larger than a 35mm negative.  They’re the kind of cameras you see in old black and white movies with the photographer’s head under a black cloth.  For some reason, I took a liking to this medium, perhaps because none of my classmates were particularly into it, or maybe it was because of the unique ability of the medium to capture detail with a clarity way beyond 35mm.

Throughout most of my time as an undergrad, I worked in a store called “Rosie Cheeks Vintage Clothing” which was  a legendary local hang out for all sorts of fascinating people:  artists, gays musicians, dandies and other assorted self-styled hipsters and misfits of the era.  I was looking for direction with my photography work and it occurred to me to do portraits of some of our more colorful customers.  I believed the 4×5 format, with its ability to capture detail, would be the perfect medium for this kind of work.

Shooting what I loosely called “The Collectors” series, was really the beginning of my taking myself seriously as a photographer.  I wasn’t just “taking” pictures, I was making them.  And my teachers also started to take me seriously as a photographer.  I worked on this series through the time I graduated with my BFA in photography in 1987.  On the strength of the work, I applied for the Mary C. McClellan Scholarship in Art and was awarded the top award for the year, beating out all other applicants from any artistic medium at my school.  With the money, I undertook the my next project in my post-graduate life, the “Route 40-From St. Louis to Terre Haute” series.  But I’ll show and tell more about that in my next post.

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Early Experimental Portraits and the Beginnings of my Commercial Work

Academics came easy to me in high school, and without much study I always made the honor roll.  As I mentioned in the previous post, I secretly longed to be a film director.  I started taking cinema studies courses at my school, the University of Illinois/Urbana, but quickly learned what a dismal program they had, and it mostly involved writing, film theory, and criticism, which really weren’t my cup of tea.   I did take an actual class or two in cinematography, but, I wasn’t as talented as I thought I was, and was bereft of ideas and funds.  I earned my first “D” grade in a class, and experienced what I considered to be my first academic failure.  I floundered.

I can’t remember if it was during my freshman or sophomore year that I enrolled in my first photography class, and I’m not even sure how seriously I took it.  It wasn’t until my third class in photography that I felt myself pulling ahead, becoming more and more interested in the work and taking it far more seriously than the other students.  I set up makeshift studios and had access to lighting equipment provided by the university.  My teachers and professors were heavily into post-modernism and feminism.  I was drawn to works by Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger, Joel-Peter Witkin, Diane Arbus and Arthur Tress.  These were people with something to say, and the vision to match.  My only problem was I didn’t feel passionately about much.

I know I liked theatricality and set-up shots.  I liked shooting people because it appealed to the film director in me.  What you see above are some of my experiments in portraiture along with some of my first commercial work, which was shooting a fraternity calendar.