Specialist Technique & Process 3 – External Job – Head shots for a Company

13th & 15th January 2016

I was approached by a friend who needed head shots doing for the company she worked for at Golley Retail, in Guiseley. She proposed 2 half days from 10-12pm, photographing the entire team. I said a price and the company hired me. They wanted standard head shots with a white background – posed shots of each person stood sideways but bringing their shoulders/head to the front and smiling at the camera. I used my lighting gear that I already had and the company had some lights I could use too. I had also recently bought some really good triggers to use with my lights. So the equipment I took with me:

Canon 5D mk iii
24-105mm lens, 70-200mm lens
Tripod
2x Elinchrom lights (with cables just in case)
Triggers and cables
Umberellas x4 – 3 white & one sliver (inside) and black (outside)
Light stands
Soft box head

Things the company lent me to use:

2x Flash lights (similar to the ones I brought)
White backdrop & black frame structure
(a bit thicker than the cotton one I have at home, so better for these shots/lighting)

I felt equipped with everything I needed. I used 1 of my lights with my soft box head as the main central light on the subject and then used the 2 lights the company had lent me to light the back drop – as they said they wanted a bleach white background with no creases or shadows visible.

Emma (the lady who asked me) had a list of everyone we needed to photograph, helped find the people (around the building) we needed and helped direct them with me. It was a great session. It was really interesting because I learnt while photographing all these different people, they all tended to present their insecurities to me as soon as they came over to be shot. Almost all of them – which for me as a photographer is crucial to note and to encourage good things about the people rather than dwell on their insecurities. This for me I feel is one of my unique selling points – encouragement. I tend to see the beauty in everything and everyone, even when others (or the person themselves!) may not be able to see it. So I really enjoyed these sessions photographing because it gave me chance to help these people see themselves in the best light and for me to hopefully make an impact on their thoughts about themselves/their self-image. With some people I only had chance to take one shot of them before they ran off, so this job taught me efficiency when shooting and to get my images shot right in camera first time (although with each person because of differences with e.g height and positioning sometimes it took more than one shot to get the lighting looking right, also because I was in quite a confined space). I shot from slightly above each person for most shots (and stood on a different size box depending on how tall each person was!) however I had to adjust my soft box light height with this because I found I was blocking it when photographing the taller members of the team.

I only encountered a few problems on this job. One of them was trying to photograph people with glasses and not getting a reflection. With some it was just a case of positioning their head slightly tilted down but with one gentleman it was a bit more difficult and I tried my best to not get reflection but his glasses were too thick. Emma said (as they are a marketing company) she would see if any of the editing team would be able to sort it out on Photoshop. I did do some post processing with all the images on Photoshop before sending them off, especially the glasses images, and tried to get them to the best standard possible, but I didn’t mind with issues such as this, if they edited further to try get them looking how they wanted.

My new triggers worked very well on this job. I tried them out before this job at home and they even worked when I was round a corner/in another room with my camera. They were very fast and efficient on this job, with no miss-fires.

At the end of my sessions photographing I had to fill out numerous forms as a freelancer (for the companies records and for my payment to be able to go through). This was also a learning curve for me in what information is necessary in this exchange, and helped me for future reference. It also taught me about getting my business properly registered in the next few months, ready for when I leave Uni.

These images were for the company for online usage (website), for power points and to have general images of all the team.

Overall I felt this job was a success and the company were happy with my service and the photographs provided.

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