Where Should Your Team Portraits Be Photographed: Office or Studio?
Clients often contact us with a dilemma. One of those dilemmas is to do with locations for shooting their staff portraits. Do they book time off for their team portraits away from the office or do they bring in the photographer. At Headshot London, most of our shoots are at client sites rather than in the studio because clients do not want their productivity to be affected by time taken to go to the studio in Brick Lane, East London and the time at a shoot. Most of the studio looking shots in our portfolio are actually shot at client office. Our regular clients would never feel that they would ever need a studio at all.
A good example of new clients’ fears are that their offices are open plan, messy, small or shared spaces. There are factors that might come into play when looking at small offices… but, when we say small, we really mean small. An office with two desks width by two desks width with 2 people in it, believe it or not, is ample room for a standard white background headshot. We have shot many fund managers in that very same set up in Mayfair over the years. When it comes to small, we often shoot in meeting rooms no bigger than those sorts of dimensions.
Large or small, the same lighting kit can be used to shoot larger rooms or small spaces, though the modifiers (umbrellas that spread the flash light) might need to be adjusted to the available space.
Open plan offices often have breakout areas and areas by lifts etc… these are often large enough to shoot in and is a regular feature in where our photographers find themselves on a shoot in the city. Often in shared offices, there are also meeting rooms or lobby areas that can act as great backgrounds for environmental portraits (portraits of people in a room or space but not plain backgrounds).
Messy offices do exist and we don’t like to point the finger but architects are a great example of this. On these occasions a good can do attitude makes up for it and can often get the staff to dig deep and stack up files under desks or on another desk while the shoot is happening. When shooting plain background portraits, you need to keep in mind that you do not need much room either side of the person being photographed, 1.5-2 meters will suffice. Anything below your torso and a little above your head will not be seen, so making a space ‘clean’ looking, is not that hard. Environmental shoots in a messy office can look difficult until you remember that our lenses can have very wide apertures, the widest on the market and typically wide enough to blur out any background and one of our creative photographers will certainly offer advice on where best to ‘blur’ and the effect of that in the image.
There is also one more concern. That concern is to do with an environment that does not sell the brand image of the company. A cool looking space, a formal space or a bigger space. For times like that where strategic moving of furniture or tidying up of the space just won’t cut the mustard, there is always serviced offices or meeting rooms rented by the hour or day. Companies that might have cool looking spaces that you aspire to but are still on your journey towards. Cool, glassy offices overlooking green spaces, wooden panelling walls that speak of quality and heritage, there is everything you ever wanted out there.
Whatever the look you would like to portray, you can find them in the many office spaces open to such arrangements throughout the city or wider afield. Companies like regus.co.uk or zipcube.com or breather.com
If you are thinking of when to shoot but stumble a little on where to shoot, remember that our team of photographers turn up at different offices every week, week in and week out for over a decade, never knowing what environment they will be shooting in. That experience is what will make the difference in delivering your images on brief rather than struggling to control the light, for less experienced photographers.
If you would like to book a shoot with us, drop us a line at booking at headshotlondon.co.uk and we will be happy to answer and questions you might have…
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