Types of Portraiture
Having a professional portrait done of you can immeasurable increase one’s professional image through raised confidence in your business and brand. A pro photographer takes into consideration not only the person being photographed and emphasizing the physical and visual strengths but also the brand being represented. Is the company modern, innovative, game-changing or is it traditional, with years of experience, doing it successfully for decades?
These concepts can be communicated visually. When I approach a business portrait which will live on a company website, in print promotion and social media; I familiarize myself with the company and it’s brand. I photograph coverage for a few different looks: serious or determined, fun, happy, causal, formal. This is particularly useful for the performer, actor, etc. who may need to show versatility.
There are also a few photographic considerations and terminology that the client should be aware of so he/she is satisfied wit the final result.
This can be on a white, gray or coloured background. It can be a headshot which is generally a head and shoulders shot and useful in many ways: for a LinkedIn profile picture, on a website page about the staff of a company, etc. Then there is a more “lifestyle” studio shot which is either waist up or knee up which allows you to show off the outfit and have various poses which convey personality. Doing a full body shot with shoes showing definitely has a more fashion feel and I would recommend for a performer or entertainer but usually not in a commercial business approach.
Unless the client feels strongly about a certain coloured background I tend to recommend neutral backgrounds white, light gray or medium gray. I would not recommend a black background for a business look but it can be very effective for magazine photography when a dramatic look is desired.
The environmental portrait is a very wide and exciting area of portraiture that lends itself to showing off one’s premises or business brand in a very unique way. The environment can be the area you operate in or it can be an environment that projects personality and vision (like an alleyway or wall with graffiti or an industrial site). A headshot is often done where the background is very out of focus to convey a feeling of an urban setting or rural setting without anything too recognizable.
A “lifestyle” ¾ shot or full body shot shows off the space as well as the person being photographed. The photograph can be vertical or horizontal.
A group photograph is a posed photograph of a group of employees or executives or the whole office. It can be useful on websites or promotions if you want to emphasize that your business is a team activity. As in all portraiture, clothes and location are important to the overall message being conveyed so make sure to coordinate with the people being photographed.
The majority of business portraiture is in colour but black and white can be effective in some situations particularly for performers, musicians and actors.
Clothes, makeup, posing, colour palette and lighting can all vastly change the style of the photograph and message being conveyed. Communicate freely with your photographer to make sure there is a clear understanding on the message and brand so you are satisfied with the final product.
I love working with businesses to improve their image to their clientele!