Corporate Portraits

by William Lulow

Corporate portraits should all have the same look and feel to them, especially if used on a company’s website. Before I photograph people for an internet use, I usually discuss with the communications person what type of look they want. Then I create my set up accordingly.

I take my lighting equipment on location and usually shoot in a conference room or other space that’s large enough for me to set up my background and lights. I try to do the same type set up as I do in the studio. It takes me about 45 minutes to complete the set up and make a test shot. I do this so as to take up as little of the executive’s time as possible. I try to photograph as many people as possible in the time for which I am contracted. I can usually photograph around 20 – 30 people in an eight-hour day if no hair and makeup are necessary. This represents the most economical way to get this type of photography done.

I begin by setting up my main light and a fill-in. If I’m photographing a man, sometimes I can get away with my big, soft umbrella main light with no fill. With a woman, it takes some fill-in. I then get my accent lights set up so that I can use one or both of them. When I’m on location, it’s often difficult to set up a hair light on a boom, so I just use accents in the EDGE light positions. Depending on what type of look is wanted, I set up a BACKGROUND light so that I can get a gradation in the tone.

Here is a recent example:


This image was shot with a main light and a background light. No fill-in and no accents. I thought the shadow on the right side of the face added some depth.