I was recently commissioned by Diageo to provide corporate headshot photography for their key account and sales managers as they were all gathered in Sydney for training seminars.
The staff came from all over the country and this provided an excellent opportunity for them to get their professional headshot updated for their own use (e.g. on Linkedin), as well as having a consistent set of photos for use by the company itself.
Finding an appropriate time was the first challenge as there was a packed agenda. In these situations I usually advise to use the lunch break or the end of the day as this gives the biggest time window. Alternatively, if there are longer breaks planned this can also work, it just depends on how many people there are to photograph. When photographing in a single location I ideally like 3-5 mins per person – this gives me time to ensure that ties are straight, hair is as the subject likes, to talk to the subject a little to help them relax, and get several good shots including different looks or angles. In this case there was an evening function so I expected to have an hour to shoot 30-35 people, making it around 2 minutes per person!
As if that wasn’t enough of a challenge, the final session of the day overran, leaving me with less than 45 minutes. This is where I have to use my experience to move things along much faster. In particular, having the next person more ready when they reach the front of the line is crucial, so as I’m checking over one person I’m also talking to the next person, asking them if their tie is straight, they’ve brushed off their jacket, and checked their hair in the mirror that I bring with.
This also allows me to start building a little rapport with them, rather than waiting until I’m pointing the camera at them. When their turn comes they’ve already had some interaction with me and are more relaxed and ready than they would otherwise have been, and this allows me to get a great shot in less time.
In the end I photographed 31 people in 42 minutes, and as the contact sheet below shows, there was no compromise in quality. (Note that I have cropped into the original shots for this contact sheet).