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Indermaur Media - Visual Narrative Blog by Scott Indermaur

Informational blog about techniques, ideas,industry trends, clients and projects of Indermaur Media. Written by Scott Indermaur, professional corporate photographer.

Posts in Portraits
Photographic Portraits Showing Personality

Environmental Portraits Portfolio 

I recently updated my Environmental Portraits Portfolio, and it was a great reminder of the diversity of people I have photographed within their personal and work environments. This form of photography truly captures their personalities. I hope you enjoy the range of characters, professions, locations and art director expectations.

People always ask me what my favorite assignments are and I am still at a loss for words because there are so many that have touched me. Each assignment begins with a blank slate and is created differently.

In this new Environmental Portrait portfolio, I am sharing the projects that captured people in their environments all over Rhode Island, Greater Boston, Massachusetts, Connecticut and beyond.

The portrait of a beekeeper with her hives behind her. My assistant and I wore a beekeeper outfit during the portrait session, and the remaining crew stepped away. Unfortunately, one person did get stung.

I love the photo of a small business owner, casually sitting in front of his Providence Record store. It is an enjoyable moment in time.

Or the Hispanic couple with so much vibrancy that we decided to ask them to dance! It turned into a magical photographic moment. 

Corporate Photography Portraits In Boston MA

Then there are the Boston corporate photography portraits including executives in front of a well known Boston landmark, the Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge. This corporate portrait focuses on their personalities and their deep connection in the Boston area. 

Check out the candid portrait of the couple working on an iPad in the Boston's Rose Kennedy Greenwich. The concept of having a bridge and an arch was essential to the vision of the marketing materials. This photographic advertising project included many different scenes.

The picture of a man with his dog, playing frisbee in a Boston park for an advertising campaign. A company in the finance industry wanted to portray a fun and enjoyable connection of living life fully for their new financial product. 

Much of my photography work today expands throughout the United States as well. I embrace the diversity of so many portraits and personalities that I encounter through my photography assignments.

Like the couple who owns an animal hospital in Nebraska and were very open hearted people and gave us a wonderful tour of their facility. 

And look for the couple enjoying a round of croquet in Georgia for a lifestyle marketing piece.

Or the husband and wife dairy farmers hugging each other at their farm in Northern Colorado. These quick unguarded photojournalistic portraits captures the spirit of individuals and their community.

Photographic Visuals That Convey Feeling

I especially love the challenge of creating photographic visuals when a company calls on me to demonstrate their goods and services, and portay (and convey) a particular feeling. The portraits show the personality of the subjects and tell a story about their self and their community.

How to Look Great in a Portrait
 Portrait of Kate Jackson in her home

Most people (including myself and Personal Stylist, Jill) have some anxiety about getting their picture taken. What to wear, how to pose, among many other thoughts.

It can be tough to relax enough to capture a photo that looks like the real you. And yet most of us need a headshot for one reason or another, be it work, social media, public relations, creative projects, online dating, you name it.

So, how can we get that perfect portrait shot?  I sat down with my friend and Personal Stylists, Jill Marinelli to ask for some advice.

I feel the best way to cope with anxiety about being in front of the camera is to follow the photographer’s lead. A good photographer will help you feel strong, empowered and comfortable. These feelings may occur through conversation, humor, and guidance through different poses. Sometimes it is not the perfect pose that I am looking for, but the unguarded moment that happens afterward. These moments often result in images that look authentically YOU.

It is important to remember that a good portrait photographer will probably take 100 pictures of you. There will be bad ones! Just like taking a selfie, it takes few (or 10!) tries to capture a look you love. Try not to worry about the shots where you have closed eyes, or you have a weird facial expression. It is ok to be unguarded, silly, or laughing because even though those shots may not result in “the one,” the photo was taken moments after might just be your favorite.

What should you wear?

I recommend staying away from solid black or white, and Jill agrees.  Jill says that white can make you look washed out and black doesn’t “pop” against a neutral background. Jewel tones like emerald and sapphire are almost universally flattering.

Portrait photographer in RI

A simple, well-fitting top or dress with a bit of texture and a piece of jewelry is a great option.  Place color and pattern where you want to draw attention and try to incorporate pieces that make you feel powerful and confident. You will be far more relaxed in something you love.

Generally speaking, avoid wearing many patterns with a cluttered background. However, as you can see in the image below, rules are meant to be broken!

Environmental portrait example

Always bring an extra outfit to your shoot and men, a couple of extra ties.

Ladies, apply a little more makeup than usual, and if you are not skilled at this, I recommend using a professional makeup artist like MaryElle O'Rouke.  As well, if you need help with your hair, get it. A professional blowout may just rock your world 😉

Overall, keep it simple, wear a bright color, make sure your clothes fit perfectly and are wrinkle-free. Then, do your best to relax and trust the photographer to help you shine!

Personalized Portraits by RI photographer
210 Headshots in 30 Seconds

Photography assignments are a full gamut of what some will consider glamorous jobs. Moreover, other times routine, but still fun.

As a business portrait photographer in Rhode Island, I was awarded an assignment to photograph over 200 participant's headshots at an event located in Providence. The client liked the idea of setting up outside, only spending a few minutes on each subject and keeping it simple. We setup under a building overhang to protect ourselves from the rain that occurred throughout the day. Blurred out the background and created professional business portraits to be used for the associate's website and the individual's LinkedIn page.

As a corporate location photographer in New England, I have learned to deal with unpredictable weather, while using all the available tools. Including situations like using the building overhang, taking advantage of window light for inside portraits, given very short time span to work with a subject and creating an entire studio at someone's office.

8 Steps for a Successful Headshot - Portrait

Portraits and headshots have many uses in social media for your LinkedIn profile, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many other purposes. I am often hired by corporations to photograph headshots for an individual and or an entire department with uses for their website, associate's bios, sales brochures, public relations, social media, and many other applications.

When a corporation is in need of portraits/headshots, we usually set up a studio at their office--that way the subjects only need to take about 10 minutes of their day for the session. Few people have the time it takes to drive to a photographer's studio during busy work schedules. A large space gives us more options with lighting, though it is not necessary. We have photographed headshots in offices, conference rooms, a corporate lobby and even hallways. I often am hired to photograph assignments in New England and throughout the country, and headshots are part of the schedule.

Headshots can be a simple portrait taken in a few minutes. There have even been times when we have to photograph 20 subjects in about an hour. Other times we may spend 20+ minutes with a subject. I do find that non-professional models will fade energetically after about 10-20 minutes.

To give you a sense of the possible images and their uses and versatility: all the sample images below may be cropped tighter, or the entire image may be shown to fit a layout better.

Remember - they may be cropped

Environmental Headshots

Another modern style of a headshot is the environmental portrait. Environmental Portraits are very popular among corporate and commercial clients. These pictures use available and meaningful surroundings as a background. The background is often blurred to make the human subject a unique graphical element as well as providing more of a sense of place.

 

8 Steps to a Better Corporate Headshot:

  1. A working studio created from a conference room, office, cafeteria, among others works well. If a room has furniture, it is best to move it to the side. I have photographed headshots in hallways (must be wider for lighting equipment), lobby, offices, conference rooms, unfinished rooms and even outside.
  2. Less production may work best. The above doctor photograph used only the ambient lighting. While the image may not be as high quality as a studio style portrait, it allows for a more straightforward journalistic style. It may fit your purpose better than a more "polished" portrait. The other advantage is it allows photographing in a high traffic area in which setting up a mini studio is not ideal. This environmental style headshot also makes it possible to capture the "doctor office" feel of the orange door.
  3. 15-minutes is an appropriate time to spend with a subject. If you have a large group and just need some basic headshots in a short period, allocate 5-minutes. I have done less than 5-minutes and more than 15.
  4. If a subject wears glasses regularly, leave them on.
  5. A makeup stylist is very helpful if there is enough money in the budget and time in the schedule. It allows the subject to have a little down time between meetings and being photographed to shift their mindset and relax. It also provides a higher level of makeup application since an expert is now doing the touch-up with photography/video in mind. For females, I like to leave about 20 minutes for makeup.
  6. Wardrobe should be kept simple, with solid colors usually work best. I typically say to stay away from solid white or solid black. Though I find there are times that subjects look great in those colors. It is helpful for men to bring a few ties for the creative team to pick and females to bring a few outfits if there's time for a wardrobe change. Remember, if you have a group of people for individual headshots, you may not want four of your five men to show up with similar ties or females with same color outfits. While unlikely, I have seen it happen. A discussion beforehand on what looks good with the background color can be constructive. Keep in mind what is most comfortable and makes a subject feel good helps them to relax and be more themselves in front of the camera. So, all the rules with wardrobe can be thrown out the window at times.
  7. Most subjects do get nervous about being photographed. As a subject, be serious, be silly and express yourself on how you want the others to see you. Also, work a bit outside your comfort zone. Follow the photographers lead and don't fixate on that bad frame/photo or awful expression. I will take 100++ photographs of one subject to get that perfect portrait. Focus on the positive and the perfect portrait of you, and it will happen.
  8. Retouching will elevate the quality of your headshot. Allowing to eliminate stray hairs, better skin tones, fewer skin blemishes, among a few other improvements. I did share a few headshots above that were not retouched, maybe you can identify them.