BUSINESS PORTRAIT ESSENTIALS

Business portrait of Stuart Grossman, Esq.

Seems like a simple thing, a head and shoulder portrait to accompany your business bio in a conference presentation, for the corporate leadership web page, or perhaps to send out as PR with a new position announcement to trade publications. And sure enough, there are tons of photographers that offer “head shots” at as many price points.
But buyer beware…not all “head-shots” are the same.
First, the term “head shot” has been used by the acting and modeling industry since forever. The first stop of every aspiring talent is a “head shot”…and every talent agent has a list of photographers that will take inexpensive, quick, “head shots”. These are used to show directors and casting agents what the person physically looks like and gives some idea of how a particular talent may, or may not, fit the director’s idea of the character being cast. These head shots are almost always full face, brightly lit, showing the face structure with a bland background. After all, the director needs to see what the talent looks like…and that is all.
A business portrait on the other hand, is a different situation all together. A business portrait, a head & shoulder portrait, an executive portrait, should show a careful, sophisticated attention to detail. The business portrait is more than a simple face picture.
A business or executive portrait is not about ego. It’s not about looking tough or sexy. We do business with people we like and are most comfortable with, making that first impression vital.
My philosophy for business, executive portraiture is that the individual needs to appear relaxed, confident, knowledgeable and experienced, but perhaps most important, approachable. The subject needs to look like they have it together. Business portraits are about sales…it’s all about sales.
Skip the fancy, (busy) background, skip the large print blouse, skip the loud tie. Do not change your hairstyle for the portrait. If you wear glasses and people know you with glasses, by all means wear your glasses. A good photographer knows how to handle distracting eyeglass reflections. Navy is better than black, gray better than tan. If you are unsure about what to wear for your portrait, I recommend involving your significant other in the selection process. After all, they know when you look good. Trust them.
Business portraits are best when the subject is well rested, crisp and not rushed. That means mornings for most people, before the fires of business get started burning, before the shirt is wrinkled, before the beard starts to show, before the hair style starts to show the effects of humidity.
Speaking of the corporate leadership page, for continuity and design, every executive should be shown with the same background. Keep it simple. (KISS) If you have a need for something special, that can be arranged, but here we are only discussing the everyday business head & shoulder portrait. Prospective customers need to know your company is stable and engaged in whatever industry, business or profession.
Take the time to schedule a professional business portrait. The reality is that picking out your wardrobe, suit, tie or blouse may take more time than the actual portrait session. A professional photographer knows you are busy and will not waste your time on set. Our job is to make you look great and then get back to work…creating business.

Larry Gatz is a professional commercial, corporate photographer with over 25 years of experience. For more information or a quote for your corporate photography, contact info@executive-photography.com or call 305.775.1635

New Work on ASMP Find A Photographer

Smiling Jamaican Man
Jamaican man with dreadlocks and big smile

Updated my ASMP Find A Photographer profile with a few new images today.

Check it out: https://www.asmp.org/portfolio/larry-gatz/

After hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamians last week, I thought posting my friend “Fred” would be appropriate. Yes, Fred is Jamaican and not Bahamian, but he’s as close as I have to an island friend. We haven’t heard from him lately, trust he and his family are well, man.

Barkhaus on the Move

Dog walkers along oak tree overlapped lane in Miami, Florida.
Just out for a stroll.

Our friends at Miami Barkhaus, Andreas and Natalie, have decided to take a big walk all the way to Hawaii. That leaves many pooches in Miami wondering where they will now go for daycare. My boy, Weston, pictured in the middle, will miss his friends. We all wish Barkhaus Hawaii much success…and now we have a place to visit in Hawaii!

Cruise Ship Aerial

Usually when one thinks of an aerial of a cruise ship underway, this isn’t the usual vantage point.

Aerial of cruise ship bow directly head on from helicopter.

Working in the U.S Virgins Islands awhile back, I had the opportunity to capture a Costa Cruise ship entering the harbor. I had arranged with the ship captain the day before, so as not to alarm him. The ship was on schedule and would not pause for pictures. An experienced helicopter pilot is very helpful and one that is also somewhat adventurous and up for something a little more creative can be a lot of fun.

I had a young art director along for the ride, her first in a helicopter. As I recall, all she did was scream into the headset as the chopper dropped down in front of the moving ship and then crabbed backward holding position in front of the forward moving bow. This image was made with a wide angle lens to give some technical info. Needless to say, we were close.

A very memorable assignment, one among many.

Last 2018 Project

Welcoming an Atlas Air 747-400

My client Atlas Air Worldwide asked us to document the arrival and deplaning process of a 747-400 at Fort Lauderdale airport. This was a private charter by the Jacksonville Jaguars and we were required to not show any recognizable people…a challenge to cover the activity and not show any faces! I asked my associates, Andriana Mereuta and Brian Szeliga to help photograph the scurry of activity as the deplaning and unloading happens within 15-20 minutes. Two remote cameras were set up to capture time-lapse sequences. This was not on my clients wish list, just a little something I wanted to produce to demonstrate the capability. I’m very happy with the result! Check it out: <https://vimeo.com/308307414>

What a year! We have had several really interesting projects during 2018, but this last quickie stands out for how well everything fell into place. And the weather could not have been better!

Also available via my website: www.larrygatz.com

7:30am, Saturday, May 12th, 2018

Ft. Lauderdale Color Run

Color Run Ft. Lauderdale

Color Run Ft. Lauderdale
Color Run Ft. Lauderdale

Color Run

This was our first Color Run…had little idea of what to expect…except it could be colorful and for cameras, a bit worrisome. Actually, as it turned out, I was more concerned about the foam machines sending clumps of bubbles up into the breeze. Amazingly large crowd of Happy runners and spectators…and the color toss was certainly a highlight.

I’m getting used to having a slightly pink camera!

Update to A Group Portrait

Never fails that when you have a group of very busy executives, somebody is not available for the company group portrait. It happens, and we just have to be ready to roll and adjust as necessary. No problem!

It’s vital that the lighting style and placement match when adding an individual, or two, into a scene. This is not for the faint hearted and can be tricky.

We recently performed a little magic for our good clients Searcy, Denney P.A. in West Palm Beach. See if you can find the “adjustments”.

Executive Group Portrait
Formal partner group portrait created for Searcy, Denney, P.A., West Palm Beach, Florida.

Pot Musician

We recently shot a test video for a prospective client. As a director, I try to control the environment as much as possible, but always leave room for, and look for serendipity. Occasionally, it pays off…as it did here. No one could have scripted this little bit of action.

Tyvek Coveralls Today!

Today, our dress for work was head to toe, Tyvek.

Ready for the clean room…hair net, surgical mask, safety glasses and white lab coat, first set of airlock doors…step on sticky floor pads before putting on shoe covers, second set of airlock doors…remove lab coat, full Tyvek coveralls,  Tyvek knee high booties, second hair net and not one, BUT two layers of latex gloves…I wear a size 8…and before all that, alcohol hand cleanser.  Oh, and then once the gloves are on and you are all set..lets do more alcohol hand sanitizer. Talk about claustrophobia! Then we have to set up “cleaned” lights and cameras, computers, etc…somehow we made it happen. Cleanest images I ever made!

Thanks to Andi Mereuta, my faithful and fully trusting assistant today. I told her to shower as soon as she got home, don’t touch anyone for 48 hours and if you see a red rash call the client. We both wanted to do the selfie more than the project! Just another day at the office!

Dressed for the Cleanroom
Larry Gatz and Andi Mereuta dressed for the clean room.