Taking a corporate portrait can be tricky business for amateur photographers. In this article, we will be going over our top nine corporate portrait photography tips to getting the perfect shot and make your photos stand out. So, what are you waiting for, let’s grab our cameras and learn how to take corporate photos!
1. Focus on the Background When Placing Your Subject
Now that you have your location’s setting prepared, it’s time to direct your subject on where to position itself. Once you have decided on a location, pay attention to the background, since this will play a large role in your corporate portrait. Make sure there is nothing distracting in the background that will take the focus away from your subject. This is another of the most vital corporate portrait photography tips.
2. Decide on a Location
The best time of day to shoot your corporate photo is an overcast day. When the sun is highest in the sky, look for a shaded location where you can place your photo’s subject.
3. Determine the Exposure of Your Shot
Now that your subject is in place, next for your corporate portrait photography tips is to determine the exposure of your shot. Mainly in portraits, you should be concentrating on the overall exposure of your subject’s face. The easiest way to do this is to fill the entire frame of your camera with the face and body of your subject. However, you may need to zoom in and out to get the best shot. Plus, make sure that there are no bright spots in the background that can take the focus away from the subject.
4. Review the Shutter Speed
The next step in the guide how to take business portraits is to check your camera’s shutter speed. When reviewing the shutter, make sure that it is quick enough to handle minimal camera shake. This usually depends on the type of lens you are using, but you almost always need to be using 1/100 per second or quicker. Some higher-tech cameras have image stabilization or vibration control that can help you limit camera shake as well. Before talking a corporate portrait, always consult your camera manual to make sure you are using its features to the best of your ability. This is one of the most important corporate portrait photography tips.
5. Review the Aperture
The other thing you should check on your camera is its aperture. The best way to shoot your subject is to keep their faces in the focus of your shot, keeping the background blurry. To perform this on your camera, you are going to want to choose a wider aperture for your shot. An aperture such as r/4 or 4/5.6 will get you the focus you desire.
However, before you take the photo, make sure you review the aperture and decide if it’s what you need. You may need to change it a few times before taking the shot. Once you’ve made the adjustments, take a few test shots to make sure you’re ready to shoot your subject.
6. Bring a Handheld Mirror to Set
Though this does not have to do with taking your photos, it is still one of the best corporate portrait photography tips. It’s not uncommon for a photographer to bring accessories, such as a mirror, on set for their subjects. After all, everyone wants to look their best, especially for a corporate portrait. However, remind your subjects to bring other accessories such as hairbrushes and makeup to cut back on your own expenses.
7. Make Your Subject Comfortable
Once you have your shot set up, be sure to let your subject know that you are ready to go. Your goal is to make them feel as comfortable as possible. Find a position where they feel the most comfortable so they can feel natural on set. Talking to them during the photo session can also help them to feel more relaxed. Direct them to look directly into the camera and smile. This corporate portrait photography tips is the difference between a good shot and a great shot.
8. Don’t Be Afraid To Get Close
Remember, this photo is all about the person, the background is unimportant. Take close up shots of your subject. Set up your shots so that the person fills up the frame. Line up the top of their head with the top of the frame. The bottom of the frame should hit somewhere near their chest. The majority of the background should be unseen. You may even decide to get closer, crop the top of their head, and simply exhibit their face.
9. Be Careful when Taking Group Shots
Sometimes when you are booked to take corporate portraits, you may also be asked to take group shots. These are a little bit more difficult to take since you may need more space and different lighting. First, we will discuss a few general tips and then go into how to take corporate photos for different group sizes.
- Consider taking your group shots outside. This way, you will not need to worry about setting up your lighting.
- Try to get the group to act naturally with each other. The last thing you want is for everyone in the photograph to look uncomfortable with each other. Try cracking a joke to make them smile organically.
- Don’t tell them to say cheese. You will either end up with fake smiles or gaping mouths. Neither are good for a group shot.
- Put your camera in burst mode. This way, if someone blinks, you will still have shots to work with.
If you have a small group (three to six people), you may be able to take your photo indoors in the area that you have already set up. Consider using just one softbox or umbrella for your lighting. Simply ask the group members to stand close to each other and try to make the background bigger.
If you have a medium sized group (seven to twelve people), you can usually still get away with using your existing setup. Arrange the people in two rows and try to keep them as tight together as possible. You can still use a single flash so long as there is a white ceiling above you. The flash will bounce off the ceiling and create enough light for your shot. Otherwise, you may need to move outdoors.
If you have a large group (thirteen or more), it is unlikely that you will be able to accommodate this large of a group indoors, which means you will likely have to take the photo outside. If there is a large enough space inside, you will need to increase the amount of lighting you have or use more powerful light sources. Again, arrange the people in rows so you are still able to see everybody’s face.
Though taking corporate portraits may seem intimidating at first, if you focus on setting up your shoot and making your subjects feel natural, you will be a pro in no time. Do you have any experience on how to shoot business portraits? Share your thoughts, questions, and corporate portrait photography tips in the comments section below!