Client Highlight: Professional Headshots and Work Environment Photography
I have lived in the Indianapolis area for a long time, and have enjoyed working within our city’s growing tech industry. Todd Richardson, a notable leader in the Indy business community, needed professional headshots and work environment portraits for his business website and social media presence. Creative Quarterback, a marketing company, was rebuilding his website, and they brought me in to photograph Todd.
I have known Todd for years, personally and professionally. Todd has a warm personality and fun approach to his work, and he often partners with hip, young companies. To reflect his friendly persona, Creative Quarterback chose The Speak Easy, a co-working space in Broad Ripple for the photoshoot. With its unique décor and open set-up, The Speak Easy was the perfect “corporate-yet-casual” environment to capture Todd at work.
Creative Quarterback set our agenda for the photoshoot, as they needed specific images for Todd’s website pages. We worked together to create photographs that not only showed Todd in action, but also incorporated the feel of his brand—that open, friendly warmth that pervades his person. For any headshot or business photography project, I always choose a backdrop that will convey the qualities of the company. If I were to take photos for a financial institution, I would likely choose a clean backdrop, perhaps stonework, that portrays confidence and strength. For Todd, I chose backdrops within The Speak Easy that had warm colors and interesting details, allowing the space to offer an impression of him personally.
The challenges of working in an environment rather than a studio revolve around lighting—I have to incorporate the existing lighting with my own gear to create illumination that is flattering to my subject. How light falls across the face can either hide features you don’t want, like wrinkles, or it can accentuate them. Natural light from windows and other good sources can be hard to come by outside of a studio, so I usually make my own lighting to add to what is already there. My end goal is to create photographs that are well lit, but don’t look artificially bright. In this project, the lights of the Speak Easy lend to the warm colors and feeling of the photos.
I have worked with Todd on many occasions, and he had some nice things to say about me, which I very much appreciate. “I have known Paul for many years, as both a photographer and a technologist. In both roles, he was detail-oriented, focused on providing a high-quality output, and incredibly easy to get along with. I have used Paul’s services on dozens of occasions over the years. Without fail, I can count on Paul to be reliable, easy to work with, insistent on a quality product, and creative in his approach. Whether for work or personal, I know I can trust Paul to deliver what I need when I need it.” Thanks Todd.
Representing Todd and his brand took the right location, equipment, teamwork and attention to detail. The result is a stock of professional headshots that capture personality as well as subject. If you need anything from simple business portraits to unique brand photography, I am comfortable taking portraits in the field or the studio. You can contact me here.
Client Work: Todd Richardson
Over the last year Paul has worked twice with Todd Richardson: meeting for professional and family portraits, and also at a fun summer event for family and friends.
They wanted to find a warm, hip location for the professional portraits, and the Speak Easy in Broad Ripple fit nicely. It’s possibly the coolest co-working space in Indy.
While they were already planning to be with Todd for professional photos, he thought it would be fun to bring the family out for some photos with them all together. Twisted House on the grounds of the Indianapolis Art Center is the backdrop for this portrait of Todd and his lovely wife. Paul mostly focuses his efforts on corporate portraits, but some variety adds interest to his work, and the Art Center is a great place to find it.
Some people don’t like to mention the number of years they’ve attained, but it sure is fun to celebrate those milestone birthdays, especially with rock bands and a huge crowd of your best friends. This summer day was perfect for Todd’s celebration, and a great way for Paul to play as well.
Client Work: The Oaks Academy
Summer is winding down, and school is gearing up. Here’s an Indianapolis school Paul has worked with recently—The Oaks Academy. Oaks offers high quality classical education to a diverse population downtown. Paul enjoyed getting to photograph the classrooms and some of the students last school year. These young kids love posing for a camera, so there was a challenge to be as unobtrusive as possible. Once the kids could forget there was a photographer in the room, Paul could get photos that show what really goes on in the classroom!
Here’s what Nathan Hand, Director of Advancement at Oaks, said about their photography needs:
“We’re a growing organization that is looking to ramp up the quality of our marketing in the coming years. In preparation for a new website, marketing materials and an upcoming campaign, we asked Paul to spend a day capturing the life of our school. In a short visit, he understood and snapped pictures of our essence – giving us a full stock image catalog for our upcoming needs. Now we have hundreds of our own beautiful shots that we can be proud of and use in any medium. Paul’s the newest extension of our team – and a welcomed addition!”
We appreciate Nathan’s generous words, and encourage you to consider whether your business could benefit from a stock image catalog of its own.
In 2010, a gallery in downtown Indianapolis hosted Paul’s amazing series “Noticing”. To prepare for the show, Paul made more than 50 prints of likely candidates and then sifted through them carefully, choosing only a handful to frame for the show.
Three years later, on a de-cluttering binge, I came across the cheap prints in their Target envelope. What to do? I was recycling unnecessary papers and composting sensitive documents I should have shredded, but neither of those were options for photo prints. I do what I can to keep our messes out of landfills. And anyway, they were so pretty!
This was my solution—or partial solution. Thirty lucky prints got chosen and stuck to the bedroom wall. Yup, just Scotch-taped their butts right up there. I sorted them roughly into a spectrum, and eyeballed their level. It was all very low-tech, instant gratification. Yeah, it’s a little dorm room-y, but the wall was bare before.
Have you done something interesting to keep items out of the trash? Can you share an interesting way you’ve used a photograph? I’d love to hear about it, especially since that Target envelope is still sitting around with at least 20 more prints inside.
Guest Post: Nicole Ross
In 2013, she founded Creative Quarterback, collaborating with other talented freelancers to provide small businesses and nonprofits with solutions to their creative needs. Her expertise and generosity make Nicole a bright light in Indianapolis and the world.
Nicole loves her beagle Penny, horses, cupcakes, and doing interesting and beautiful things. This month, one of the many things she’s done is to write a blog post for Paul. Thank you, Nicole!
Living in the Moment…Forever
By Nicole Ross, Founder, Creative Quarterback LLC
Most adults agree, their memories aren’t as good as they used to be. It’s not just aging that’s to blame. We work longer hours, spend more time on screens, and juggle dozens (hundreds? thousands?) of personal and professional responsibilities 24/7/365. Our poor noggins simply can’t keep up.
Ask me what I did today, and I can probably recall a few highlights. Ask me what happened last week, last month, or last year on this date…and I have absolutely, positively no idea. The same is true about very formative periods in my life – like “growing up,” “high school,” or “college.” At the time, I thought every memory, every event, every person, and every lesson learned was deeply etched into my memory. Apparently not.
I spent the last decade working for ExactTarget – a fast-growing tech startup that was eventually acquired by Salesforce in 2013. To say I witnessed a lot of change would be an understatement. Time at “ET” was like dog years – more happened in 10 years than in 53 years at other companies. Unlike the blurry memories from my formative years, however, I have vivid, lasting memories of every major company milestone, program, and event. Why? Two words: Paul D’Andrea.
From our early years all the way through the acquisition, Paul essentially served as ExactTarget’s visual historian. We hired him to take pictures of every company meeting, user conference, volunteer outing, company picnic, holiday party, and new hire class. When I moved from Marketing to HR, I also recruited him to document everything from internal program materials to video shoots (yes, we took pictures of video shoots), our annual employee anniversary celebrations, and more.
If HR sneezed, I wanted a professional photo of it.
Sound over the top? Looking back now, I can honestly say professional photography had the greatest return on investment of ANYTHING I did in Marketing and HR—combined. Here are 5 reasons why:
Milestone moments (and memories) are fleeting. Your company’s history gets longer every day (literally), and you’ll wish you had high-quality photos from every stage of its evolution. If you miss the moment, it’s gone forever.
What you see is what you get. Whether you’re trying to sell your software to a client, a new wellness program to your employees, or a new idea to your executives, professional photos set you apart and get you noticed. . You’ll be amazed how much more polished your programs, team, and events appear when you promote them with professional photos. Perception is reality.
Stock photos are hit and miss. You can’t shoot a custom photo for every scenario, but you can create a custom ‘stock’ library of your actual offices, employees, swag, and clients that you can reuse over and over. Avoid downloading generic photos online (or, God forbid, using clipart). Your audience will gravitate toward authentic images over staged ones every time.
Get people invested. Your company’s “old timers” shouldn’t be the only ones who understand and are proud of your history, culture, and programs. Photos allow you to share key milestones and important information with new employees and get them invested faster.
Tell me about it. Professional photos are like the gift that keeps on giving. Even after you leave a company, you’ll find countless uses for the images you gathered – from your LinkedIn profile to presentations to articles and beyond. Best of all, you’ll have them to look back on when you want to reminisce about the good times you had.
Now, as owner of my own ‘virtual creative agency,’ professional photos are one of the first things I recommend to my clients. Doing a website refresh? Creating marketing collateral? Launching a new program or product? Custom, professional photography is a must.
Bottom line: Do what it takes to create memories that last. You won’t be sorry.
Cover Shot: Rook Security
At the end of the winter (doesn’t that sound wonderful?), Paul made pictures for an Indianapolis company, Rook Security. Here, J.J. Thompson, Rook’s CEO (right) poses with CloudOne’s Jim Goldman for a magazine cover: InfoSecurity Professional. The bank vault door illustrates the sense of security they hope to convey to clients who entrust them with protecting their data.
Paul has already blogged about the challenges of working in this very office with its moody lighting (see that article here).
The amazing meeting room is sleek and industrial—actually the inside of the bank vault. The transparent dry-erase board is amped up with a blue glow of its own, and a combination of overhead cans and under-table lighting complete the work space.
However cool the environment, though, photographs of people in dark rooms are not always flattering or even clear. Paul needed to use his own lights to allow the people to show up nicely; but his lighting cancelled out the blue glow of the work board.
So then some Photoshop magic was necessary to combine two images—the people looking good in one image (above), and the moody blue room by itself in another (not pictured). The two get together for a striking final product.
Have a challenging work space that you’d like to have photographed? There are people out there who love to play with lights and solve puzzles. Get in touch!