There is a lot of planning that goes in to a corporate lifestyle photography shoot. When I received an inquiry from Integrity Payment Systems regarding a two-day location assignment just west of Chicago, the brainstorming began.
Claire, the Marketing Director was working closely with the design team to rollout a new website to replace the one that had been running as it heavily relied on stock photography and was becoming obsolete. The plan was to design a more interactive and people-centric site that emphasized the role of the team behind the company, from the CEO to the customer service representatives.
By incorporating custom, corporate lifestyle photography, IPS would have the chance to show their clients not only who they are working with but how they work and the end result of their unique approach, thereby helping the company to stand out in an incredibly competitive market.
We would be concentrating on doing environmental portraits of the companies’ Principals in a variety of locations around the office as well as a few scenarios in the board room, customer service and fulfillment departments in order to paint a broad picture of the inner working of IPS.
A few things I have learned in doing assignments like this that requires us to move our lighting from one location to another is to always be prepared with external battery packs, remote controls for the lighting and always use at least two Assistants. First, when we are working with a tight schedule, the last thing we need to be doing is hunting for power outlets or messing with extension cords. A great remedy for this is the Paul C. Buff Vagabond Extreme which recycles the Einstein lights just as quickly as being connected to a wall outlet and they can last us through the day. We always have 2 Extremes with us along with a Vagabond Mini to make sure the laptop has enough juice as shooting tethered to Lightroom drains the laptop battery incredibly quickly.
Another gear game changer for me has been the Cybersync Commander. Rather than directing my Assistants to adjust the lighting, I can do this all from the camera, controlling up to 16 lights and all of their functions with this powerful, little tool. This has saved so much time especially when our lighting is positioned higher on the stands. Rather than having to lower the stand and put it back into position, I can control that channel while behind the camera.
You might think this leaves the Assistants with so much less to do but there are so many moving parts on our corporate lifestyle shoot that the more hands you have, the better. Typically, I have an Assistant driving the laptop, checking focus and framing while the Second Assistant monitors the lighting to make sure all is working as it should. Just another bit of insurance.
Over the two days on location, we managed to complete shooting scenarios in more than 12 locations and pulled off close to 20 individual, environmental portraits. Not bad for two days of work and most importantly, our client was really pleased.