Employee Portraits

A few years ago, the marketing director at work had a professional photographer come through and get some shots all the employees. These are used for new employee announcements, proposals/resumes, and (most importantly) the annual digital holiday card. As new people came in, the marketing director asked if I could take some shots of the fresh faces that matched the general aesthetic of the professional photographers photos. I told him I would be happy to try!

As I had paid attention when he was around and I had access to the exif data from some of his shots, reverse engineering his recipe was relatively easy. He was shooting with a 50mm pretty wide open on a full frame camera using only available light. His style was slightly overexposed/washed out with pretty neutral colors. So I grabbed my “thrifty fifty” (50mm f1.8, not nearly the 50mm f1.2L the professional had but close enough), set my exposure compensation to either +1/3 or +2/3, and got to work. The shots turned out well — so well that the marketing director determined it was time to reshoot the whole company to get some new photos rather than keep recycling the years old previous ones. And so this year’s holiday card featured all my shots!

Since then, we have added some more new employees. So, it was time to bring out the camera and get the employee photo collection up to date. Today was the day and I’m pretty pleased with the results. Here are a couple of my favorites for the day:



Although I’m pretty happy with the results, I’ve found that employee photos can be pretty tricky since many of the subjects don’t really enjoy being photographed and are anxious to get it over with. In addition, taking the photos is pulling them away from work so there isn’t a lot of time to develop a rapport and try to pull out good expressions. It can be pretty tough to come away with just one good shot if the subject isn’t too interested in the whole process. Luckily most of my fellow employees were only just a little uncomfortable and were able to relax and settle into some nice expressions.

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