My passion for corporate portraits continues. In this case it is my good clients from Ilse Cilliers Strategic Communications/Round One Design. They are celebrating their 10th anniversary this year (interestingly enough, so does Danie Nel Photography). In lieu of some publicity they wish to create around this event in their corporate communications, we were asked to come and take some portraits.
Now, as any male photographer would tell you, stepping into an all female company (which I have done countless times and still am working), to take portraits, of ladies who are very self-critical of their own likeness, is dangerous to your own self-esteem. You might look at the images on the LCD of the camera and feel particularly good about yourself, and then you offer the screen to the subject, and you are suddenly cut short, just below the knees. Expressions like “Dreadful!!!”, “What a disastrous picture!”, “Delete it!” and the like are aimed at you with wild abandon, even though you might believe that this is the closest she’ll get to Annie Leibowitz in her lifetime. 10 years in the game, you learn that this is nothing personal, but simply a way for the person, who is normally not used to having so much attention and light directed at them, to deal with the suddenness of their own likeness. Few beings are as self-critical of their appearance as women. Men look at themselves in the morning, belly hanging over their boxers, unshaven faces staring at their own likeness in the terrified mirror and think “Hey hey hey, handsome!” It is said that most Hollywood actresses think they are fat. Well, anyways, that doesn’t make life for a photographer easier, but in the case of ICSC, they were extremely accommodating and not openly hostile! In fact, we had a great time shooting and the results are great.
What made the difference?
1 – They work in communications, understand the importance of great company profile imagery, and got me to do their pictures!
2 – They trusted that it is in my best interest to make them look fabulous, and have no hidden agenda to make them look ridiculous. You’ll be amazed how many people think that is what photographers do.
3 – They were relaxed and kept it light-hearted, fun, and committed themselves for the total of 5 minutes per portrait it would take. If it meant getting on top of the back-rest of the sofa, then so be it. They didn’t mind following directions or supplying their own ideas.
4 – They serve great coffee.
We also got around to making a small video for them, as a spec, so they can see what our video capabilities are for their clients. This is only the draft, the final is still in post-production. This is a new product we’re offering our clients. Watch this space to see some of our results go live.