Thursday, March 10, 2016

Corporate Portraits with Sham Moodliar

So Sham came over to the studio a couple of weeks ago to get some corporate portraits done. Portraits have always been something I really enjoy, especially if the brief is slightly more open. Well, this brief was open in that I could do whatever, as long as it spoke to Sham's view on corporate governance, business views and his general maverick outlook on all things business.

He is a business consultant, but also owns a skate-wear line, and has been working in corporate positions all over the world for many years. He has now turned his attention to helping corporates unlock their potential by being more open-minded, personal and for lack of a better word, more relationship-focused entities. It's probably best if you google his articles. I won't do it justice. All I can say is, I had fun!

Here Sham and I even did a mirror selfie for Instagram. This should give you an idea of the tone of the whole affair!

Sham is a guy who waxes lyrically about his passion, view and lust for life. I felt completely energised after the shoot to go out and be the difference in my industry I want to see.

What is important about shooting "off-kilter" corporate portraits is that the balance with usability, relevence and presentability to media needs to be retained, no matter how off the wall your client's image might be. Not that Sham is any way a clown,  but the temptation is there to go so far out on these type of shoots, to make a point about "image" or "brand" that you end up completely alienating the media or audience you're targeting.

No matter how wild you are, some publications simply will not publish images of people clowning around, and will need you to supply images that fit their requirements, yet still speak to your own brand.

It is very dangerous to insist on having only unusual corporate portraits and images. As the photographer, I have to be able to use the portrait to still capture the person's unique character and message in a way that is still palatable to the more conservative media.

On the other side of the coin, it is important to make sure that your imagery that are slightly off the wall are not cliched versions of well-known images that does not even relate well to you. Being unusual for the sake of being unusual is a recipe for disaster. Make sure your message is well-defined and contained within the image.

A pic of a guy in a suit jumping might look cool, but be completely pointless if it does not speak to the business or individual in the image. Imagine finding out that the person jumping for joy in his suit is your local undertaker and is planning on using that image for local media and marketing. Hmm.

Ultimately, the best defense is to have a good collection of images that can speak to different publications, people and topics.

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