Tag Archives: Corporate Headshots

Corporate Headshots – Yammer Inc Part 2 – San Francisco

“Yammer brings the power of social networking inside the enterprise in a private and secure environment. Yammer has the same level of usability as great consumer software like Facebook and Twitter, but its applications have been designed for business collaboration. Why waste time and money trying to mandate tools that your employees resist adopting? Yammer is productivity software that employees love to use.” – I couldn’t have started this blog entry any better than how Yammer describes their awesome product. I personally use Yammer at work, so I was super stoked when they contacted me to shoot their corporate headshots. Like most companies, Yammer had a vague idea of what their headshot should look but also asked me for recommendations. I gave them two options. One was a very professional looking style, similar to what you would see in the website of a Fortune 100 company and the other was an environment shot using natural light. Instead of choosing one or the other they decided to do both.

My first Yammer post featured members of the organization in a Jill Greenberg lighting set up. I didn’t do as much post processing work as Jill would have done to her subject and I also toned the accent lights just a wee bit. The second set of picture (shown below) is more modern and “hip”. I shot them right outside the company using natural light and I used some pretty gnarly graffiti art we found in the alley. I could not have been happier of how the pictures turned out.

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Check out my work on their webpage: https://www.yammer.com/about/management

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Phuong – Tattoos, Piercings and a Mohawk – Bad Ass Portrait

I’ve always admired the works of Keith Selle and other photographers who create a lot of images with models who are, for lack of a better word, “bad assess”. These photographers are able to capture the intensity of the tattoos as well as the beauty of model. Being mostly a corporate and headshot photographer, I rarely get the chance to photograph models with badass tattoos and piercings. Unless Mike Tyson wants a headshot, my chances of photographing someone with an awesome tattoo is very slim.

As I troll Facebook one day, I came across a set of pictures from my news feed and what do you know, it’s a set of pictures of some tatted up girl that I just happen to know. Her tats and piercings were so unique that I went ahead and contacted her to do a shoot. Long story short, we met up in Fremont at my friend’s awesome studio, The Candy Factory Studio, and due to some time constraints, we literally only had about 15min to actually shoot. My awesome MUA/Hairstylist friend, Jessica Do, did her hair and some of her make up. The shoot was, in my opinion, a success. I cannot wait to work with her again in future projects.

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Strobist Info:

  • F/6, 1/160, 5d mk2
  • Alien Bee 86′ PLM on camera right
  • Softbox on far camera left
  • Both had Ab800 on it at 1/4 power

 

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Floral Headdress – Beauty Portraits

I do my fair share of wedding photograhy under a different company name (Nocturnalz Photography),  and I’ve been blessed to befriend several talented florists whose constant creativity has pushed my photography to the next level. One florist approached me after a wedding session with an idea to do a “chiquita banana” inspired photoshoot but instead of using fruits as the headdress, she wanted to use flowers! She linked me to a slideshow from an America’s Next Top Model episode as a reference for our shoot.

I didn’t exactly have the budget ANTM has so I suggested inviting a few makeup artists (Audrey and Mimi) and doing more of a beauty portrait shoot with the flower headdresses she had in mind. Stobist information below.

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Strobist Info:

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Corporate Headshots – Yammer Inc – San Francisco

I’ve recently had the pleasure of doing Yammer Inc’s headshots in San Francisco, CA. Lighting set up and details about the shoot will be on my next entry.

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Fashion Show – Lolita in Paris by KMABELLEMINA

Confession time: I am not really the most fashionable person in the world but I really enjoy going to fashion shows and I love meeting fashion designers.  Much like getting to know your clients before a headshot or portrait photoshoot, getting to know the designers before their fashion show makes a huge difference. I feel like I am able to really capture the artistic intentions of what the designer is trying to express.

I am lucky enough to attend a fashion show in which the two designers happen to be good friends of mine. KMABELLEMINA’s fashion line, whom I mentioned in a previous post, are simply awesome. They transform [vintage clothes] into modern and wearable pieces, while paying homage to the past decades. Mina and Kathy breathe life into  clothes, creating new styles and re-defining an aesthetic that would otherwise be lost. Their newest collection, entitled “Lolita in Paris”, while as a whole is a stunning collection, really shines in the attention to detail the designers have placed on each piece.

I’ve developed a certain style of photographing fashion shows and largely adopted Bill Cunningham‘s thoughts about fashion. I’ll expand on that after the pictures…

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Fashion shows in its very core are meant to emphasize… fashion. They exist to showcase the designer’s vision and to mark a pinnacle of the their work.  However, it seems like we’ve deviated from that way of thinking because we focus on the models that walk down the run way instead of the actual purpse; the clothes on their bodies. An example I can relate to would be having to sit in a media box. Photographers are huddled around the media box and the models are photographed straight on. Fashion never happens straight on in a static environment; fashion is dynamic, expressed when the subject is moving in infinite ways and combinations, so I wonder, ‘Why should we approach this from such a drasticly different intent from the designer?”

I personally feel that the best viewpoint is right in the front row with the other spectators; it allows one, as a photographer, to capture a much truer perspective of the clothing and the experience of the event. Don’t get me wrong, media boxes still have their place at runway fashion shows, but I think that both photographers and designers would be better served there there were several media boxes placed within the event.

On a lighter note, I met some pretty interesting people at this fashion show. A guy who worked at Facebook who was super proud of his girlfriend being one of the models and Dora Danh who writes a very interesting fashion blog.

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Fashion Line – KMABELLEMINA Vintage.Glam.Unique

I met Mina back in 2008 when I was just starting to get serious with my photography. I planned a crazy photoshoot involving 3 MUAs, 7 models and help of a very skilled photographer, Mark Sebastien. Mina happened to be one of the 3 MUAs and she did an amazing job with the models. After several months of our initial collaboration, Mina contacted me to take pictures of her new fashion line which she co founded with her friend Kathy. From their grass roots humble beginnings to their super awesome fashion show happening this Friday 10/21, KMABELLEMINA continues to impress with their vintage glam style of clothing that is truly unique.

Below is a sample of their Summer 2011 line:

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Strobist info:

  • Beauty Dish right above the model on an AB800
  • Huge white reflector on the ground infront of the model
  • 5d MK2 1/125 power to let some of the afternoon ambient light come in

 

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Jessica – Graduation Portraits

A Master’s degree from Georgetown University… Good Job Jessica!

I consider Jessica to be one of my really good friends; she’s also one of the few people who can tell me to ‘stop it’, and I will actually listen! Jessica recently approached me and asked if I would be willing to take her graduation portraits; after much deliberation on what style we should use, we ended up going for a traditional set-up.

I should really just take pictures of the set-up so I don’t have to type so much, but for now, here’s a quick breakdown of what I used:

  • Beauty Dish on a AB 800 at 1/4 power on camera right.
  • AB 800 at 1/2 power pointed at the backdrop.
  • Reflector at the opposite side of the BD.

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I have always wanted to get a Master’s degree because I always have believed you could then put “Master” in front of your name, similar to getting a doctorage and being able to use “Doctor” in one’s signature… but alas, this is not the case. Either ‘Master Moses Sison’, or ‘Moses Sison, Master’ would be a pretty good salutation, right? *sigh*

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Lynn – San Francisco Baker Beach

Nature vs. Nurture… do people learn how to pose in-front of the camera or are they just born knowing how to pose? I am no anthropologist but a recent portrait session has me leaning towards “born with it”.

Accountant during the weekday and awesome lifestyle model during the weekend. Lynn was very professional and easy to work with. She had suggestions on location, clothing and poses. The portrait session went smoothly and we would have kept going but it started to rain in Baker Beach.

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Nerdy Photography note… I actually had problems uploading this in WordPress because the color profile I initially used was ProFoto RGB. Apparently ProFoto RGB isn’t supported by WordPress and it completely messed it up. It darkened and desaturated the pictures making her look like a corpse. I ended up changing my work flow because of this and I’ll be using sRGB as my color profile from now on.

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Jill Greenberg Style Lighting

One of my favorite photographers is Jill Greenberg. I’ve always been fascinated with her “Babies Crying” headshot / portrait project. I wanted to recreate something very similar but I didn’t really have any babies lying round to shoot let alone make cry so I had to improvise.  I asked my girlfriend and her friend to model for me one Sunday afternoon and below are the pictures we ended up creating.

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I actually used a lighting break down illustrated in one of  David Hobby’s blog entry but I replaced the ring light with a Lastolite Trigrip for fill. I actually won that reflector at the Flash Bus Tour in San Jose. I am probably going to use this headshot / portrait lighting when I shoot a couple of execs up in San Fransisco this weekend.

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