Corporate Portraits & Headshots in Boston | David Shopper Photography
Specializing in natural light business portraits, professional headshots, and candid workplace photography in Boston and NYC.
Real people in real business environments to brand corporate culture.
I am a commercial photographer who creates corporate portraits, company workplace candid photographs, and professional headshots in Boston and worldwide. I am one of the most trusted corporate photographers in Boston, MA and have been creating corporate portraiture for over 30 years. My photographs are most often used for advertising (for example: print ads, billboards, Out Of Home, etc.), corporate collateral (for example: annual reports, capability brochures, etc.), websites (website banners, team portraits, bio pages, about us pages), as well as social media (like LinkedIn portraits, Outlook portraits, business Facebook pages, etc.)
I consider myself an editorial corporate photographer, in that my Boston business portraits have a natural, authentic style – almost a lifestyle approach. This candid style lends itself nicely to financial firms, the insurance industry, healthcare, banking, high-tech firms, life-science companies, biotech companies, robotic companies, educational institutions, non-profits, small businesses, home businesses, and local businesses - startups and established businesses alike. Candid business photography is a lot like editorial-style photography in that it presents a company in an typical everyday style, as if you were a fly on the wall during a business meeting, on a manufacturing line, or at a brainstorming session, lab experiment, or corporate event. I shoot real people in real life situations, producing candid portraits and candid interactions of business people in corporate environments.
I am committed to giving each client a custom stylistic creative approach to their individual brands. Every client has different needs; they want to present themselves as a bespoke entity. To this end, I strive to understand the history of the company’s branding, their audience, demographics, and what separates them from their competition.
Locally and Globally:
Most of the companies, design firms, and ad agencies I collaborate with are regional in the Boston and New York City area, though I often shoot for agencies and businesses in the Midwest (Chicago, St. Louis, and Minneapolis/St. Paul), California (especially San Francisco, Los Angeles, Palo Alto, and San Jose), and of course the greater New England area (Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, and Rhode Island) . As a commercial location photographer, I have travelled for advertising portrait shoots all over the US as well as England, France, and Germany.
I am considered one of Boston’s most trusted photographers. Having over 30 years of experience as a commercial photographer, I have solved virtually every visual and photographic challenge. I am calm under pressure. I am mindful of my subjects and work hard to make them feel comfortable in front of the camera. Instead of posing people, which gives a manufactured look, I create a natural and comfortable environment for them that reflects who they are. There’s a simplicity in this approach that allows people to look their best and glow with conviction. I have created portraits of international corporations’ board of directors and young startup founders. Each subject deserves the same attention to detail and spirited approach.
Executive portraits, company headshots, professional headshots, and corporate portraits are all terms used to describe the ability to represent the integrity, passion, and accessibility of a businessman or businesswoman in two dimensions. Every decision you make: what the exec wears, the type of photographic lighting used, their expression you pick – all tell a story about the individual and what he can offer the business world. As an advertising photographer, I create headshots that look casual yet professional. My commercial portraits have a slice-of-life feel, as they are often natural-light portraits taken on location in a corporate office, home-office, etc. Whenever I can get away from a conservative generic background I do, opting instead for a soft, ephemeral office-scape. This gives my business headshots an optimistic, conversational, industrious feel.
I photograph business people in conference rooms during meetings or at events. Often, I shoot individual business headshots during company events when they have off-site executives in their home office. This way, my client gets the best value for their money. I often create business headshots in common areas that have flattering natural light. Natural light company portraits are almost minimalistic, but add an authenticity to the feel of the image. These natural light professional headshots are used for team bio pages, website about-us pages, etc.
History and Specs:
As an East-Coast advertising photographer, I was an early adopter of digital techniques. Importantly, I remember what it was like to shoot with film, and believe that the best digital photographers appreciate the art of the analog darkroom. We use the same techniques, but can now hone our skills to the finest minutia. I started my digital shooting with a Fuji 6x9 outfit with a lens that did swings and tilts and a Phase One Back. I now use exclusively Nikon SLRs, which I find are more responsive and give files of over 100 mb as 8-bit RGB. I often shoot to a laptop with allows me and my corporate clients to monitor the shoot at the pixular level or drop an advertising layout over the photograph we are creating.
You can read more behind-the-lens thoughts on my Boston advertising photography blog. On my blog, I describe many of the reasons we approach a business shoot the way we do and what photographic techniques we use. It is complete with photographs taken during the photo shoot and includes some advertising layouts, campaigns, etc.
Here is a list of the types of photography I do as well as those things that are associated with my industry:
Natural Light Portraits
Financial Company Photographer
Corporate Lifestyle Photographer
Executive Portrait Photographer
Life Science Photographer
Out Of Home Photographers
Capability Brochure Photographers
Annual Report Photographer
LinkedIn Portrait Photographer
About-us Page Headshot Photographer
Business Photographers Boston
View Book Photography
Event Invitation Portrait Photographers
Thoughts on this particular image:
This photograph was taken for David's stock image library (he is represented by Corbis in New York City, which recently was purchased by Getty Images). The model is Peihu Wang (with the modeling agency Maggie, Inc.) who works out of Boston and NYC. In general, I find Maggie Inc. to be the best Boston modeling agency; their talent is punctual, professional, and has a variety of looks rather than one smile they use in every shot.
Photo styling by Cynthia August and makeup by Lynne Avallone.
The impetus for shooting stock images in this way was a direct result of seeing so much generic stock imagery which differed so greatly from the kind of candid corporate photography I do. I often get asked by my clients to shoot as if I were “a fly on the wall” in order to capture the authentic workings of an office. More and more, clients are looking to put a real face on their business. Businesses which are in the financial sector are particularly hesitant to shoot these images with an IPhone and post them on social media, but they value the casualness of showing the candid workplace. So as a photographer, I try to create setups where the employees of a company can be themselves and get work done without feeling like they have to pose for the photography. I encourage the employees to sit the way they naturally do, to interact with their coworkers, to forget that any photography is being done. In the old days of film, I occasionally would shoot for 5 minutes without film in my camera, just to get them used to me there (now, of course, these shots would be recorded digitally).
The photography shoot took place in client Windham Investments' executive conference room in the John Hancock Tower in Boston. I’ve been working with the financial firm for many years and they were nice enough to allow me to shoot for stock on a Saturday. The Hancock Tower gets great natural light, even in the winter when we did this photography. Notice the texture of the model's skin and the un-manufactured look of the overall image. A decade ago, I could only achieve this lighting with strobes because films had comparatively low light sensitivity. Using strobes in an office permeates the environment with invasive flash and employees have a hard time ignoring the photography and generally are more self-conscious. To my credit, I had gotten very good at mimicking natural light using strobes, but you still had bright lights flashing in people’s faces. With the advent of faster CCDs on the newer cameras, photographers are able to get well-exposed images using daylight even on a cloudy day (this image was taken during the worst light – a February rainstorm). When we shot with film and used strobes, the other disadvantage was mixing the color temperature of the lighting we used: the exterior rainy daylight was maybe 6000 degrees Kelvin, which is very blue, and the strobes were more neutrally colored, and the ambient florescent light was green. All these different colors were picked up by the film and, basically, looked horrible. The new digital backs not only allow you to just use the ambient natural light to illuminate the subject, but allow you to control the color of the light in post-production so skin tones look right and there’s no contamination from other light sources.
There’s an added benefit to using the natural light in this way: the background windows tend to be bright areas where designers can lay type (I always try to leave areas that make good backgrounds for headlines, type, etc.)
I also especially like this image because it combines the different categories that I shoot: corporate, corporate lifestyle, and fashion. I believe there’s a place for fashion sense in corporate photography; the clothing that the subject wears helps project a credibility and style of the corporate brand. There’s often a hit-or-miss element when you’re shooting employees in their offices, as executives tend to be hired for their business acumen rather than their sartorial sense. I often “tailor” a jacket in post-production, smoothing out wrinkles, getting shoulders to fit better, adjusting ties and shirts so that they fit more precisely. This attention to detail doesn’t necessarily show in the final image (people don’t say “I’ll put my investments here because this man’s jacket fits properly”), but there’s a tacit impression that these people are put together or squared away, and by extension, their business dealings will be more tasteful and deliberate.
In the same way, the quality of the photography goes a long way in establishing the impression of the company it portrays. Images that look like they were shot with inferior equipment, are a little fuzzy, look harsh or have too-contrasty lighting, all give the impression that the company doesn’t really care about the details of what it produces – that it’s okay with an compromised product, that it doesn’t sweat the details. So I use a top of the line Nikon camera with the sharpest lenses that I can find, even if the final images will displayed in a low-resolution web display. The details of the craft come through even in the low-res format, and most of my clients re-purpose the imagery for collateral, print ads, etc., where a higher quality image really shines. | David Shopper Photography 2 Central Street, Suite 17 Ipswich MA 01938 (978)-356-1011