CLIENT: Insurance Services Company based across the US

BRIEF: Capture camera-shy employees for lifestyle photos to help the business tell their real story to customers online.

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CHALLENGE: Photograph at a secure location in a short time window before company executives had to leave on their return flight.

SUCCESS: The location was secure with sensitive equipment and information that could not be photographed. I could only shoot during business hours, and the window for photography was short because employees and executives were flying in for a meeting. Photography was to take place immediately after.

I visited three days before the shoot to find a group location the team could relax in and a tech looking hallway for lifestyle images. The day of the shoot I had a timer going at each location, and my assist gave me the count down - since I didn’t have to worry about the time, I could focus on the people once the lights were set. I chose to work with soft light so the team could move around and look good. I as limited to one angle because of the wires and plugs on one wall, and the wall behind me was completely glass and opened up to a room that couldn’t be photographed.

The IT team pictured below was the most skeptical at the back story I gave them to get them all in the mindset for photos - I asked that they imagine he was giving you the most ridiculous presentation ever, and you can only communicate with your eyes and hands. I was the only one allowed to talk - my favorite! And I provided the soundtrack for the meeting, and verbalized their reactions.

Since I was shooting tethered the team could see that despite feeling weird, they looked great, which only helped get them more excited about shooting.

Tethering also helped the executives green light the best shots. On such a tight shoot window I wanted to make sure the images showcased the best parts of their business and remained on-brand.

Later on I opened up the room for talking, but I asked that they only explain the most boring parts of their job in the most exciting way. The prompt kept them looking genuinely happy - which is my ultimate goal, and marker of success for my day when working with real employees. The added bonus is that everyone had a great time and didn’t want the shoot to end.

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