For the second year in a row - an editorial corporate photoshoot for Barron's October 3, 2016 issue. Photos were taken at the China Club in Hong Kong.
Lately I’ve been asked to shoot a lot of in-studio corporate headshots, and I have to be honest, photographing executives in business suits is not exactly the sexiest area of photography. Nevertheless, I’ve really grown to like it. For my clients, their need for new headshots usually marks an interesting crossroads in their life. Some have just arrived in Hong Kong in search of new beginnings, others have been here for years but are joining a new firm. Some clients need portraits to update their online or social media presence (eg. LinkedIn, Facebook), others as part of their first steps in setting up a new small business. Some have no concrete plan at all (which I can particularly relate to). So in the hour that I usually spend in a portrait session, I usually get to hear an interesting story or two. As the subject, I think the session is a fairly relaxing break in a busy day – when they can chat, loosen their tie (if the shot doesn’t need one), and maybe even smile! Here are some outtakes from some recent corporate headshot sessions that were not the final picks but I like them anyway:
Renato and Cristina, husband and wife architect team (and entrepreneurs).
Rebecca, executive coach and proud mom (laughing at her daughter making faces over my shoulder).
Angela, Director in recruiting.
Kieron is restarting his career in HK. Ella works for city’super!
Last November I was asked to cover a story for this January's issue of Silkroad, Dragonair's inflight magazine. Check it out if you are flying KA in the region this month.
The story looked at organic farming in Hong Kong, requiring shots of a local farm and an organic farm market in Tai Po. I don't regularly shoot a lot of editorial assignments, so I was a little bit anxious. Sure, storytelling or shooting something like a wedding in a "photojournalistic style" were some of the first things about photography that I fell in love with, but this would be a different challenge. I wasn't able to scout ahead of time to plan lighting. I had no idea what time I'd be given to get through my shot list. The New Territories address I was given had google maps completely fooled.
Fortunately, I was picked up from the mini bus stop by Jeannie, the owner of The Green Patch organic farm. She was the type of sweet, hospitable woman that you could sit with and listen to stories for hours. During my tour of the farm she told me about her travels, her prior businesses, and her rather strong opinions about organic farming and Hong Kong as a whole. By sunset, I finished getting my shots and Jeannie gave me some takeaway fresh salad before I left.
That weekend I went back to Tai Po with my girlfriend to shoot at the Farmers Market (definitely worth checking out, every Sunday except the first of every month). We bought some veggies and homemade pasta from Jeannie's booth. I also gave her a set of prints from the farm shoot. It was the least I could do for the salad and intruding on her work schedule. She also kindly invited me and my girlfriend to return in the Spring to work on the farm for a day.
In the end I was pretty happy with the shots I came away with from the two days. But sure enough, only about 4 or 5 of what I thought were only decent images ran in the actual article (I'm not sure who photographed the other 3 or so shots in the story). Nevertheless, it was very gratifying to see the work get published. Perhaps there will be some point in the future when its no big deal and I won't even care to see what photos of mine get selected for print. But hopefully it isn't too soon =)
OK, one more scan from the issue...
...some other shots I liked that didn't run (is this why photographers typically hate art directors?)
Angela, full-time Mom, China
Portraiture has always been my favorite genre of photography. One of the things that I love the most about shooting portraits is being able to meet all the different people that I photograph.
Hong Kong brings such a diverse group of people from all over the world into a relatively small community. Here are a few that I met recently.
Sarah Brennan, Children's Author, Australia
Pascal, Entrepreneur, France
Kay Ross, Marketing Consultant, Australia
Edith, Horn Player, Hong Kong
Lorraine, Conductor, Hong Kong
Nothing beats natural light for headshot portraits, so we did a lot of the shooting on the balcony of his Mid-levels flat. We also walked around some of the local HK backstreets and finished up at the Pacific Coffee on Hollywood Road, his favorite writing spot.
Recently I had been contacted by Hong Kong's DJ Gruv for a portrait session. Gruv represents Maryland but he's been out in Hong Kong for years and has done gigs all over Asia. He had been looking to get some images done for media and promotional purposes, so last Friday we spent a few hours in the studio along with his wife of 10 years, Bonnie. Here are some of my favorite shots. .