In mid-June, I was pleased to help a former colleague from Ordnance Survey in her new role at HTEC, a point-of-sale technology company based near Southampton Airport. Melanie had been appointed Marketing Manager a couple of months previously, and urgently needed corporate photography.
Thus I reported to their offices at 7am two mornings later, to be met by Francesca, her Marketing Executive. I was lucky with the weather: mild, with clear skies.
My first task was to take shots of their brand new fleet of vans. At Melanie’s request, a driver parked six of them diagonally along the front of the building and I began with shots of the vans alone:
Then I asked for men to stand in front of them. In the first shot, the men adopted the same pose in front of the vans:
In the next one, they stood in a line:
This felt very stilted, so I asked them to relax and talk – much more natural:
Next was an archetypal shot of the cheery man in a van, which would be ideal for leaflet, brochures and the website:
Then he stood by the van and I was able to include the rest of the fleet:
Finally, a shot focusing on the vans:
The next segment of my morning took me inside for headshots of senior managers. The sittings were brief and cordial; I got the shots needed. This is one of the final results:
Finally, Francesca took me upstairs to their customer service desk, where I captured a range of action shots. The team were very helpful, closing their curtains and moving mugs off desks:
Real-time information displayed onto a wall across the front of the office made for a great backdrop.
Despite having worked there for only a fortnight, Francesca was very good at approaching people on my behalf, asking them to move mugs, bottles and the like.
I felt it was important to remove as many distractions as possible from the images I delivered, so that HTEC could present a positive brand image to the world. For example, a car park barrier and white markings needed to come out of the shot along the building facade:
When it came to the headshots, I brought a large softbox to the shoot for my main light, and a small umbrella for my fill light – both lit using flashes. Although I had a white fabric background to hand, Melanie and Francesca wanted me to use a wide exhibition panel featuring a shot of Britain from space, as used in HTEC branding. I quickly found that I was getting a white reflection from its slightly glossy finish but, despite trying different flash settings and positions, I couldn’t avoid a white cast on the background:
This needed to come out, but initial results using cloning and healing tools in Photoshop weren’t great:
In the end, I dropped a clean shot of the corporate background into images of each of the directors. Luckily, the service centre shots required less retouching.
Melanie received the photos urgently for a presentation this week, which I hope went well for her. I look forward to seeing how they use my imagery.
If you’re running a business and need photos to project your brand with impact, please get in touch – I’ll be delighted to help.