Account: Roberta Pegoraro
Production design: Andrea Mescalchin
Photography: Matteo Mescalchin
Tech men: Giovanni Santon
Retouch: Matteo Mescalchin, Paola Balasso
MUA: Laura Rigodanza
When asked to shoot a series of 52 business portraits on location within a span of two days of work, I was excited to face the challenge. Beside the time limit, the challenge was also interesting to me in regard of style, lighting and techniques. In facts all the portrait works had to be shoot on neutral background and to be placed over different backplates later in post. That was music to my ears as I love working my photography on those extended opportunities typical of composite imagery.
During the preproduction briefing with account and agency, we went over different reference images finally defining a visual mood-board to stick up to during the shoot.
Luckily enough, my bro Andrea Mescalchin designed a smart production plan so I've been able to shoot the 5 backplates in advanced. As for the lighting of the backplates I worked on an high-key look somehow enhancing the clinical environment chosen for the backgrounds.
All 52 subjects are well known medical dentists (orthodontists) and I had some 20 minutes each available for the shoot.
The meeting room we rent for the set up was relatively small but still suitable to recreate a lighting diagram matching the backplates as light directions, quality and levels.
My three lights set up, was a refined version of the typical approach with asymmetric rim lights and slightly larger than usual key light using a chimera 3" OctaPlus rather than regular beauty dish. I wanted a softer key to better match the backplate's look presenting a broad and bright ambient light. However, the main set up was paired also with a secondary lighting diagram dedicated to a secondary series of portraits that had to have a different style and look.
Working on business portraits like these, I love shooting tethered as I like to discuss some poses with the professionals also taking short middle-shoot reviews with the subject, in order to explore and refine different options.
I strongly believe that business portraiture deserves a totally different approach than regular portrait photography, including a deeper work on model coaching and styling. Feeling my work being relevant in presenting a professional's career and profile, I think the everything has to be taken really seriously down in the detail when creating this kind of pictures.
Here below are the 5 clear backplates I shot in advanced using a show room for medial equipment. Despite the 'ambient light' look, they have been lit carefully in order to balance the preexisting light levels and making them feel like a modern dental clinic.
Here below is a small selection of composites from the series.
The retouch work has been pretty enjoyable as we didn't face any significant issue in the knock out process, therefore being able to focus on all creative decisions like small adjustments and tonal work.
I'm particularly happy with the final look and how we've been able to keep up with the predefined look all across the whole series.
Thank you for watching.
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