Executive & Business Portraits


In this executive portrait the goal is the same but the approach is more subdued, formal and professional in nature. The look and feel for any portrait? is generally determined by the subjects needs and intended use for the image. In this case the subject was a tenured law professor and speaker who needed a portrait for the school’s website and for her speaking engagements. The use of low-key lighting creates a more serious and professional feeling for the image. Clamshell lighting, a lighting pattern popular in beauty photography, was used to light the subject. In this very flattering lighting pattern there is an overhead light source, a light source below the subject?s face (in this case a reflector), and a back light to create separation between the subject and the background.figure-2-diagram[1]


Details & Inspiration for Shot Above

Exposure: ISO 100, f/14, 1/200 second with a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM lens.

The posing in this image also plays an important role. The subjects shoulders and body are angled away from the camera creating a pleasing appearance for the figure. Angling the body has a slimming effect and helps reduce the boxy feeling a figure can have when photographed straight on.

Pay careful attention to the height subjects front shoulder when creating this kind of image, the lower the shoulder the more inviting the body language is. Here I struck a balance keeping the shoulder at a medium height and in a position that I felt was appropriate for the subject and her intended use. Having the subject angle her face camera left also cast her in broad light (the largest portion of the face lit is in Broad Light). Normally Broad Lighting is something you may want to stay away from (especially with women) because it can add weight to the appearance of the face. This subject was very slender so it helped add some fullness back into her face. A slight smile helps convey a warm and approachable yet professional feeling.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.