Case Study – Financial Services firm portraits

When a company decides to embark upon a rebranding initiative they often hire an agency, a designer or a photographer to help them.   There are a lot of ‘triggers’ for when a company decides to do take this critical step forward.  It often happens when the company is in transition, whether physical or something more existential—a move to a new location, a major renovation, a period of great growth.

Spinnaker Trust is a Portland-based company providing wealth and finance management services.  Recently they grew with the merger with another firm, and moved into a really knock-out new space downtown.  To showcase their dynamic new space and their growth, they needed environmental portraits of their team members within their amazing offices—lots of frosted glass, hardwood flooring and deep blue walls.

I spoke with the team about their needs, and decided to go with a more dramatic approach to lighting.  With lighting you can go one of two ways.  Light ‘big’, and just create a wall of light so that everything’s bright, well-lit and very commercial-looking (see any national-level  advertisement) or light ‘small’, or selectively, throwing light just where you need it to create dimensionality, mood, and highlight aspects of the environment. Spinnaker was perfect for the latter.

I used three to four lights for most of the portraits—with all of the glass around, the lighting was tightly controlled to avoid reflections.  We did multiple scenarios with each person in a relatively limited period of time—in my shoots, I tend to move fast:  15 minutes being a long time to spend on any one portrait.

I was happy with the results:  professional but dramatic, with the environment a key feature of each image.   A big shout-out to the team at iBec Creative, who designed this clean and beautiful website.

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