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Corporate photography for Bank of New York Mellon

I was booked for a corporate photography shoot for The Bank of New York Mellon yesterday. The brief was for a few portraits and some group shots of staff for a Powerpoint presentation as part of International Women’s Day. As usual with this kind of job it all had to be done quite quickly. Most of the people involved were in senior management and only had a few minutes to spare for photographs. I turned up early to meet my contact, Diane, and went round the building to look at potential places to set up. Diane had booked several nice spots with plenty of space and some natural light. A good location can really lift a corporate image, so if you can avoid small windowless rooms with very large boardroom tables it helps!
By the time our people had arrived we were ready to go and managed to get everything we needed in two short sessions, allowing the staff to get back to their proper jobs.
I used a small portable lighting kit, which can be set up and dismantled in about five minutes. The combination of flash and natural light was enough to give some depth to the photos.

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Simon Fazackarley - These are really nice! corporate shots can be so stuffy! but you’ve done a great job keeping these light & friendly :) where about’s were these taken? I didn’t know BNY mellon had a UK presence…but then I guess I don’t travel in the right circles :) I’m only really aware BNY mellon exist, because they sponsor the Hockey Stadium where the Pittsburgh Penguins play :)

admin - Thanks Simon, you obviously know more about US hockey than I do!

Darren - Hi Dave – I am a Phoenix commercial photographer in Arizona and would like to share my thoughts on the first pic in the series (w/ 5 people).

I would like to have seen a smaller aperture to get deeper depth of field. Also would have liked to see the exposure set for 1 1/2 stops below the OUTSIDE ambient and then building the lighting on your subjects using strobes.

I hope you don’t mind my constructive feedback.

DaveP - Hi Darren,
No, I don’t mind a bit of constructive criticism, I sometimes have to do things so quickly when I’m working it makes me go back and question why I did it.
There were several reasons for the shallow depth of field. Firstly the client had shown me some shots she liked with a sharp front model and others out of focus in the background, so I wanted to do something similar.
The other considerations were limitations with time and equipment. I had to do half a dozen different set ups in about five minutes so there really wasn’t time for setting up multiple flashes around the room. People were also coming and going and I needed to photograph them while they were available, so I needed something that could be reset in a few seconds. Portrait, portrait, group, group, portrait etc.
In this shot I used a speedlight, brolly and battery pack, giving me quite limited power, enough to light the front of the shot and dropping about half a stop on the buildings outside. It kept quite a light feeling to the shot and enabled me to change the composition several times without worrying too much about the lighting. Hey, I can do complicated as well you know!

David Fenner - Hello Dave, just wanted to compliment you on your images & your post. Keep up the good work. Cheers, DF

DaveP - Hi David, Thanks very much. All the best, Dave.

Louise Giblin - Could you please contact me via email? Many thanks. LG

DaveP - Hi Louise, have sent you a couple of emails, but they are bouncing back. Would you like to give me a call instead, details on my contact page.

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