One of the types of portraits I love producing are corporate environmental staff portraits. They are a somewhat special category of portraiture because they are photographed on-location to better contextualize the subject. While most corporate headshots I do are produced on a plain backdrop (which has its benefits as well), environmental staff portraits help to tell a story. In other words, they are a form of editorial portraiture.

environmental staff portraits of an architect holding a model home They can be as simple as a smiling face within a workspace, or a photo of a staff member or group of people engaging in work activity. Sometimes it’s a mix of both.
corporate headshots on location Vancouver of a women at work corporate website photos of architects working in a team inside a boardroom

 

This type of photography is also great for teams. In additional to the more traditional team portraits, a group photo of the team engaged in real work activity can be a useful for a number of advertising and corporate communication uses.

The above sample headshots and team photos were photographed on-location at a Vancouver architectural design firm. The photos were taken were each individual worked, and offer a sense of space, depth, and context. For this company, every person was photographed in a different location. Choosing the best locations for each staff member was the most challenging part of the project. These corporate environmental portraits had to look clean, but also be representative of the company’s office work space.

Most of the photos were produced with a mix of natural and ambient light, studio lighting, and reflectors. Planning for a good lighting day was a key factor in photos that look bright, but soft and natural.

Before photography took place at their office, a site visit was done to identify different locations. Another important consideration was how the natural and ambient light looked at different times of the day. This can be challenging for offices located in downtown Vancouver buildings because of shadows casted by other buildings at specific times of the day. This planning helped things go smoothly on the day of the shoot, thereby minimizing disruptions to the business and their staff.

If you are interested in planning a on-site environmental-style staff portrait session for your company, please contact us today for details, rates, and availability.

small business headshots Vancouver dentist

These small business headshots were photographed on location at a Vancouver dentist office. Upon arrival, the challenge before me was finding a location within the office that had enough depth and width for the equipment and to serve as a suitable background. The best location turned out to be their reception area, which had just enough space for all the lighting equipment needed to create modern branded business portraits.

Choosing a good time of day turned out to be an important factor in planning for these small business headshots for a Vancouver dentist. Dental offices can be very busy depending on the time of day. Had it been a busy morning, it would’ve been nearly impossible to photograph these headshots in the reception area.

Once the Elinchrom lighting and camera were set up for the look I wanted to produce, the rest was fairly straight forward. Each person was coached on how to pose and on their facial expressions. Then we went through the different angles and various poses I do for most corporate photo sessions. This helps most people feel at ease and increases the number of good shots we get from the headshot session – most business people I work with want their headshots done as quickly as possible, but still want their best looks possible

The final headshot photos turned out great even with the small amount of space I had available for lighting the photo shoot. These are going to look great on their website, for social media, and other print marketing materials!

If you would like to learn more about planning for your small business headshot session or promotional video or video blog, contact us today for further details and quote.

We’ve been busy this Spring with a lot of photo shoots. One of my favourite recent corporate events was a groundbreaking event in Surrey, BC. This groundbreaking event was for the development of a new corporate headquarters. It was exciting to see a new building for a growing service company. The new location was chosen as a central site for their employees, who are spread across the Metro Vancouver region. Much thought was put into minimizing commute times for their staff. Such planning has become a way to attract and keep great employees in Metro Vancouver.

The event began with a welcome speech announcing the start to the building phase of the development. Employees and family were on hand to witness the breaking of ground – a traditional ceremonial start to every great development. Food was served and lots of photos were taken to be a part of their company’s history.

corporate ground breaking event photo

If you are planning for a ground breaking event or other corporate events and need a professional photographer on-site for ground photos and candid images for your website or social media, please contact us today for rates and availability!

If shooting headshots in studio isn’t an option, or you’re looking for something different, Vancouver offers a number of great outdoor locations for headshots. By ‘great”, I mean outside locations with great ambient lighting, unique backdrops, and are easy to access. Whether you’re looking for modern urban, rustic or vintage urban, or the best spots for a great view of the mountains, below are three of the best downtown Vancouver headshot locations to consider.

North False Creek Headshots (around the Roundhouse Community Centre and creekside)

Vancouver headshots OutdoorsThis is one of my favourite corporate headshot locations in downtown Vancouver. The location around the Roundhouse Community Centre offers a good mix of older brick walls and modern glass buildings. The sun is south of this location, so you’ll want to time the headshot sessions to ensure you don’t get too much lens flare off the water if you’re shooting closer to the creek.

Headshots at Jack Poole Plaza

For Vancouver headshot locations, this is one of the best places with an unobstructed view of the north shore mountains. Check out the top of the Cactus Club Cafe for a great shot of Georgia Straight and the north shore in the distance. When shooting towards the north shore mountains, the sun may be directly in the face of your subject, so make sure you have a scrim or some way to block the sun from your subject’s eyes. A off-camera mixed lighting setup is definitely recommended for this location.

Headshots along West Hastings

business headshots outdoors in downtown VancouverWest Hastings Street between Burrard and Howe Streets offer some of the best urban backgrounds that feature a quintessential classic metropolitan look. There are a number of buildings that, if shot from a distance and with the right lighting are reminiscent of old urban America. Buildings such as the Sinclair Centre, the Vancouver Club, 850 West Hastings (Montecristo), the Marine Building, offer a classic look at street level.

There are also a number of modern backgrounds along West Hastings. New buildings can be found just west of Burrard Street, and offer a unique bokeh (blurry background) effects with the right depth and light.

These are just a few of my favourite spots for outdoor headshots in Vancouver. I’ll be adding some locations and providing more tips on how to shoot in these spots in upcoming blog posts. In the meantime, if you have questions, feel free to drop me a line.

 

I recently enjoyed a vacation in Los Cabos, Mexico at a beautiful resort call the Pueblo Bonito Blanco. This is a Mediterranean style resort, centrally located in Cabo San Lucas. While there, I brought along a VR camera and captured some 360 degree views of the resort.

You may be family with Google’s Street view, which gives you an interactive virtual view of a location on a map. Now, 360 degree virtual experiences are growing in popularity for business, and are being used for promotional purposes to feature or highlight both interior and exterior places.

Here is a sample of a view from inside Cilantro’s Restaurant looking out to the beautiful beach on the Sea of Cortez.

You can move around the video using a mouse on your computer, or by moving your smart phone:

The resolution of 360 degree videos on YouTube is reduced, but for promotional use on your own website, these videos can be displayed in much higher quality. To learn more about producing 360 degree interactive videos or photos for your business, contact us for more info.

Corporate training videos have come a long way. Years ago, I recall watching a variety of corporate training videos, which were usually on VHS tape or DVDs, and lasted for at least 20 minutes, but often much longer. They were usually watched at the office and were sometimes difficult to watch due to all the nearby distractions.

More organizations are now putting their corporate videos online. Whether they are internally accessed or available through public or semi-private websites such as YouTube, these videos are often much shorter and can be accessed anywhere.

We recently did a short 3 minute training video for an environment testing lab. The purpose of the video is to present best practices for submitting environmental samples to their laboratories. The video was produced in English, but a French subtitled version was also produced using the same English video.

Here is the corporate training video published online on their channel:

(click here if the video does not appear: https://youtu.be/196LTPX6LU0)

If you would like to produce corporate videos for your business, contact us to discuss the requirements of your project and to get a no obligation quote.

When the weather outside is frightful, composite headshot portraits are so delightful! If you need social media headshots that feel like they were photographed on-location, but can’t produce good photos outdoors because of the bad weather, you can produce a composite headshot at my studio. A green screen composite headshot is quick and easy to produce and gives you the flexibility to choose the background for your images. You see it in Hollywood movies, and can now use it to produce a custom look for your own business photos. It is also much more cost effective than shooting on-location.

composite headshotThis sample shows what the headshot looks like before and after it’s composited and edited. Using the right lighting, the final image has higher fidelity and works great for advertising use or social media.

Contact me today to find out more about booking a composite headshot session at my Vancouver photo studio using green screen technology.

CaRMS photo specificationsCaRMS medical residency photoCaRMS (Canadian Resident Matching Service) is a program that matches Canadian medical students to one of 30 different programs across 17 medical schools in Canada. A part of your application will consist of a headshot digital photo that you will need to include as part of the residency matching program.

We’ve worked with many medical students in Metro Vancouver to produce photos for their CaRMS application at excellent rates, and can also help you to produce a professional looking headshot photo as well.

The photos are taken at our studio with professional lighting and backdrops, but can also be photographed on location for groups or individuals. Typically, photo sessions take about 20 – 30min at the studio, and you will be able to review the photo proofs and make you photo selections during the session.

After the photo session, your digital portraits will delivered within 2 business days online (rush services also available). You will receive an full copy of your selected photos, as well as a cropped and

CaRMS Specifications and Requirements

CaRMS photo specs VancouverAccording to current CaRMS photo requirements, the digital headshots need to meet these specifications:

  • CaRMS photo are usually photographed as a head and shoulders portrait
  • Photos need to be submitted in digital format online under My Documents in the applicant web portal
  • Wallet sized photos should be 2.5″ x 3.5″ (63.5mm x 88.9mm) – the photo may be resized to 3″ (76.2mm)
  • Make sure the photo file type is JPEG with the extension “.jpg”
  • The maximum photo file size should be 256k
  • Colour or Black & White headshots are accepted

You can refer to the CaRMS timelines for key dates for your application and more information on the application requirements.

What to Bring to your CaRMS Photo Session

  • Wear a well-pressed shirt or blouse; neutral colours are usually best
  • Bring a suit jacket or blazer in case it’s needed
  • Bring hair product to control fly-aways if needed
  • You may bring makeup, but please keep makeup to a minimum
  • If you wear glasses with transitions lenses, please choose non-transition lenses for the photo session if possible

To schedule a CaRMS photo session, please visit our contact page and send us a message to set up an appointment.

We recently began to migrate all our business websites over to the HTTPS protocol from the old HTTP protocol that most of the web currently uses. The HTTPS protocol means that the website uses an SSL certificate for security authentication and verification, and is generally more secure. It is also promoted by Google and enforced by many web browsers as a safer way to surf the web.

Although most of this transition has gone over smoothly, there have been a few hiccups along the way.

You may have encountered a “Page Not Found” or similar error message when attempting to access your photo gallery with the domain “http://clients.dsoleil.com”. The reason why this sometimes occurs (depending on your browser and/or network’s firewall policies) is because the gallery is currently not hosted on server with our security certificate (SSL certificate). This doesn’t necessarily mean you are visiting an insecure website, instead, the problem occurs because the gallery’s security certificate is not one that belongs to us, but to our cloud-based image hosting provider.

Our image hosting provider is working on a fix, but the full implementation won’t take place until July 2018.

In the meantime, if you find that your gallery link is no longer working, here’s what you will need to do:

First, here is an example of a link to our gallery: http://clients.dsoleil.com/p12345678

  1. Copy the last part of the link that begins with a “p”. In this example, that would be “p12345678″. This is your gallery ID.
  2. In your browser’s address bar, enter this link “http://dsoleilphotography.zenfolio.com/” – but don’t press enter yet…
  3. Append the gallery id (“p12345678″) to the link you just typed into the address bar.
    The whole link should look like this: http://dsoleilphotography.zenfolio.com/p12345678
  4. Now press enter and the gallery screen should begin to load.

If you have any questions or encounter any problems, please feel free to email us at: info@proheadshots.ca

Thank you!

Many of my clients ask for unique backgrounds for their headshots or group portraits that feature beautiful office spaces, venues, or homes. These backgrounds are popular because they draw attention and interest, but capturing business portraits in these spaces isn’t always possible for a variety of reasons (e.g. access, logistics, weather/lighting limitations, etc.). So another option is to produce green screen headshots (also known as Chroma key) in the studio and replace the backgrounds in post production.

Here is a sample of a business headshot I photographed in-studio for a local realtor.

green screen headshot shot in studio

After this was photographed, we chose a background of a beautiful residential space and placed his business headshot into the background with some Photoshop magic. The background was “blurred” to draw attention to my client. It also allows his graphic designer to drop in a logo and a title in the space on the right of the image. Alternatively, the photo can be cropped closer if just the head and shoulders headshot is needed for web advertising or business cards.

green screen headshot for realtor

Another background was selected as well, and it was easy to place the headshot into a new space with little additional Photoshop editing required.

Some of the keys to making this all work are: the studio lighting placement, background selection, and colour grading. Knowing what the background will be in advance is important to making the final composite image look as realistic as possible.

Most of the backgrounds I prefer selecting have a brighter and/or generally muted colour palette, which helps to minimize the contrast between the headshot and the background. Knowing that the background is going to be generally brighter means adding some back lighting or rim lighting to the subject’s photo.

Colour grading or matching tones is another important ingredient. Compare the top image with the bottom one. Notice that the warmer skin tone of the top image fits better with the residential background due to the similar warmish tone.

Headshots from the green screen process rarely look as good as shooting in the actual space, but it’s an acceptable compromise when certain access or seasonal limitations keep us from shooting on location. One way to add fidelity to the image is to apply a tighter crop. This can usually help because it removes much of the background distraction, but includes just enough of the background to maintain context.

green screen headshot cropped

If you would like more information about producing headshots, group photos, or commercial images using this green screen technique, feel free to drop me a line!