Richard Boll

Author Archives: Richard Boll

Corporate headshot photography: Why every business needs fresh and up-to-date professional headshots

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Filed under Corporate Portraiture, headshots, Location Photography, Portrait Photography

How professional headshots reflect and elevate your successful brand.

Professional, high-quality corporate headshot photography is a necessity for any successful, well-established company, to portray an authentic business image that suits your specific brand. These unique portraits should reflect the individual employee being shot and the overall values of the business.
Headshot photographs can be used in a variety of ways:
– They form the first impression of the business and its employees and can be used for marketing, not only on your website but also for LinkedIn profile pictures, press stories, business plans, annual reports, and presentations.
–  To help build a connection with your potential customers, as people are more likely to reach out and make enquiries if they can see the faces of the CEOs and employees behind that company.
– Brand headshots can help to represent certain values and qualities, such as warmth and sincerity, generally giving the impression of your staff being friendly and approachable.
– When new colleagues join and with more people working remotely, it’s a good way to build that connection internally and introduce new faces to the business

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Styles and approaches to headshot photography.

When producing corporate headshot photography, it’s common to shoot either against a completely neutral backdrop or to show the interior of an office space.
The advantage of using a white or grey coloured background is consistency and neat uniformity for each headshot. Every photograph, even if shoots are carried out six months apart, can look entirely uniform. It’s useful on a company page, to reflect the level of organisation and togetherness of a business. If shots are taken within an office interior, often the background will be made deliberately out of focus. You can still see the photograph is taken in an actual office, rather than against a backdrop paper. Your choice comes down to the nature of your company’s building and if it’ll suit the image you want to portray. It’s worth giving this some thought before you choose a particular style.
I’ve helped many clients in the past work out the best style of headshot photographs to suit their brand and company values. We’ve discussed various ideas and options that I’ve used previously and potential suitable locations and styles, to help make this important decision.

A professional photographer can make or break your corporate headshot photography.

Any photographer you commission will bring their own level of expertise, creativity and style to your brand headshots. Many companies that I’ve shot for have set style guides and dress codes, to ensure the same consistent approach is used by multiple photographers around the world. It doesn’t matter if the photos were taken in London, Mumbai or New York, every shot will have the same look, even if photographed on different continents by different photographers.
I photograph people using a wide range of set poses, which means I can shoot them efficiently in a fairly short space of time. Typically, I only get 15 minutes at a time (sometimes as little as 5 minutes) with each person. People don’t have hours to spend having their picture taken and my approach lets them get on with their working day.

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The old adage that everyone has a best side is absolutely true. Rather than spend a great deal of time trying to work this out, I shoot the same series of poses facing to the left and the right. By the time I’ve photographed the whole range, I’ll have about 60 images per person. I delete the off shots, for example, someone blinking, leaving around 40-50 shots to choose from. I prefer to use a portrait lens for headshots which has a particular focal length considered optimal for taking portrait photographs. Flash lighting is also an important element to consider. I always bring at least two professional flash lighting heads with modifiers, such as softboxes or umbrellas. These provide a flattering, soft light and in combination with other lights, create a visually pleasing aesthetic.
Once you’ve chosen your favourite shots, these images will then be optimised and refined digitally in Photoshop. Sometimes, retouching and fine-tuning is needed if people have creases in their shirts or stray hairs, for example. Unwanted objects in interior shots, such as fire exit signs and other distractions in the background can also be removed. The final headshots are as polished and refined as possible, providing a consistent look across a complete set of images.

In summary, successful and well-established businesses will be expected to have a regularly updated set of professional, fully optimised and consistent corporate headshot photography taken by an experienced, technically adept, professional portrait photographer.

Examples of headshot commissions that I’ve carried out for clients including Citibank, The Brunswick Group, Numis Bank, and Octopus Energy can be found here. If your own brand headshots need an update, please feel free to email me at richard@richardbollphotography.com or call +44(0)7812 908229.

 

Portrait Photography: The Day I Photographed Sir David Attenborough

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Filed under Editorial Photography, Fine Art Photography, London, National Portrait Gallery, Portrait Photography

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Sir David Attenborough by Richard Boll/ Commissioned by The National Portrait Gallery, London

In 2007, I had the privilege of taking this photographic portrait of our nation’s favourite, Sir David Attenborough, in London. Of the photographs I took I chose this particular image for the final portrait as I think it captures the calm, thoughtful, and highly intelligent nature of his character. There’s a reflective, meditative element to the portrait that I hope represents him effectively. I’m proud to say that this portrait went on to form part of the permanent collection at the National Portrait Gallery, leaving a fantastic ongoing legacy for my work and professional photography career.
Although some time has passed since that day, I can still vividly remember how I felt at the time. It was an exciting and enjoyable shoot, as Sir David was someone I had always admired and respected. People often ask how I came to take the photograph in the first place and what it was like to meet Sir David.

Joe and The National Portrait Gallery Photographic Prize

It was a lovely, sunny day on Brighton seafront. I spotted Joe, taking his dog for a walk along the promenade past my flat. I thought he looked like a very cool and interesting character and Iasked if I could take some portraits of him. Joe was very happy for his portrait to be taken and gave me a few minutes of his time. We’ve kept in touch and maintained a positive connection over the years since the photograph was taken. I entered this portrait of ‘Joe’ into the prestigious Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, awarded annually by the National Portrait Gallery. The competition celebrates and promotes the very best in contemporary portrait photography. It was very exciting to be awarded first prize in the competition. I knew I’d been shortlisted but only found out that I’d won on the evening of the prize-giving.

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Prize-winning photographic portrait of Joe on Brighton seafront

Britain’s Greatest Living Cultural Icon

After winning the portrait prize, the National Portrait Gallery arranged a special opportunity for me, to take a photo of the winner of a public vote for ‘Britain’s Greatest Living Cultural Icon’. 10 British icons including the likes of David Bowie and Sir Paul McCartney were shortlisted. The public voted overwhelmingly for Sir David Attenborough, and I’m pleased to say that I also voted for him. Thankfully, he agreed to be photographed after the result of the poll was announced. On the day of the shoot, he was extremely polite and very generous with his time. He patiently allowed me to take several portraits against a couple of different backgrounds.
I’m incredibly proud of the final image and people respond well to it, recognising what I was trying to capture of Sir David’s character and legendary status. There was never any guarantee that the portrait would be accepted for the permanent collection at the National Portrait Gallery which makes me particularly proud that it was sufficiently well-received to be accepted, ensuring a great ongoing legacy for my work.

Sir David Attenborough awarded Knight Grand Cross

Sir David Attenborough needs no introduction, enjoying a very distinguished broadcasting career, spanning the last 60 years when he
first joined the BBC.

Best known for writing and presenting his many acclaimed television documentaries exploring the natural world, including Life on Earth, The Living Planet, and The Blue Planet, he received his first knighthood in 1985 from the Queen.
In recent news, Sir David, now 96 years old, received a ‘second’ knighthood, the even more prestigious Knight Grand Cross from Prince Charles. Attenborough is one of only 120 people with this honour, which was awarded for his services to television broadcasting and
conservation. Let me end with some final words from Sir David himself, “I just wish the world was twice as big and half of it was still unexplored”.

Click here if you’d like to read more about Attenborough and his career, and more of my portrait photography can be seen here. Signed, archival-quality prints of the portrait can be purchased here.

Sill life photography: Bespoke shoemakers John Lobb showcase their 170-year history with inspirational wooden last photographs

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Filed under Editorial Photography, Fine Art Photography, London, Product Photography

For over 170 years, John Lobb have been hand crafting bespoke, exquisite, and elegant footwear and leather goods. The world-renowned family-run business spans five generations, receiving its first Royal Warrant in 1863. The firm still produces unique and bespoke handmade shoes to this day one pair at a time. Today, they’re loved for what they’ve always stood for: the celebration of the unique and the original.

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At the heart of their process is a pair of unique hand-carved, sculpted wooden lasts, custom-made to the precise form of the customer’s feet. If you walk into their shop for some custom shoes, their master craftsman will draw around your feet to produce the wooden last. They can then continue making shoes to your exact specification using this bespoke last.
Every pair of shoes produced for a customer of John Lobb goes through a 50 hour, 190 step process. Their experienced fitters will discuss the endless possibilities that only truly bespoke footwear can provide. Every single element is carefully considered, resulting in a creation that is truly unique.

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Not only are these wooden lasts beautiful sculptural objects in their own right lending themselves perfectly as the focus for still life photography, but they are also historical artifacts of a unique and fascinating legacy. Since 1849, John Lobb has nurtured an impressive range of famous clients over the years from royalty to household celebrities.
I first became aware of the collection of lasts from their historically significant customers whilst on a shoot for a magazine. I thought that the lasts would make a great subject for a photographic project and approached the owners of John Lobb to ask if I could begin photographing them. I was consequently granted exclusive access to shoot the collection of famous people’s wooden lasts.

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Corporate portrait photography in London for Numis Investment Bank and The Brunswick Group

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Filed under Corporate Photography, Corporate Portraiture, Environmental Portrait, headshots, Location, London

In September of 2021, I was commissioned by the creative agency The Brunswick Group to take corporate portraits of key members of staff at the investment bank Numis. The images were produced over a two-day shoot in various locations in their London offices. Each portrait required the location to be scouted and compositions discussed in advance with an art director from The Brunswick Group.

Numis is an innovative and dynamic investment bank with offices in New York and London. They’re proud to have the largest client base by number of corporates in the United Kingdom, and through combining their leading component services such as equity sales, M&A solutions, and trading and debt advisory, they operate at the forefront of the industry.

More of my corporate portraiture can be seen here.

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Studio furniture photography of the CROP outdoor seating range for Allermuir

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Filed under Advertising, Editorial Photography, Furniture Photography, Product Photography, Studio Photography

The CROP range of outdoor furniture was designed for Allermuir by Benjamin Hubert of Layer. The design was named after the rolling fields of crops in the British countryside; represented in the parallel lines in the chair’s designs. The range is distinguished by its stackable steel rod frame, with robot-welded wires forming the seat and backrests. The line took 12 months to develop and comes in the wake of a challenging year.

“This connection with the natural world allows the collection to sit sensitively in an outdoor context, relating each piece to its surroundings through a shared visual rhythm,” explains Allermuir. “This relationship between the product and the great outdoors is enhanced by the dynamic interplay of light and shadow produced as the sun moves across the linear graphic structure.”

It was a privilege to be asked to produce a range of new photographs for Allermuir to capture the originality and elegance of the furniture. I carried out the studio product photography in the summer of 2021, and the well-received images have been used for a huge range of editorial applications. The images ranged from still life product photography of the chairs, as well as some photographs that were more lifestyle in nature. More of my product and furniture photography can be seen here.

Art directors: Abigayle Clayton-Grimshaw, Matt Ousby, Katie Anderson and Andy Barker.
Assistant: Scott Hobson-Jones

 

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Studio furniture photography of Circo chair and Play Storage for The Senator Group

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Filed under Advertising, Advertising Photography, Commercial Photography, Editorial Photography, Furniture Photography, Product Photography, Studio Furniture Photography, Studio Photography

It’s always a pleasure to be commissioned as a product photographer to produce original images of new and innovative designs. The Senator Group has an ethos of innovation underpinned by beauty; a concept that is clear and present in all of the designs that they offer. I was commissioned to take studio furniture photography of two new furniture designs for The Senator Group that included the Circo chair (designed by Justus Kolberg) and Play Storage (designed by Senator’s in-house team). The product photography produced had editorial and advertising potential that creatively expressed the qualities of the designs. More of my product and furniture photography can be seen here.

Art directors: Edward Jonson and Carla Birtwistle
Assistant: Scott Hobson-Jones

 

 

 

Lifestyle Photography for Wizzard Advertising Agency in London

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Filed under Advertising, Advertising Photography, Commercial Photography, Environmental Portrait, Lifestyle, lifestyle Photography, Location, Location Photography, London

I was recently commissioned as a lifestyle photographer by the London advertising agency Wizzard. The taxi company has taken the risks posed by Covid-19 very seriously and is taking significant measures to protect their customers in London. I was asked by Wizzard to source models for the lifestyle photography and suggest suitable locations in London. The models were then selected and the shoot was carried out in a relatively quiet square in Pimlico in London. Due to the prevalent risks posed by Covid-19 everyone on the shoot was observing social distancing and wearing PPE. More of my lifestyle photography can be seen here.

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Corporate Photography for Octopus Energy in London, Warwickshire and Brighton

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Filed under Corporate Photography, Corporate Portraiture, Environmental Portrait, Location, London

I was recently commissioned by Octopus Energy, a UK-based electricity and gas supplier specialising in sustainable energy. They were established in 2015 and have rapidly developed a reputation for excellent customer service and value for money. I was asked to photograph their staff members in London, Warwickshire and Brighton. The commission involved taking informal corporate photography of their team at work as well as posed corporate portraits. It was a great commission and I’m a big fan of Octopus Energy and their fantastic team.

More of my corporate photography can be found here.

 

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Corporate Portrait Photography for Derwent Annual Report Commissioned by Merchant Cantos

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Filed under Corporate Photography, Corporate Portraiture, Environmental Portrait, Location, Location Photography, London

I’ve been providing corporate portrait photography to the global communications agency Merchant Cantos since 2017 and it was a great pleasure to be selected for a commission to take portraits for the Derwent London 2019 Annual Report. Derwent London is a property investment and development business with its headquarters in London.  It was a significant project carried out over several days, producing group and single portraits of key members of staff. The group portraits were taken in a variety of different locations across London. Each portrait required the location to be scouted and compositions discussed in advance with art directors from Merchant Cantos. The project included group portraits taken in interiors of key Derwent London buildings, as well as exterior locations including building sites and rooftop spaces.

The portraits were deemed a great success and discussions have begun for commissioned imagery for the next Derwent London annual report.

More of my corporate portraits can be seen here.

 

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Portrait and Product Photographer for Burgundy Producer Olivier Bernstein

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Filed under Advertising, Editorial Photography, Environmental Portrait, Location, Publications, wine photography
As someone who loves a good glass of Burgundy, it was a pleasure to be commissioned as a product photographer to carry out a shoot for a wine producer in Beaune in the Burgundy region of France.
The photography was commissioned by the creative agency Anew and it was to produce images for the great wine producer Olivier Bernstein. The images were for website and editorial use, and included mostly product photography and some portrait photography.
Though it was a quick visit to Beaune, less than 24 hours, it was a productive shoot and the client was delighted with the results.
More of my still life product photography can be found here and more of my portrait photography can be found here.

 

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