Richard Boll

Category Archives: Location Photography

Derwent London commission corporate team portraits for Annual Report

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

Derwent London Plc

Group corporate portraiture by Richard Boll Photography commissioned by Derwent London.

Derwent London’s ethos has always been distinctive and design-led. From modest beginnings, they’ve grown steadily to own a portfolio of 5.4 million sq ft (507,200 sq m) of commercial real estate, (predominantly in Central London) valued at £5.2bn as at 30 June 2023.

Based on Savile Row, they are the largest London office-focused real estate investment trust (REIT). Recently named in the ‘Sunday Times Best Places to Work List 2023’ in the medium-sized organisation category, 91% of their employees said they were proud to work there. 88% enjoy their job and 86% felt they were employed in a well-run organisation.

I was recently commissioned to photograph several corporate team portraits, in and around three of their London-based commercial properties, for their 2022 Annual Report & Accounts.

Annual Report & Accounts 2022

The 2022 Annual Report published on their website, is the third Derwent London Annual Report that I’ve taken photographs for since 2019.

For the images in this report, I worked closely with an Art Director and together, we visited some of the recently completed properties in central London to find visually interesting with aesthetically strong compositions.

Corporate Group Portraits for Derwent London

Derwent requested group portraits of their various teams from the following departments:

  • Finance
  • Health and Safety
  • Leasing and Marketing
  • Valuation and Investment
  • Asset and Property Management
  • Development and Sustainability &
  • Building Management, Facilities, and H & S

A corporate portrait of four people taken for Derwent London by Richard Boll.

It was a logistical challenge to get this number of people lined up and available for the shoot requiring meticulous advance planning.

A group portrait taken in London for Derwent.

Group portraits are always interesting to photograph and come with their own set of challenges. Initially, the challenge is to scout for suitable locations which could be an elegant room or a grand reception area. The challenge then becomes how to compose and photograph numerous different people within that space to create an effective photograph.

Group corporate portrait taken for Derwent London Annual Report.

It’s important to ensure that everybody in the photograph is looking at the camera with their eyes open, which can be a challenge when you have a significant number of people to position and photograph. The whole process typically takes much longer than photographing an individual portrait or headshot.
The Derwent London employees are great people to work with and this is a corporate photography project that I always find really enjoyable.

Find out more about Derwent London by visiting their website and seeing other corporate portrait and lifestyle photography projects I’ve worked on.

UK Visual Artist Photographic Portraits 4 of 4: Gordon Cheung – contemporary multi-media artist who blurs the line between the virtual and reality

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Filed under Editorial Photography, Editorial Portrait, Environmental Portrait, Fine Art Photography, Gordon Cheung, Location Photography, London, Portrait Photography

UK Visual Artist Portrait Series

When I first developed an interest in photography and started learning about well-known artists and photographers, I appreciated seeing portraits of them taken by other photographers. A portrait can be an effective introduction into the life of an artist and can tell a visual story and open a window into that person’s world. I found it really intriguing and was curious about why that person had been photographed in a particular way. I’ve decided to continue this rich photography tradition, by shooting a photographic series of well-known visual artists currently working in the UK.

Gordon Cheung

The artist Gordon Cheung wearing a mask ready to spray paint a new picture. Portrait photo by Richard Boll of London.

The fourth set of images in this series features Gordon Cheung, a London-born contemporary, multi-media visual artist from Chinese parents. Cheung has developed an innovative approach to creating art, blurring virtual and actual reality and raising questions about what it means to be human in a capitalist society. Working with a variety of media including stock page listings, spray paint, acrylic, inkjet, and woodblock printing, he blends his art into dreamlike spaces of urban surreal worlds, using the topics of culture, mythology, religion, and politics.

The London-based artist Gordon Cheung facing toward a picture that he's about to start painting.

His work centers around financial market crashes, incorporating elements of the Financial Times into his art to make 3D sculptural pieces. Tulips crop up in most of his work as a symbol because ‘Tulip mania’ was reputed to be the first ever market crash in February 1637. Tulip mania was a period during the Dutch Golden Age when contract prices for some new and fashionable bulbs reached ridiculously high levels – a handful of tulips would have cost the same as a house nowadays.
Gordon has pioneered a now iconic digital glitch technique, involving taking an image, whether it’s a painting or a portrait, and altering the structure of the digital file, getting into the programming behind it. This process produces a really interesting aesthetic, dragging the lines down and blurring the virtual with reality.

The photographic concept

The original photographic concept for this series was to shoot four different elements of the visual artist: behind-the-scenes studio shots, finer details referencing their work, the artist working, and photographic portraits. As part of this project, I also wanted to introduce a collaboration and crossover element between the visual artist and myself and I asked Gordon if he would be prepared to digitally glitch a portrait that I’d taken of him. I’m keeping that particular portrait under wraps for now to reveal at a future exhibition of the visual artist series. I chose Cheung for this series as I find his work fascinating and unique, in particular how he incorporates financial elements and assesses financial institutions. I regularly shoot corporate portraiture for an investment bank and I’ve even noticed his work hanging on the walls of their offices.

A close-up detail photograph of an art work by the London artist Gordon Cheung.

It was great collaborating with Cheung on this project and it’s encouraging to see my imagery being extensively used on Gordon’s own website and in a newsletter produced by the Cristea Roberts Gallery, the worldwide representative for Cheung’s original prints.
Watch this space for the next visual artist in this series – Yarli Allison. Visual artists previously featured in this portrait series were Gavin Turk, Adam Chodzko and Jake Wood-Evans.

Discover more about Gordon Cheung and his work by visiting his website.

Six of My Favourite Corporate and Personal Photography Projects in 2022

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Filed under Corporate headshot photography London, Corporate Photography, Corporate Portraiture, headshots, Location Photography, London, Portrait Photography

When a new year starts, I like to look back on the year before and review photography projects that I’ve worked on. I’ve handpicked 6 of my favourite corporate and personal images from 2022, depicting a range of different photography styles, including corporate headshots, corporate products, corporate portraits and two portraits from my personal UK visual artist project series.

1. UK Visual Artist Portrait Series: Gavin Turk

A double portrait of the artist Gavin Turk in his London studio.

This portrait of Gavin Turk forms part of a personal project from my UK Visual Artist Portrait Series, inspired by his own work including the ‘Portrait of Something That I’ll Never Really See’ (1997). I love this double portraiture combination shot particularly in black and white, as I think it’s more graphically powerful giving a direct, punchier effect to the stripes on his shirt. Both of these elements also echo Turk’s previous work using combinations of double portraiture and stripes. What I like about portrait photography is quite often, an unexpected result can emerge either during the shoot or in post- production as in this case. There’s a need to be open to chance and not overly plan the end result.

2. Corporate Headshot Photography: Octopus Energy

Corporate photography for Octopus Energy, taken by Richard Boll in London.

Octopus Energy is one of my regular corporate photography clients and this image is from a series of shoots that involved photographing staff in 3 of their offices based in London, Manchester and Leicester. Working alongside an Art Director, we collaborated to produce a whole library of corporate headshots and lifestyle imagery. This shot shows a flavour of the natural, documentary ‘fly-on-the-wall’ photography style that I think suits the Octopus brand really well. What I like about this particular image is the employee looks very relaxed and is clearly having a real, natural conversation with a customer, oblivious to the fact that she’s being photographed.

3. Corporate Product Photography: Kin Chairs, designed by Pearson Lloyd for Allermuir

Kin chairs around a table in a studio, photographed for Allermuir by Richard Boll Photography.

Allemuir came up with the original design concept for this image. Taken in their Preston studio, I attached a camera onto a scaffolding tower looking down onto this range of Kin chairs. What I like about this shot is that it shows off the products in an interesting and visually intriguing way. There’s the play on colour of the chairs around the table and it was fun choosing the props to co-ordinate with the chair colours. Having to direct a model was an interesting aspect of the shoot, in order to get a good range of images that worked. I like this particular photo of the model reaching into the bowl as that worked well compositionally, as a focal point in the middle of the table.

4. UK Visual Artist Portrait Series: Adam Chodzko

The artist Adam Chodzko in a pond in Whitstable, Kent.

This portrait of Adam Chodzko, is another favourite image of mine from the UK visual artist portrait series. It was a particularly enjoyable shoot with a strong collaborative element to it. We discussed the images at some length beforehand with Adam letting me know what he thought would work and wouldn’t work. I like this particular image because it highlights the collaborative approach to the shoot, and echoes Chodzko’s love of water and use of crossovers between different spaces. The recording equipment he’s holding picked up both urban and rural sounds within the space and I plan to use the sound clip as part of the installation for a future exhibition.

5. Corporate Product Photography: John Lobb, Frank Sinatra’s Wooden Lasts

The wooden lasts of Frank Sinatra, carved by the London bootmaker John Lobb.

John Lobb is a bespoke, traditional shoemaker to celebrities and royalty alike. Central to their process is the creation of a pair of wooden lasts, shaped to the exact contours of the wearers feet. What started as a purely personal project, initiated by asking if I could photograph the wooden lasts, has now developed into a regular commission shooting images for John Lobb’s marketing and social media.
This photograph of Frank Sinatra’s wooden lasts is one of my favourite images from the project. It’s not just the fact that they belonged to Sinatra who was an icon that many people can connect with, but I love the fact that they’re well-worn with interesting textures that suggest that many shoes were made from this pair of wooden lasts. In a way, they speak of a history and a life well-lived.

6. Corporate Portrait Photography: Elrige, Master Last Maker at John Lobb

A portrait of Elrige, master lastmaker at John Lobb, London.

This was a commissioned portrait by John Lobb who requested photographs of their Last Makers. I’m particularly fond of this image of Elrige, Master Craftsman and Last Maker. He is a real character and I love the intensity of his stare in this photo. I also think this portrait captures the essence of the traditional establishment of John Lobb with its traditional working methods, where each wooden last is carved by hand.
Elrige may appear to be wielding a lethal weapon here, but the tool he’s holding is essential for last making and is known as a Last Knife. It’s used to get a block of wood down to the rough shape of the last. Afterwards, a surform, various grades of files and sand paper would be used to get the last down to its final shape and measure.

See more of my corporate portrait and corporate lifestyle photography projects taken on location in London and around the world.

UK Visual Artist Portraits 2 of 4: Adam Chodzko – Conceptual media artist, YBA and Saatchi 2007 ‘Sensation’ Exhibitor

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Filed under Artists, Editorial Photography, Editorial Portrait, Environmental Portrait, Fine Art Photography, Location Photography, Photography Award, Portrait Photography

UK Visual Artist Portrait Series

When I first became interested in photography and started learning about well-known artists and photographers I appreciated seeing portraits of them taken by other photographers. Initially, I might not have known who these people were, but an interesting portrait can tell a visual story and open a window into that person’s world. I found it really intriguing and was curious about why that person had been photographed in a particular way. I decided to continue this rich photographic tradition, by taking a series of photographs of well-known visual artists, currently working in the UK.

Adam Chodzko

The second set of images in this series features Adam Chodzko, a Kent-based, highly acclaimed conceptual artist working across a wide range of media, including video, installation, photography, and performance, and considered to be one of the Young British Artists (YBAs). The YBAs are a group of visual artists who are noted for shock tactics, the use of throwaway materials, and wild living. They attracted considerable media coverage and dominated British art during the ‘Cool Britannia’ scene of the 90s. Chodzko’s art relies on the viewer’s imagination and personal experience to create the meaning behind his work. Using elements of science fiction, he explores the space between documentary and fantasy, conceptualism, and surrealism. His art explores the interactions and possibilities of human behaviour by investigating the space of consciousness between how we are and what we might be.

Spotted by the art collector Charles Saatchi, he was invited to take part in ‘Sensation’, the highly controversial, contemporary art exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts (London) in 1997. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, this significant exhibition drew a lot of media attention at the time and showcased work by 42 different artists, including Gavin Turk, Damien Hirst, and Tracey Emin.

The photographic concept

This time, the approach was slightly different from the previous Gavin Turk shoot, in that Adam doesn’t work out of a traditional studio. I couldn’t take shots of him working in a studio, so we focused purely on portraits. Chodzko was really good at engaging with my ideas and very clear about what would suit him. I really enjoyed the collaborative elements of this project, born from a combination of both our ideas and an open, creative discussion, that generated the final images.

1. Collaboration, crossover, and a portrait prize

The idea I had for this portrait was Chodzko being in the countryside and somehow connected with water. He then took my idea and suggested wading around in a pond holding recording equipment, because that’s the sort of thing he might do for his work. An extra element of this shot was the sound clip of the space that was produced during the shoot. You not only hear countryside sounds like birds and mosquitoes, but as we were close to a road, you also hear cars, a car stereo and a dog barking. There’s an interesting crossover between the urban and rural spaces. I requested this sound clip from the artist as it might be suitable for an exhibition of these portraits in the future. I’m pleased to report that this image went on to win third prize in the Kuala Lumpur Portrait Awards and was exhibited in Malaysia and Japan. It was great to get this extra element of exposure for this portrait.

a photographic portrait of the conceptual artist adam chodzko in a pond copyright richard boll

2. Wasteland in the future?

This portrait was inspired by ‘A Hunting Scene’ (1992) by Canadian photographer Jeff Wall. Wall’s photo is of two men walking into a wasteland from a road and they’re both carrying guns. It’s an image that has always stuck in my mind and Adam said that it was a photograph that he’d always liked. Chodzko suggested we put an alternative spin on it. Instead of carrying guns or an axe, he tied white bedsheets together and dragged them around in this waste ground off a main road between a car park and scrubland. There’s a feeling of an in-between, non-space and I hope that it’s intriguing for the viewer in that what has happened in the image is ambiguous and is left up to the viewers’ imagination.

the artist adam chodzko dragging a white sheet in whitstable kent copyright richard boll

3. Whitstable in a (Wet)Suit

Another water-themed portrait was shot in the sea off the beach at Whitstable, where Chodzko lives and works. The idea surrounding this image was that the viewer can imagine that he’s just arrived on the beach and traveled from somewhere else, perhaps the strip of land that can be seen behind him across the water. Again, it’s left up to the viewer to imagine what the back story of this image might be.

a portrait of the artist adam chodzko in the sea in whitstable kent copyright richard boll

Watch this space for features on 2 more visual artists, currently working in the UK that I’ve also photographed, Gordon Cheung and Jake Wood-Evans. Future plans include an extensive exhibition of the complete UK Visual Artist Portrait Photography Series.

Discover more about Adam Chodzko and his work by visiting his website and reading about the controversial 1997 ‘Sensation’ exhibition.

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

corporate headshot photograph of individual by richard boll for the brunswick group

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.

corporate brand headshot portrait photography commissioned by octopus energy

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.

 

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.

Taxi driver with PPE mask photographed by London-based photographer Richard Boll

London lifestyle photo shoot of a model with a taxi.

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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.

 

Corporate portrait for Derwent annual report by London photographer Richard Boll

Group portrait for Derwent annual report by London photographer Richard Boll

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Global Lifestyle Advertising Photographer for Campaign for Emirates Airline in Dubai

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Filed under Advertising, Advertising Photography, Airlines, Commercial Photography, Editorial Photography, Global Advertising, Lifestyle, lifestyle Photography, Location, Location Photography

I had the wonderful opportunity to collaborate with the production agency xpogr in Dubai as a lifestyle advertising photographer for a new campaign for Emirates Airlines.

It was a five-day project, with one day for location scouting with the art director and producer, one day for a pre-production meeting to discuss and finalise all aspects of the lifestyle photography, followed by three days of photography in various locations around Dubai airport.
I flew from London to Dubai with Emirates who kindly provided me with a seat in business class. This was extremely comfortable, and the high level of service was exceptional!

The photographs for the advertising lifestyle campaign were taken in Emirate’s lounges throughout the airport, including the first-class lounge, the Cigar lounge, and various family-dedicated lounges, as well as their dedicated check-in desks, the Spa and the various Emirates dining areas. The campaign was hugely enjoyable and was deemed a great success. I very much look forward to working with xpogr as a lifestyle advertising photographer again soon.

More of my lifestyle photography can be seen here.

london-lifestyle-advertising-photography-for-eirates-airline-global-campaign

advertising-lifestyle-photograph-of-child-playing-a-computer-game

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London Chauffeur Service commissions Richard Boll as a Product and Lifestyle Photographer

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Filed under Advertising, Advertising Photography, Commercial Photography, Corporate Photography, Editorial Photography, Environmental Portrait, lifestyle Photography, Location, Location Photography, London

I was recently commissioned by Wheely as a product and lifestyle photographer to produce images for marketing, editorial use and social media. The commission involved a detailed recce of various locations in London prior to the shoot, and liaising with producers, stylists and models regarding the logistics and timings of the shoot.

The company Wheely has launched a luxury ride-hailing app, offering a chauffeur service in London. It is an online service for ordering luxury and executive rides, from licensed and carefully selected drivers. The Wheely chauffeurs all have tested knowledge of London geography and have several years of executive driving experience. The rides are paid for with a credit or debit card linked to a user’s account. The license has been approved in London until 2023.

More of my lifestyle photography can be seen here.

 

Driver-in-Wheely-Mercedes-in-London

Driver-with-mercedes-for-Wheely-chauffeur-service-in-London

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Location Lifestyle and Furniture Photographer for AXYL Range of Furniture in London

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Filed under Advertising, Commercial Photography, Editorial Photography, Editorial Portrait, Furniture Photography, Lifestyle, lifestyle Photography, Location, Location Photography, London, Product Photography, Publications, Studio Photography

The AXYL collection is a collaboration between Layer Design and the British furniture brand Allermuir. The range comprises of furniture pieces each fully made from reclaimed materials.
It is the first time the London-based designer has collaborated with Allermuir. I was commissioned as a studio furniture photographer and location lifestyle photographer in London in a joint commission from both Layer and Allermuir. Produced with editorial and advertising potential, the images have been published across various design industry platforms including Dezeen, Domus, Urdesign and Designboom.

The studio product photography for Layer was carried out at Holborn Studios in London.

To see more of my furniture photography click here.

 

AXYL-white-table-and-chairs-in-still-life-product-photography-studio

AXYL-chairs-in-London-product-photography-studio

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