MKB Law are a multi discipline law company based on Great Victoria street right in the middle of Belfast. I met one of the partners at a Belfast City Council networking event back at the start of the year. During a speed networking session i talked briefly with Shaun about the services i offer, company head shots being one of those services. It made sense that a Belfast law firm would use some one like me, a Belfast photographer. Shaun mentioned that MKB Law were going through a company wide rebrand and that they would be looking for new head shots. One of the other partners from MKB Law was also there that evening. We talked together after the event was over about basic needs. Several weeks later Shaun got back in touch and we started talking about the finer details and exact requirements.
The new website was going to be black and white with splashes of colour. Shaun talked about how he hated the standard headshot of people looking glum and uncomfortable. He said he wanted the team to look happy but most importantly approachable in the images displayed on the site. I said, “sure no problem, thats easy!” Shaun also mentioned he wanted an element of consistency with the photos.
We finally sorted a date and i started thinking about the images that would work best with the site. After seeing the basic design of the new site and comparing it with the older webpage i decided that less would be more. I talked to the partners in a group meeting about hi-key photography. This is the act of (usually) photographing the subjects against a white or plain coloured background. For this type of photography i would usually place two lights towards a white background and place two lights in front of the subject. Check out the diagram below.
This is a fairly typical hi-key set up. Two speed lights placed behind the subject but out of frame and two speed lights to the front. The two speed lights at the rear were fitted with covered umbrellas to make sure all the bounced light would fill the paper back drop, thus making it almost pure white. The two speed lights to the front were fitted with an umbrella to the right of me and a softbox to the left, it would be the primary light source on the subject. With this set up the white background is “blown out” and the subject is evenly lit. It terms of post processing i had to pay close attention to the black and white adjustments. I converted the images in to black and white then adjusted each colour channel of the black and white image until i got something that was fairly contrasty and punchy looking. All the head shots were taken with a Nikon D3s and a 70-200mm VR lens.
I was initially worried that i wouldn’t get all the people in MKB Law photographed in one go on the same day due to complicated scheduling issues but thankfully with a lot of help from David we managed to get every one shot in one morning.