headshot of woman against patterned background

Over the 18 years I’ve been a professional photographer I’ve realised that the ‘professional’ part of the job title means a lot of different things. One of them, and one of the most important meanings, is the ability to be flexible and adapt to circumstances and situations. Let me give you an example.

I was hired recently to shoot some new headshots for a company as they were updating their website. That’s something that I get asked to do a lot. So, I turned up at the offices at the agreed time with my usual kit. I’ve a bag containing lighting gear, a smaller bag containing a couple of cameras and a range of lenses, and a folding backdrop. Black on one side, white on the other, it’s a standard bit of kit for portrait photographers. Because a headshot is all about the person, you don’t want a distracting background, and often offices are too cluttered to achieve this in shots. In photographic terms it also offers flexibility – by controlling the light you can make a white background anywhere between pure white and dark grey. Perhaps one day I’ll write a post about how to do that.

I was shown into the boardroom to set up (that’s fairly standard – it’s a big enough space and often free for a lot of the working day). And the first thing that struck me was the pattern on one of the walls. A geometric white pattern on a pale grey background. It looked fantastic, and I thought it would make a great background. However, it needed to match what the client wanted … which was shots to populate a new website. Fortunately, this was a plain white page, so all was good; the pattern would help the portraits to stand out on the page. And that’s an important point – the shots aren’t for me, they’re for the client. So they need to do what the client wants them for. My job is to give them the best version of what they want.

Now, that’s a pretty simple example, but it illustrates my point. I arrived expecting to have to use my plain background – as I have to in most cases. Being professional involves turning up with a plan in mind. But that ability to be flexible means I can adapt to opportunities when they arise. Like in this situation. And that’s what ‘professional’ means as a photographer – being able to adapt to situations and circumstances that you’re not expecting, and to make the best photos possible. Sometimes that might be by overcoming a problem or, as here, by grabbing an opportunity to do something different and better than you had originally envisaged.

business portrait of man in suit and tie
business headshot of woman wearing glasses
business portrait of man in open necked shirt
business portrait of woman against patterned background

(If you’d like to see the actual ‘About Us’ page follow this link. And a big shout out and thank you to Oakwood Valuation Surveyors for asking me to take their portraits.)

If you’d like a quotation for professional photography, it’s easy. Just fill in the contact form or give me a call on 07766 815703 to provide a few details of what you want. I’m happy to talk about the project, ask any questions and give you a price.