Chicago Portrait Photographer / What it takes to shoot Editorial work

Chicago Portrait Photographer
What it takes to shoot Editorial Work
Hello there  I am Shawn Kinney a Portrait/Fitness photographer based out of Chicago Il. I am here to discuss briefly on what it takes to shoot editorial work on location. First and most important you must have a complete understanding of what the client is asking for.
Do they want just a headshot, or do they want a full body shot, how much the environment do they want incorporated and what feeling/mode are they looking for. In order to gather the information needed to create a successful photograph. I normally ask for the Who (who I am I shooting), What (what do they do), Why(why are the being photographed), Where (location and how much does the client want the location to influence the photo) and How (how much TIME do I have with the subject) which in my opinion is the most critical thing to understand. Often times the subject has a very busy schedule and feels they have much more important things to do then get their photo taken. I have had anywhere from 10 minutes to up to an hour so you must be prepared to get what you need in the allowed time.
Upon getting the assignment I typically google the subject. This normally will give you some insight on who you are dealing and in most cases will give the information needed to find some common ground or maybe some of their personal interest. Trust me when I say this they talk business all day every day and if you can find something they are interested outside of the office it will go a long way to getting a genuine photo.
Prior to arriving on location I ask the subject(or their point of contact) if they have a favorite location or an area of the building they are most proud. Then once I arrive I scout the location and look for 2 set-up possibilities. You can get 2 well done photos with just 10 minutes of subjects time if you prepare properly.  The images below were of Doug Dixon The General Manager of the Pacific Fisherman Shipyard.
Chicago Portrait Photographer

 

Chicago Portrait Photographer
Another thing I find usual is to use minimal equipment. The less lighting equipment you set-up the less intimidating it is to the subject.
Chicago Portrait Photographer

 

Chicago Portrait Photographer
The two photos above are of Kimberly Harris the President and CEO of Puget Sound Energy
The two photos below are of Jeff Roe The President and CEO of Premera Blue Cross
Chicago Portrait Photographer

 

Chicago Portrait Photographer
And last but not least the two photos below are of Ana Mari Cauce The interim President at the University of Washington. She preferred to be seated so I just gave the client two variations of her seated.
Chicago Portrait Photographer

 

Chicago Portrait Photographer
below are a couple of examples of test lighting and compositing so the set is ready for the subject to step in once they arrive. I generally get on location at least 30 minutes and up to an hour prior to shooting time.

 

All the photos were shot with the minimal equipment. Most with one strobe and never more then two strobes. The rest of my work can be viewed at Chicago Portrait Photographer.
Thanks for reading

Author: shawn@shawnkinney.com

The Short: I am commercial portrait photographer, a native Chicagoan and an avid dog lover. When not behind the camera, you can me find out creating new experiences with my fiancé Renea and our Border Collie Cooper.

The Long: After working construction for nearly 10 years, I felt I needed more, so I left Chicago in 2000 to explore the West Coast. I spent a decade in the Nevada Desert and four years in the Pacific Northwest discovering a love for photography while roaming breath taking sand dunes and scaling mountain ranges. That love is now my passion.

I’ve finally come back home to Chicago and my Cubs, but I carry with me experiences that have shaped me into the person and photographer that I am today. I met many wonderful and amazing people during my travels, some of whom I love to call friends and my journey has allowed me to connect with people on every level, adapt to any situation.

“Your ability to thrive in any environment and any situation rests not primarily on what you do, but who you are as a person, an individual; a human being”.

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