I was approached by Sarah, having taken the portrait of her husband last year, to update her portrait. The portrait she was using for both social media and in-house at work was a crop of a larger image which she felt didn’t accurately reflect her. Additionally as the wider image had been taken socially there were locational elements in the background which were a distraction. The key use of the portrait was as a thumbnail on the internal office network where when on a conference call, if the camera or video feed was turned off, the portrait would be seen in lieu of the feed. Thus it was important to have a clean portrait on a white background that reflected Sarah Lambert today.
Prior to the session Sarah and I spoke at length about her former portrait and why it was no longer suitable for use. While she initially wanted an image taken locally to her in London including locational elements to help situate her when on international video calls, it became clear that the best option was in fact to take a more corporate portrait, against a clean white background, due to how the portrait would be used and seen. The portrait had to both reflect her personality and her role as a creative but also acknowledge the nature of Accenture and fit into the wider corporate space. My default setting is to generate an element of contrast with the position of the lighting and also to use a black v- flat to enhance shadow and blacks; not so in this instance where Sarah Lambert wanted an overall lighter tone.
Given the specific use of Sarah’s portrait the aim of the session was one shot with the lighting and equipment set up to ensure Sarah’s aims were fulfilled. With experience in the creative industry it was a privilege, and also more than slightly nerve racking, to be asked to take Sarah’s new portrait.