Corporate Portrait for Ernst & Young Executive

By Douglas Gritz

Denver Photographer

This week I got a call from Ernst and Young to create a last minute corporate portrait of one of their Denver-based executives. It needed to happen at their Denver office. Was I available? Absolutely!

A lot of my work comes with very little advance notice. It comes with the territory. So I packed up my photography gear and headed to downtown Denver.

Ernst and Young has their Denver office in a high-rise on 17th street. My contact, who works in an Ernst and Young office in another city, gave me explicit instructions to not shoot the photograph in a conference room. I had no problem with that — conference room photos are boring and have been done to death!

However, that leaves few other areas available around an office. The lobby area is my usual go-to first. Unlike conference rooms, lobbies vary in look and appearance, which helps for creating unique portraits.

When I arrived on site I found that Ernst and Young occupies several floors of the high-rise they are in. None of the lobbies were big enough for creating a corporate portrait photograph. Great.

My on-site contact showed me a few alternatives, which were all small offices that were unoccupied. Those, unfortunately, were not going to work either.

What I did notice were the hallways. On one side of each floor the hallway was long with interesting color and architectural elements. I asked (pleaded!) if I could set up for the business portrait there. Length is always a great asset as it allows me to separate my subject from the background. That also allows me to make the background blurry, and with interesting architecture that can lead to a colorful and pleasing background.

Fortunately, they were OK with me using the hallway. I only had one person to photograph so it helped that I wasn’t going to be there long. And I did my best to “keep it simple” so I could move more quickly. I place one my LED lights directly above the eyes of the subject and shot underneath it with a telephoto lens. I placed a second LED camera right behind the subject to give her an edge light, which helps separate her from the background. Next I dropped an Arri 650 light in the background below frame and directed it on the painting you see in the top right corner.

woman with brown hair and camel colored sweater poses for a portrait at Denver's Ernst and Young office

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *