The team at Piranha Photography are always busy on a variety of commissions in London and across the UK as well as abroad. This blog is an ideal way to keep our clients both old and new up to date with our business photography and corporate video work.
Photography Project – Teenage Life During Covid-19 LockdownPosted in Tips and News from Piranha, Oxford
Covid-19 Lockdown Photography Project
During the Covid-19 Lockdown I have started a photography project – photographing teenage life. At this time the children are unable to attend school and only allowed to leave the house for exercise once a day.
Lack of routine can be challenging at these times. There will be an extended period of adjustment to this new and uncertain world pandemic. Normally the kids are untroubled by world news, but at the moment there seems to be a low level of constant anxiety as the BBC news is directly affecting the whole family for the first time. This can manifest in different ways, perhaps losing temper or seeking parent company more often.
Everyday activities have assumed a greater significance and I have set myself the challenge of using my Leica cameras to take an interesting and different photograph each day to try and show this. I expect the kids will remember this period for the rest of their lives.
As a photographer for over 20 years the challenge is to consider what to photograph and when and keep the project style consistent. I want to capture what under normal circumstances would be a trivial subject and elevate it to this new significance.
Leica LFI International have been featuring my images on their #stayhome page.
Everyday activities have assumed a greater significance and I have set myself the challenge of taking a creative and different photograph each day to try and show this. - Douglas Fry Photographer
Portrait Photography – Shooting In The Great OutdoorsPosted in Corporate Portrait Photography, Outdoor Portraits, Tips and News from Piranha
Shooting in the great outdoors
Head and shoulders portrait photography of a senior executive shot against a plain grey or white background are always going to be essential for corporate press and marketing materials.
But don’t forget that for other occasions when your business needs to stand out, these standard Recent portrait photography by Piranha might not be powerful enough to grab your audience’s attention or make them think.
Contrast this with outdoor portrait photography by Piranha location shots, which when taken professionally, are naturally thought provoking while also providing greater context about the business.
As fashions change, we’ve found clients want their corporate imagery to be fresh and exciting and not me-too and tired. All of which is helping me persuade more and more clients to spare me around 10 minutes of their time to be photographed in the great outdoors.
Take it as read I’ll have scouted suitable locations near to their workplace before the shoot. Then armed with little more than a large reflector and Leica’s fast lenses, I can guarantee a set of portraits in under 10 minutes that are the opposite of business as usual.
If you look at the examples below from recent shoots, you’ll see they look more interesting than a standard corporate headshot.
Outdoor location shots, when taken professionally, are naturally thought provoking while also providing greater context about the business. - Douglas, Photographer
LinkedIn Portraits for Private Equity ClientPosted in Private Equity Company Photography, LinkedIn
LinkedIn portraits can be extremely useful for marketing. Good to see one of our photographs being used to accompany a LinkedIn post this week.
Congratulations to Inflexion on their 20th anniversary – A private equity company I have been working with for many years now, the corporate photography has changed and developed over the years, leaving behind the more formal look, and progressing to the contemporary approachable identity seen today on the new website. The brief from the design agency was to capture the personality of the subject, shown within the context of their new Marylebone offices. This required soft lighting from a large Elinchrom flash to light the subject but allow the ambient light either from the windows or even the rooms beyond to be on a parity. The depth of field was to be shallow too, so that the background was distracting in the image, I used my Leica Noctilux which has exceptional properties not least its fast aperture for that signature look. As always time with each person is limited but everything is set up prior to the subject arriving with test shoots and client approval, this means the time with the busy director etc is as efficient as possible.
and another one here –
Board Photographer for Sainsbury’s Annual ReportPosted in Board Photography, Individual Board Photographs, Corporate Portrait Photography, Location / Annual Report Photography
Piranha Photography was asked to arrange the board photographer for Sainsbury’s annual report. The board photographs for Sainsbury’s were taken at the company’s head office in Holborn, London and featured in the annual report and on the website.
A big soft box was required to balance the ambient light and the flash, to give a more natural look. A shallow depth of field was chosen to give a sense of location without distracting from the subject.
The website of images Piranha Photography provided to Sainsbury’s offered a wide selection of portraits from which the Board members could choose their favourite photographs to appear in the final annual report and on the company website.
Annual Report 2019
Below you can see a few of the Board of Director’s photographs taken by Piranha and featured in this year’s printed and online annual report –
Barristers Chambers – New Portrait Photography for WebsitePosted in Corporate Portrait Photography, Law Firm Photography, Websites
Piranha took new portrait photography for the barristers chambers 2 Harcourt Buildings as they needed all new photographs of their barristers for their new website.
The idea was to show the people within the context of their newly refurbished chambers, to look approachable and a safe pair of hands for their criminal law client base.
The website has a contemporary feel to it and the photographs were toned and cropped to differentiate the chambers from other practices in this busy area of legal work.
Photography of Consultants for WebsitePosted in Corporate Portrait Photography, Outdoor Portraits, Communications Company
Below are screen grabs to show Piranha’s photographs on Eden McCallum’s website. The company are a global firm and provide consultants and expertise to client’s on a project basis. Each person’s portrait was taken in two styles, one as head and shoulders portraits against a grey background and another as an ‘environmental portrait’ within the office or alternatively outside in the surrounding London streets. You can see some of the final selected images in situ below –
New Website for PR Company – All New PhotographsPosted in Corporate Portrait Photography, Websites
Piranha was asked to photograph all the London staff members for the company’s new website, as well as environmental images to illustrate the different areas of the business. The theme for the portraits, decided on by the design agency, was to use glass to generate interesting and varied reflections.
The photography took place over a number of days and provided a wide choice of pictures. Piranha also coordinated the photography across the world, briefing the different photographers, to ensure that the staff photography from all the other countries operated in by the business followed the brief and that the final images had the same look and feel –
Headshot photography for Barristers ChambersPosted in Head Shots, Law Firm Photography
The below headshot photography was taken for a London barristers chambers. The chambers commissions regular photo shoots, their images are taken against a plain background for simplicity and then subsequently ‘cut out’ in Photoshop and placed on approved and blurred office backgrounds. The lighting and shadows on the subjects are part of the design brief and specified by the web design agency.
Portrait Photography of Clowns International, Grimaldi Church Service in LondonPosted in Tips and News from Piranha
Each year there is a service at All Saints Church in Haggerston, East London, for the Grimaldi Service, all organised through Clowns International.
Joseph Grimaldi 1778-1837 is credited with founding the modern idea of the clown in England. Members of the public are encouraged to attend but the central pews are left for the clowns.
I thought I would get to the church early and set up a tight portrait space, with studio lighting and black background to make the clowns colourful costumes and faces stand out. I am pleased with the results and the uncluttered look of the images, which I feel focuses more on the personality of the clowns. By the time the service started the church was absolutely packed, so I had to work fast to capture as many images as possible.
One of the most interesting aspects of the day was to have an opportunity for several conversations with the clowns themselves, and to hear about their personal life stories, and what had brought them to clowning.
I used a Leica M240, 35mm Summilux and Elinchrom flash (with an Octa softbox). I have offered the portraits to the clowns for their own web pages.
One of the most interesting aspects of the day was to have an opportunity for several conversations with the clowns themselves - Douglas, photographer
NEWS FLASH – Location Photography – Photographic innovation and imagination for familiar shootsPosted in Tips and News from Piranha
Familiar shoots demand photographic innovation and imagination
At the turn of the 20th Century, the modernist movement in art and literature coined its famous dictum: ‘Make it New.’
‘Making it New’ addressed the challenge of looking at familiar objects or landscapes as if through fresh eyes, trying to recapture the essence of seeing something for the first time.
It’s a challenge every photographer faces when trying to bring something new to familiar territory such as boardroom shoots when the only things that appear to have changed since the last one is that the directors are a little older or new directors have joined.
But with imagination and photographic technical know-how, it is still possible to Make it New for any professional photographer who relishes a challenge.
How so? First, familiar settings offer opportunities to apply different photographic techniques, such as new compositions or framing. Then there’s the chance to use different styles such as reportage photography. This can be combined with more formal shots of meetings in progress, or with classic single headshots or group shots. Each client’s needs will be different. Lastly, lighting can also be varied, from flash to natural, or from high to low contrast. There are many ways at our disposal to freshen things up.
Technically, things are always changing too, and I’m working with new lenses and Leica camera bodies. And then there’s image processing, with the continuing improvements made to software like Lightroom and Capture 1 that give many more options to create distinctive styles that are fresh and contemporary.
I bring the same approach to my non-commercial work. I’ve been photographing the beach huts on Portland Bill in Dorset for nearly 30 years, and have pleasure in attaching one picture that was recently featured by the BBC
The huts offer huge photographic potential in all weathers, with the light constantly changing on the tip of Portland depending on the seasons, sea spray and time of day. In other words, the scenes are always new even though they are familiar.
When I first began taking pictures of the seaside huts I used my film cameras – Leica M6’s and Fuji Velvia film. I have now progressed to Leica M10’s framing the huts on the same lens – 50mm Summilux.
If you think your board pictures or other corporate photography could do with some fresh thinking and a little inspiration, please get in touch. It’s always possible to Make it New for the New Year ahead.
When I first began taking pictures of the seaside huts I used my film cameras - Leica M6’s and Fuji Velvia film. I have now progressed to Leica M10’s framing the huts on the same lens - 50mm Summilux - Douglas, Photographer
Boardroom Ethnic Diversity – You can’t be what you can’t seePosted in Board Photography, Tips and News from Piranha
February 2020 – update to the below boardroom research into Ethnic Diversity carried out by Piranha Photography –
Here is the link to the news article on the BBC talking about boardroom ethinic diversity –
It seems since the survey carried out by Piranha Photography in 2018 nothing much has change in the boardroom
The Parker report also found even lower representation at board level across FTSE 250 companies, where 119 out of 173 (69%) had no ethnic diversity.
Original Research by Piranha Photography into Boardroom Ethnic Diversity in 2018 –
One of the pleasures of my work is being able to visit companies on their premises during photo-shoots. You learn a lot when inside the citadel.
One thing I notice is that there’s often a big difference between the ethnic diversity of their workforces and that of the board of directors when it comes to the largest companies.
In short, at large companies their workforces are generally multicultural, reflecting the ethnic diversity of modern Britain.
But the boardrooms are not. I see very few directors from black or minority ethnic backgrounds sitting on big company boards.
As a photographer, I know how important images are to corporate story telling. If you see pictures of someone from a BAME background filling the most senior company roles, it sends a strongly encouraging message to others who aspire to reach the top of these organisations. It also demonstrates there are no barriers to anyone rising through the ranks regardless of their background.
But my experience is one thing, but is this true of the other large UK companies I’ve never stepped a foot inside of?
To test my theories about the lack of board room diversity, Piranha analysed the latest annual reports of each of the FTSE 100 companies counting the numbers of photographs showing BAME board directors.
Our simple but effective way of measuring a board’s composition found that over half of the main boards (56 boards) have no directors that appear to be from Black or Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.
Moreover, out of the rest of the FTSE 100 companies with BAME directors on their main boards, 33 companies had just a single director from an apparently BAME background.
Only one FTSE 100 company, Dubai-based healthcare group NMC Health PLC), had BAME directors in the majority (6 out of 11 directors) are non-white.
We also looked at women board directors. The good news is that none of the FTSE 100 boards comprised male only directors. The bad news is just one board – Royal Dutch Shell’s – reached parity of the sexes with equal representation of male and female directors.
In wrapping up, while we wait for boards to boost their numbers of women and BAME directors, we can at least ensure corporate images of staff are ethnically diverse where possible, because it’s not difficult to achieve, as long as the people commissioning the photographs are wise to the issue.
I think your photographs are fantastic and there are some group shots in particular that capture a moment so perfectly and look so natural, I think they are brilliant. - Design Manager, Equistone Partners Europe Limited
Group Photograph of Communications Team for WebsitePosted in Communications Company, Group Photograph of Board Members, Head Shots, Websites
Piranha was commissioned to take a group photograph of the team at Farrer and Kane communications agency’s website. This was to include all staff members. We arranged a central London studio where the photography could take place, then set up a backdrop and lighting. The brief was to create a fun shot of everyone together, and for it to be lively and reflect the atmosphere of the office. Afterwards the selected digital image was provided in black and white to be used on the about us page of the company website.
On the day we also took individual corporate portrait photographs that could be used to accompany staff biographies, and be used in other marketing materials.
LinkedIn Recommendation –
I was really impressed by Douglas's professionalism, creativity and approach - as well as the photographic outputs! His work is really outstanding and he's great fun to work with. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him. - Client
Team Photography for Brochet, in New Andover OfficesPosted in Corporate Portrait Photography, Websites
Great to have the opportunity to take the team photography of the Brochet in their new corporate offices near Andover.
The brief was to capture the team at work in a documentary style, so that disruption was kept to a minimum, but with a little guidance from the photographer, the best shots could be achieved in the time frame. It’s important to photograph staff actively engaged in their day to day work to produce more active and attractive images, which then look more believable for a website.
For this photography I used a very fast 50mm lens to allow the ambient light to be retained and keep the subject sharp and in focus with the background rendered softly out. Using the mood board and brief from the design agency, I ensured the reportage look throughout the day was consistent and that the photography would fit the style of the new website.
We now have a professional set of images we can use in any client-facing materials. - Client
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year for 2019Posted in Tips and News from Piranha
To contact – Helen and Douglas House
Law Firm Photographer for Graduate Recruitment BrochuresPosted in Law Firm Photography, Websites
Piranha Photography was the law firm photographer commissioned by the law firm Cooley in London to take their graduate recruitment brochure photography. Young lawyers were asked to appear in the photographs, and you can see below some of the images for the law firm Cooley’s UK office in 2018 and 2019.
Photography by Piranha in 2018 Brochure –