Understanding the Scope of the Assignment
Being a business portrait photographer is a good niche to add to any professional photographer's bag of tricks. Although it can be a bit repetitious, it can also be rewarding and challenging. Business portrait photography jobs can be as simple as a single executive headshot for a business article to portraits of everyone in the company for an annual report.
The main thing a business portrait photographer needs to do up front is the same as for any other contract job. One needs to make sure that the exact requirements and deliverables are agreed on up front, put in writing and signed off on by all relevant parties. For example, the job calls for taking 80 portraits to go in an annual report. Are all portraits to be taken in one location with common lighting and background or in everyone’s individual office or cubical? This detail means the difference between a two day job and a two week job.
Before the job can be scoped out and a contract written, the photographer needs to tour the location and see where the shots will be taken. Ideally, they would take along a camera with a standard lens and fire off a few shots at each location, just to get a feel for the ambient lighting they will be working with or around.
This is also a good time to discuss the timing and availability of the subject or subjects. If it is a handful of executives, when can they make themselves available? If it is a large group coming to a central location, how quickly can they be brought in? A group of executives can’t be expected to line up outside the door like high school students getting an annual picture, but the photographer can’t be expected to stand around all day waiting for the next subject. Ten minutes is a good gap between subjects if it can be arranged.