My wife works for a small tech company (close to 40 employees with 5 being on a different continent and another handful working remotely from home) and their website has outdated, low-quality headshots of the management team that needed updating. I agreed to shoot 2 of them for her, one of which was a personal friend of hers and the other was her boss who was a new-hire. I thought it would be a good experience for me. I used a bank of windows in their break room for light along with an off-camera flash bounced off the ceiling for fill. They loved what I did but I didn't care for the flat lighting. I also spent a ton of time editing because the light wasn't great. Oh well, it was a learning experience.
Fast forward several months and those two headshots had joined the rest of the headshots on their website and stood out like a sore thumb (in a good way) and it was time for her company's annual meeting where they fly in all the employees to the HQ and have a series of meetings and events for a week. My wife sent me a message while at work one day asking if I would be willing to do it again for the remaining executives (which would be 6 more people). The last time it took me about an hour and a half to do the other two plus a ridiculous amount of time editing (I was trying to learn Capture One so that was a big part of it) and I really wasn't looking forward to spending 3x that amount of time taking free pictures so I started to balk at the idea. My wife expressed serious disappointment that I wouldn't do this for her (she IS the HR department in her company and her boss was counting on her and neither of them really understand that good pictures aren't easy) and to help her out, I agreed to do it - but I explained that between shooting and editing, she was asking for NUMEROUS hours of my time for free. I even found a couple of local corporate headshot photographers online and sent her links to their websites with pricing showing that in general, they were charging about $100 per headshot so she was asking for $600 of free work from me. Between the time she asked me and I agreed, the entire sales team was lumped into the shoot so the headcount ballooned to 19 people!
So, I set out to learn more about corporate headshots as I had about a month's worth of time. I watched a ton of videos, checked out a lot of forum posts, and looked into a off-camera flash FB group as well. I ended up buying 3 of the newest Yongnuo 600EX RT-II flashes (clones of Canon's 600EXII RT flashes - of which I own 2 already) and an Apollo Orb (43" flash modifier) as well as a triple hotshoe bracket to go inside the orb. I also already owned several MagMod modifiers including the Mag Grid. Finally, I also owned a reflector which I dusted off and figured out how to use seeing as how I basically had never used it before.
After a lot of videos, forum posts, and a lot of "selfies" (thank goodness for wifi enabled cameras!) I felt confident going into the shoot. Here are a couple of BTS pictures I took with my phone...
Can never be too prepared, IMO... lol
I moved all the furniture out of the room and took it over This is a little area with a TV (which you can see behind the stack of tables [one upright with another on it's side on top of it] I used for the background - this was to keep a consistent look with the other headshots I took and was a spur-of-the-moment decision that day I took the first two), two couches, and a couple of chairs. Tech companies have it SO easy!
Flash settings. Group A was a single flash, double gridded (with MagMod grid) in the back right of the photo above. Group B was the 3 Yongnuo flashes inside the Apollo Orb which was also gridded because when ungridded it was heavily spilling onto my table-background.
Camera settings - the entire shoot was done in Live View on the 5Ds with the EF 135mm f/2L
And a couple of images that I'd happily accept feedback on!
Thanks for any feedback you're willing to offer!
EDIT: I forgot to mention - because of the consistent, high quality lighting and setup, I was able to VERY quickly tackle this project as well as the post processing. I had originally allotted 6 hours to take all 19 headshots but only needed about 2.5 and much of that was waiting for people who were told their picture would be early to mid-afternoon but ended up being in the morning, so they needed to get ready (everyone who works there walks around in casual clothes with little-to-no make-up). Post processing was me working on one image in LR and then copying the edits to every other image, then going back and doing skin retouching and any other minor tweaks. So, in total I probably spent 8 hours on the entire project. And got paid... nothing. But, my wife looks like a superstar in her company which definitely carries a LOT of value.