I believe that one of the hallmarks of a professional is the ability to predict potential difficulties and take steps beforehand to nullify them and make the assignment flow as smoothly as possible.
I’ve already mentioned that a planning meeting on location forms part of every job I do away from the studio. Aside from allowing me to make a good first impression and build rapport with my liaison within the business, it also allows me talk through some of the potential difficulties and suggest solutions.
One of the common problems that exists with this form of headshot photography is that there are times people being photographed who have no interest in working towards a professional outcome: they are not paying for the photographs and having to take time out to take direction from a photographer is the last thing they want to do at work.
Creating an enjoyable atmosphere makes a huge difference, as does providing advice on preparing for being photographed.
The decision for this client was to schedule the session for a Friday afternoon, close the office early and end the day (after the shoot) with a catered get-together.
It worked perfectly – the vibe in the office was festive and the shoot was quite a lot of fun. In retrospect I had nothing to fear, as the people I worked with stand out as some of the most gregarious and happy professionals I have ever photographed.
I got great feedback on the preparatory advice I had sent for distribution (which I share with every client before the shoot) and the images were very positively received.