The Silly and the Serious: An Executive Portrait

A portrait by NYC executive portrait photographer, Kelly Williams

The snow has been falling here in NYC, and my goal is go out and take a few photos of the white stuff later today. In the meantime, I wanted to share with you some images from the executive portrait I did in Westchester last week.

Bridgham Barr Orthodontics, like every dental office you have ever been to, is not what I would call an ideal setting for a traditional portrait. There are chairs for clients, busy waiting areas, and lots of distracting things on the wall. And if you were thinking about finding a plain background to shoot against, then forget it. But then again, BBO is not a plain background-type of client. Indeed, BBO wanted photographic authenticity to illustrate the energy and personality of the office.

At first I tried a few test shots in various rooms of the office that had solid-colored walls with fewer distractions. The main problem in each case, however, was the lighting. Though I brought a lighting kit with me, because of the low ceiling these specific spots in the office just didn’t allow for enough ambient lighting. The harsh light of flash alone gave the photos a very staged feel.

Lighting test shot for a photo by NYC executive portrait photographer, Kelly Williams

Lighting test shot for a photo by NYC executive portrait photographer, Kelly Williams

Lighting test shot for a photo by NYC executive portrait photographer, Kelly Williams

In contrast, the main hallway of the office leading to the dental procedure area was as well lit as it was going to get. Better, because of the length of the hallway, I could blur out the background using a telephoto lens and a relatively wide aperture. This made the background visually interesting while also informing the viewer that the photo was definitely taken in the office, as opposed to a more sterilized, studio setting.

A portrait by NYC executive portrait photographer, Kelly Williams

A portrait by NYC executive portrait photographer, Kelly Williams

My lighting set up was one flash with a white, shoot-through umbrella on a stand in the upper right corner of the frame. My settings were f/3.2, 1/100, with an ISO of 500 allowing for lots of ambient light coming in from the windows behind and in front of the camera. The focal length of my lens was at 200mm.

Lighting set up for a photo by NYC executive portrait photographer, Kelly Williams
Lighting set up in my studio apartment

Bridgham Barr Orthodontics wanted natural photos that reflected the fun personality of the office. You can see that we achieved that in spades. One additional way the office wanted to show off their quirky side was to have a silly photo for each official portrait taken and to have the website visitor be able to flip between images when s/he hovered the cursor over the photo. Tamara Olson Designs will be working their magic to do just this, but in the meantime, check out a few of the portraits, both ‘serious’ and silly:

A portrait by NYC executive portrait photographer, Kelly Williams

A portrait by NYC executive portrait photographer, Kelly Williams

A portrait by NYC executive portrait photographer, Kelly Williams

A portrait by NYC executive portrait photographer, Kelly Williams

A portrait by NYC executive portrait photographer, Kelly Williams

A portrait by NYC executive portrait photographer, Kelly Williams

A portrait by NYC executive portrait photographer, Kelly Williams

A portrait by NYC executive portrait photographer, Kelly Williams

A portrait by NYC executive portrait photographer, Kelly Williams
Dr. Bridgham

A portrait by NYC executive portrait photographer, Kelly Williams

A portrait by NYC executive portrait photographer, Kelly Williams

A portrait by NYC executive portrait photographer, Kelly Williams
Dr. Barr

A portrait by NYC executive portrait photographer, Kelly Williams

And even in the most professional of settings, photobombs happen. Here is Dr. Bridgham goofing off behind two of his clients:

A portrait by NYC executive portrait photographer, Kelly Williams

On a more serious note, I did some additional photos of Dr. Barr and Dr. Bridgham in a corner of the office with windows on both sides and on-camera flash bouncing to the right hand corner of the frame. Same concept with keeping the subject off the background in order to sufficiently blur it out to the point of visual interest, not visual distraction.

A portrait by NYC executive portrait photographer, Kelly Williams

A portrait by NYC executive portrait photographer, Kelly Williams

Finally, in honor of the upcoming Super Bowl, I have to show off the final group portrait. The BBO staff is nuts for football, so to show off their team spirit, we tossed around the pig skin. No lights were broken when the ball hit the ceiling, by the way.

A group portrait by NYC executive portrait photographer, Kelly Williams

A group portrait by NYC executive portrait photographer, Kelly Williams

A group portrait by NYC executive portrait photographer, Kelly Williams

A group portrait by NYC executive portrait photographer, Kelly Williams

A group portrait by NYC executive portrait photographer, Kelly Williams

A group portrait by NYC executive portrait photographer, Kelly Williams


If you would like to view more photos by NYC executive portrait photographer, Kelly Williams, please visit my website.

If you would like to view more website designs by Tamara Olson Designs, please visit her website.

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