Each year, companies around the world send out holiday cards to their customers, clients, employees, contacts, vendors… Anyone that they have touched in the previous 12 months. The Watershed Company, an environmental consulting, environmental engineering, environmental planning and landscape architecture firm in the Seattle area, is one of those companies that wanted company holiday portraits for their card.
When the company contacted me, there were a couple things they said were important:
- Everyone in the company needs to be in the shot.
- A couple key players need to stand out.
- Everyone’s face needs to be visible.
- We need to do the shoot at one of our recent projects.
Great, let’s get to work!
The location chosen was the Greenfire Campus in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. This multi-building, mixed use property features 18 residential units, each with their own urban farming P-patch, kept green by rainwater harvesting, along with a completely complimentary, sustainable landscape designed by The Watershed Company. The project received a 2012 What Makes It Green? Award from the Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the 2013 Futurewise Livable Communities Award for Overall Excellence in Commercial Community Development.
The Watershed Company was able to connect me with the building management to arrange for a site visit prior to the day of the shoot. There were going to be 2 major challenges once we got to the big day – The team would be showing up promptly at call-time and they couldn’t stay long – I’d only have about 30 minutes to do the whole thing. During the site visit, I had chosen a location I was happy with but day-of, with the suggestion from Brian Morris with Morning Star Creative Group (who assisted on the shoot), we planned a second location as well. We had everything prepared – lights were placed, cables were run, exposure was tested and metered – we’re ready to go.
Like clock work – the group arrived, we prepped them, shot the first location, gave them a break, shot the second location, had the ‘safe’ shots in the can so had some fun and we were done in under 30 minutes. Phew! So, how’d the shots turn out?
The first location was just fine, tho the group was still a little stiff. In a quick review on-site, the client was looking for a little more wiggle room around the shot so she could crop later.
A little wider now, but still a little stiff. Also, since the property was pretty new, the P-Patches were… a little thin. Let’s take a little break and regroup. The client really liked the cistern in the shot; a key element to the project.
Yeah, now we’re talking! Framing is good, everyone is visible, people are a little looser… This would be one of the two shots that would go into the final composite; just a couple closed eyes.
Number 2 of the composite – we can see a little more of the cistern, we’ve grabbed a couple heads with open eyes… now let’s put the 2 together!
There it is – the final shot. Some color grading and exposure adjustments, some contrast and burning on the cistern to make it stand out from the sky a little and we’re home! Now, let’s look at some of the fun 🙂
A fun little day in Ballard and a great group! Need a holiday portrait for your company? Contact us today!