The BBC (London), The Times (London), The Financial Times (London), Fox Searchlight, Channel 10, SBS Television, UBS Bank, OMD, Knight Frank (London), Next Model Management (New York), Ford Models (New York), Opera Australia, Equifax, Genworth, Mace (UK), B&T Magazine, BRW Magazine, Vogue Magazine, Choice Magazine, Sydney Morning Herald, Random House Publishing, Shakespeare & Co (Paris).
Kiren’s Portrait List
Cate Blanchett, Naomi Watts, Hugo Weaving, Julie Delpy, Baz Luhrmann, Darcey Bussell, John Laws, Dick Smith, Mark Bouris, Sandra Sully, George Negus, Erica Packer, Olivia Newton John, Billy Connolly, Maggie Tabberer, Germain Greer, Kieran Perkins, Susie O'Neill, Senator Julie Bishop, Senator Derryn Hinch, Senator Pauline Hanson, Prime Minister John Howard.
What sets your work apart from other corporate photographers in Sydney?
I think the main thing clients generally find when working with me is that unlike most corporate photographers, I come from an editorial background. Portrait photography for magazines is more about telling the story behind the person. The imagery behind these stories has to engage, and almost seduce the viewer.
I also draw from 2 decades of experience shooting for fashion magazines and model agencies in Paris and New York, so knowing how to construct flattering portraits of people through the use of direction, lighting and camera angles is very much second nature.
A common issue I’ve picked up on from listening to my clients is that conventional corporate photographers don’t give much in the way of direction. Without good direction you’re going to feel stiff and awkward in front of the camera. If you feel stiff and awkward, your portraits or headshots will reflect this. Having had the rare opportunity of working with Australia’s leading actors and directors on film sets and on stage at the Sydney Opera House has been an invaluable experience. Good direction can be the difference between a pass port photo and a magazine cover.
Why invest in a good business portrait?
When creating a business portrait for a client, one of the main things I'm essentially setting out to do is to humanise that client’s brand. The reason behind this is due to the fact that consumers no longer have the same sense of confidence they once had in big corporations, which has sparked the shift towards transparency. Because of this, having a portrait that conveys a sense of trust and likability is now paramount to anyone in business.
Given the power of social media and the fact that websites are the new shop fronts, the idea of investing in a well crafted business portrait is more important than ever before.
In business, first impressions count. As consumers, our attention spans have become shorter than ever before. It’s a well documented fact that we assess a person based on their looks within the space of a millie second. When you consider, for example your LinkedIn portrait is out there representing you twenty four seven it’s worth putting the effort in to create something that is truly representative of you and your values.
Can you describe some of the other products you provide to businesses looking to increase their growth?
As a photographer I see my role as helping to create visual content and brand identity. This is important to all levels of business, from sole traders to multi-nationals. It may be a headshot, or a portrait for a press release or annual report. In order to grow, it’s important for businesses to send out a strong consistent message when communicating to their client base.
Used to put a human face to your company website, press releases or LinkedIn profile, corporate headshots are cropped at the head & shoulders. Unlike a portrait, they are more of an iconic representation.
Headshot photography is done against a plain background either out doors using natural light, or at your place of business using high-end studio strobe lighting. Studio strobe lighting will give your headshots a more finished and professional look. Having the ability to control lighting to this extent allows for consistency in each headshot regardless of the weather or the time of day. This is essential for companies with large numbers of staff. Company discounts are available based on a sliding scale.
A valuable tool in which to personalise and enhance your brand's identity with, these customised portraits offer more creativity than standard headshot photography. They are similar in quality to the editorial photography I shoot for glossy fashion magazines. Environmental portraits are often commissioned for a specific publication or purpose, such as a prospectus or an annual report. While they can be cropped at the shoulders, portraits are usually medium close ups or full length shots set in a working environment. As they require a higher level of preproduction and creative input they are generally charged at a higher rate than corporate headshots. Please contact me by email to receive a quote for your Environmental Portrait.
Visual Content Photography
Also referred to as collateral photography, visual content photography can include imagery used to support the sale of a product or service. This may range from customised group interactive set ups to interior photography of your place of business.
Annual Report Photography
Having well crafted editorial style images in your next annual report will not only captivate your readership but also provide a valuable background story to your business.
Corporate Event Photography
High quality imagery is an essential component for any media kit. Having spent many years as company photographer at the Sydney Opera House, together with the latest breakthroughs in low light digital photography, has allowed me to create a very natural feel to my corporate event photography.
"The corporate world has changed dramatically in the last few years and businesses both large and small have had to adapt to this change. My aim is to provide my clients with a look that will enhance their brand and help them form a stronger connection to their client base".
Pricing and Bookings
I work with both 'business to business' and 'business to consumer' clients. Clients are best contacting me via email to organise a quote and a date for their shoot. I’m based in Sydney Australia, but regularly work in Newcastle, Wollongong, Canberra and Melbourne.
In terms of pricing, it’s important to understand that photography is a creative process, and production time is rarely an indicator of value. Because each photography project is unique, I don't charge by an hourly rate but rather by a fee based around the creative requirements, production expenses and licensing terms for each assignment.
For women with fair skin, be aware that strong colours like yellow and orange can wash out your skin tone. If you're worried that your arms are not as slim or toned as you'd like them to be consider wearing long sleeves or a jacket and avoid off the shoulder tops. Keep jewellery simple (think less is more). If you're unsure about a certain piece it's best to leave it out.
Have you any advice for people who hate having their photo taken?
Most people having their portrait taken will understandably feel nervous. My advice is to treat the experience as just another part of your job. With everything online these days, putting a human face to what we do helps others connect with us. This simple shift in perspective where we move from a personal to a professional role can help make a huge difference.
Being in front of the camera is a bit like acting. It's about projecting energy and confidence, even at times when you don't feel up to it. Like any skill, whether it be playing tennis or learning to dance the tango, it's something you eventually get better at with experience.
As a photographer, creating the right environment and providing professional on-camera direction is an essential part of what I do. My best advice for camera shy people is not to over think it. Just turn up, keep an open mind and see the experience as a new adventure.
Hair & Make Up
For men, it's important that you look fresh and healthy. Try to drink as much water as you can well before your shoot day and moisturise your skin. This will help give your skin and eyes look clear and healthy. On the day I suggest you bring along your favourite hair product and some lip balm.
For women it's best to avoid heavy powder and foundation. While this may make you feel more confident, it has the potential to flatten out your features and make you look older. As a guide, you only need to wear as much make up as you would to a business lunch or meeting. Your skin should look clear and healthy so I highly recommend hydrating well beforehand.
Make up for stills photography is a lot more subtle in terms of application than make up for film and video. One of the main reasons is that film and video usually runs at 24 frames a second. Where as it would be an epic job to retouch all those frames, selecting one frame to retouch from a stills shoot a relatively easy and cost effective. For this reason, things like skin blemishes and spots are often left as is, then simply retouched in post production.
Aside from choosing clothing that is industry appropriate, consider taking it up a notch and choosing an outfit that has an aspirational quality to it. I say aspirational because good corporate photography is n't about documenting reality, it's about crafting imagery that will inspire others to want to be associated with us. If you would like help in deciding what to wear I've provided a few industry tips below.
Darker colours will streamline your figure. Where possible avoid wearing large areas of white as this colour has a tendency to blow out and loose detail in certain lighting situations. Unless you're slim it's also best to avoid white clothing and horizontal stripes because it will make you look larger and draw attention to those particular areas. This reminds me of one of the first lessons I learnt while studying photography at university, lighter colours in a picture precede while darker colours retract.
For men, wear a jacket over your business shirt. I know in Australia men like to take a more informal approach when it comes to dressing, however a jacket will define your shoulders better and also create a very flattering 'V shape' from your face down to through your torso. Avoid wearing shirts with busy designs or loud patterns unless of course it's part of your work wear. This is because you want the person viewing your photo to be drawn to you, not your clothing. Neck ties are a personal choice but be aware that even in more traditional industries more men are opting for the more casual open collar look (think George Clooney).
Editing & Retouching
In terms of post-production, there is editing, which describes the process in stills photography where there is a first round cull of all images from a shoot. Basic adjustments are applied to each of the images to correct colour, contrast and lighting. These images are also converted from Raw files to Jpegs.
For general use, basic editing can be fine, however if the images are to appear full page or in a glossy publication you will more than likely need hand retouching. This is especial useful in cases where people have skin blemishes, stray hairs or fine lines that they may feel uncomfortable with. Because this can be labour intensive you would only apply hand retouching to your final images, known as 'hero shots'.
An issue I find with a lot of corporate photography these days is over retouching. Popular in an era renown for big hair and shoulder pads, an over retouched headshot has a tendency to lose the identity of it’s subject and look heavily processed. When hand retouching, I maintain a natural finish. This is done by assessing each portrait on an individual basis. Retouched files are supplied as A4 size jpegs at 300 dpi. Please let me know before your session if you require larger files sizes.
Turn Around Time
Proofs from your shoot are usually ready within 48 hours and can be easily viewed and downloaded on-line. Hero shots can then be selected from your proofs, which then go on to be hand retouched. Retouching for small jobs usually takes 3 business days.
Copyright & Usage
In most cases corporate headshots and collateral photography come with usage for publicity purposes across all mediums. This means that you're free to use the images for your company website, press releases or LinkedIn profile. If you wish to use these images for advertising, annual reports, merchandising, product endorsements or pass them on to a third party you will need to inform me beforehand so as we can negotiate an appropriate usage rate and digital file size.
It's important to note that in Australia, photographers automatically retain the intellectual property rights to their images. This is standard practice amongst most professional photographers world wide. On occasion, some images may be used as samples of the photographers work in a portfolio context. Images of you can not be used outside of this context, sold on to third parties or used in photo libraries without your written consent. You also have the option of buying the images outright. This is known as a 'buy out' and will need to be negotiated separately.
Television interview with Kiren, SBS Small Business Secrets
My advice to small business on how to create good social media photography for your brand.