Occasionally the call comes in for a big gig, and it's hard to be anything but excited. Photographing a lot of corporate headshots on location for a sales team is always fun; I really do enjoy meeting people, learning about their different businesses, and trying to make sure they convey their personality and style in their photos. But then there's always the twist that brings my blood-pressure to a new level. For example, a recent shoot I scheduled with Stryker Medical went down something like this: Stryker: "We're going to be in Denver this weekend for a conference; can you come out to our hotel near DIA to take some headshots?"
ME: "Sure, when would you like me to be there?"
Stryker: "We're thinking about 4:30 or so this Saturday, we can have a room reserved for you and all of your gear, it'll be great!"
ME: "Sounds awesome! I can do that, how many people in your team need headshots?"
Stryker: "Oh, about 16 or 17, is that OK?"
ME: "Not a problem, I'll see you on Saturday!"
Styrker: "By the way, we have to catch our flight at 7:30pm, that won't be an issue, will it?"
Now, this is where the average photographer hangs up the phone and goes typing on some photo-forum about their kooky client that just called wanting 17 headshots in 90-minutes. Not me - no sir. This is where I put on my Superman suit, scream "HECK YA, SUCKA!" and open a 12-pack of Schlitz. And that's why I've put this blog post in the Tips & Advice category; I think many photographers turn down work way too often because it doesn't meet their specific criteria.
Well, I'm here to tell you all that life isn't a friggin' cake walk; sometimes you need to put on the big-boy pants and do the hard work just to show your clients (and potential future clients) that you have the chops to work in difficult conditions. While I was certainly freaking out about trying to photograph 17 people in such a tiny window, I was excited about the opportunity of trying to make it happen. I mean, talk about a challenge! I know some photographers would chastise me for even considering taking this job, but I set clear expectations with the client up front; I let them know it wasn't ideal circumstances, and they asked me to just do my best. Once expectations were set, I was comfortable just doing my best with the time allotted.
Long story short, this turned out to be a very successful gig. The client was a real pleasure to work with, and they were thrilled with the results. Honestly, I wouldn't feel comfortable making this story public if it hadn't gone so well. But the client and his team were totally awesome, they were ready to go when I arrived, and we were able to bang out all 17 headshots with time to spare. I worked up a sweat, and was moving around like a chicken with his head cut off, but it really was well worth it.
Check out a few of the results below. I've also tossed in a quick shot of my setup for those who like to see how other photographers light their on-location headshot work: