Freelance Photographer in Leeds – Department of Health and Social Care
Occasionally as a freelance photographer in Leeds you get a gig in a building you have always wanted a peak inside. The Department of Health and Social Care Building in Leeds is one of those. It sits next to the motorway that runs through Leeds Centre looking rather foreboding. There is a kind of Gotham City feel to its design as if Batman would stand on top to survey the Leeds crime lords.
I was commissioned to shoot some of the Leeds staff as individual portraits but in discussion with the client it became clear they also wanted some more casual portraits as well. The idea was something more fun than your average corporate headshots and for thirty people!
The client wanted more personality and more humour in the images. So, there were several elements to consider here. Separate headshots, more casual solo shots, some groups, and couple of case study portraits. The case study portraits would more usually be done as environmental portraits. Like lots of these terms environmental portraits mean different things to different people but typically for me its people in their work environment.
Office worker have many different roles but to the photographer they actually can all look the same. A person working at a computer does not make for inspiring images so often I like to focus on collaboration and more casual meeting spaces. A couple of laptops and coffee cups give a much more 21st century feel to these shots. Unfortunately, on this occasion there wasn’t time to go down that route so it was very much simpler. I had a nice big room, a list of people and half a day.
Planning is Everything
Running order can be critical on this kind of shoot. The job of a freelance photographer is partly about the planning. We decided on a running order that would cause the least disruption. Bringing people up to the room in groups of five or six was the best compromise. I could comfortably do some headshots without people feeling to conspicuous and then do some groups before heading into some the next group. I had a couple of lighting set-ups in the same room which is an absolute luxury and space was not a problem. This meant minimal time for messing about with light stands and settings.
To be honest this is one of those jobs that would have been a lot easier if the client had booked a whole day. The reality of life means that a lot of clients just don’t want the disruption and budgets are always an issue. I always try and do everything I can to squeeze the most value out of my time for my clients. I will provide as many images in as little time as I can but I will not ever provide substandard work.
Speed vs Quality
There have been only a few occasions when a client has been rushing me around getting pictures here and everywhere and I’ve been really honest and explained that quality is being compromised. Whether that means spending five-minute to set up some lights, or just thirty seconds to set up a tripod, if a jobs worth doing……
The client and I were both delighted with the Government shoot in Leeds. Working as a freelance photographer under strict time pressures is hard. When you know you have excelled yourself it is doubly satisfying.