Mood Board for Abacus shoot
This is going to be an unusual mood board. Because I am drawing from my own past work, most of these images don't accurately reflect how I envision this shoot will actually look. I am aiming for airy, bright, soft lighting in a neutral ideallly white environment for most of these. Abacus office light and walls will enable this.
Also, I thought I'd use this opportunity to show some visual examples of things I have questions about. See below commentary as well as questions.
First, let's look at references for the "casual" group things, such as the team photo, images of Spencer teaching, team meeting etc. These are on the whole more colorful and sort of darker than I am envisioning for the abacus group images. Notes on individual images below.
Notes/questions on above images:
a) picture 3 : if you like this look, I can try to shoot through some plants (or an abacus or other things?) for office activities. In addition to lots of shots that clearly show the actual cast of characters, we might try for some shots of people in the office that are less specific to who they are than to the more general sense of relationships and feeling. Some abstraction (such as shooting through blurry things or lens flare and/or layering/cropping of folks) could achieve this.
b) picture 6: For the team meeting and Spencer teaching, I've been thinking mostly in terms of layering people and using depth of field to imply audience without distracting from speaker (e.g. Spencer sharp in middle facing camera with blurry backs of heads and shoulders and hands framing him in foreground). However, the conference table configuration will limit our options a bit: we can play with shots like #4 above, and shots like #6 above, as well as what I just described. The point is -- #6 is a little more straight-on than I prefer, but it is a setup that will work along one side of conference table.
My next question is about color palate:
We're obviously working with white as well as some plant greenery. I recommend you ask everyone to wear light/medium neutrals if possible (grays, beiges, maybe light earthtones?) unless you have another color palate in mind. I'm thinking most of the light will be white/neutral, but when the sun comes in late in the day it may have a golden cast which I can either cultivate or try to change in post to a cooler color. Below are a couple examples of extreme lens flare, below, which I 'm thinking could work with people or office details for more abstract concept images like the Core Values and generalized page headers. The question is,
c) shall we embrace warm light (human, emotional, luxurious) if it occurs, or try to tend towards cooler (maybe connotes "trustworthiness/rationalism" -- more traditional for a financial institution which is why I'm actually now questioning it)? I can also try for neutral, but it's nice to know on which side to err when editing.
Next examples are headshots. I will bring a lighting setup for indoor shots lit like the first one below. My question is about the outdoor shots:
d) I'm assuming open shade without backlighting, like the middle photo below, will be best for the park shots. Backlighting as in the photo on right below can be lovely/approachable/natural, but maybe risks looking ton natural/scraggly. Do you agree?
Next section, office details. No questions! Just imagine details of plants included too.
Next images below, some reflections on Spencer's mindfulness images. Something like the first image would obviously require a big beautiful outdoor setting, but I think the symmetry is a good approach for conveying peace and integrity. I wanted to include the last image as an optional approach if we decided to shoot Spencer at the very end of the day and incorporate the golden light. But it may not work with the other proposed shots at his house which may require different timing.
So e) should we consider golden hour for Spencer portraits?
Final images below, thoughts on Spencer's portraits:
I love the leaning-in intimate connection of the girl in the first image and I'd love to try to convey Spencer's approachability with a subtle expression like this. (I also love her saffron/mustard sweater! We should think about colors for Spencer's clothing -- ideally mostly neutral with a pop of a well chosen color scheme). The rest of the photos illustrate the range of options I try to get in a portrait session: some environments but mostly fairly nondistracting backgrounds, and mainly just trying to get the person's personality to shine through. The last 3 images would be examples of if we decided to go for golden hour lighting.
Congrats, you made it to the end of the mood board!