Taking personal business portraits

in #photography2 years ago (edited)

Last Friday I had an appointment with Manon, she needed new a portrait for her LinkedIn profile. With my portable studio, we used her house as the setting, which gave the portrait a personal touch. While taking portraits itself is almost as personal as it can get, using something personal can enhance that feel. Not just a home will do, think about attributes, something in the background/foreground.

Finding the right corner

When using someone's house as a setting, it is always a challenge to find the right corner to get a nice composition. Some places are too small to set-up lights, but this house was just perfect. Enough space to set-up lights without making it packed.

As I mentioned, the portrait needed to be used for LinkedIn, C.V. and future business-related propositions. I went for a little desaturated look while having her look straight in the camera with a gentle smile. Manon did some assistance for me 2 years ago, so I know her a little bit. A little bit shy, but she can also get pretty direct when she has to be.

Fun fact: She asked me twice to assist me on a project. I turn most people down, that's what I did the first time with her, but after she asked me twice I realized she didn't take no for an answer.

Keep it real

If you would know her personally, I think the photographs are just about right. They resemble her more than just a picture that has been taken of her. I try to keep everything as natural and real as possible whenever I capture a soul with my camera.

Curious for the results? Scroll down :)

© 2019 | Ruben Cress rubencress.nl

© 2019 | Ruben Cress rubencress.nl

© 2019 | Ruben Cress rubencress.nl

Find recognizable traits

The first picture is absolutely my favorite. This is how I know her. Eager to learn, a little bit shy, but the look in her eyes tells me she knows exactly what she wants; an achiever and determined to do whatever it takes. If she ever is looking for a new job, I believe recruiters will spot that trait for sure, without having a conversation with her.

© 2019 | Ruben Cress rubencress.nl


A good portrait can be very valuable. While the costs for my portraits are over average, they are usually being used for 3-5 years, and sometimes even longer. Divide those years by X, and that's the average price you paid if you consider most portraits are being used just a year or two tops.


We spent a few hours taking the photographs and the result will be a small portion of the big image. It would look something like this.

I had a pretty busy weekend, working on a pretty cool project for one of the biggest insurance companies here in the Netherlands.

Hope you're all doing great and are prepared for autumn!


These are clean, Ruben. Portable studio though, is that a lot to carry? And, from one portraitist to another, what's your favorite focal length for these shots? You know, mine's 50mm, and I don't think that'll change but, you never know.

Thank you. Haha not really, it's a few stands and two lights. On a crop sensor, I love the 50mm, on a full-frame, I'd go for 85mm or higher to get that nice bokeh.

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Very nice picture...