High Key Office-Style Portrait

Bryony actually came into the studio for some headshots. I loved her outfit and the way she looked, so after the headshots were in the bag, I invited her to pose for some full-length office-themed images, too.

Getting the office catalogue look

I don’t normally use office furniture for shoots, but I wondered if it might work well with Bryony’s outfit. I opted for a high key, very clean look, the kind of thing you might see in an upmarket office supplies catalogue (hey, inspiration is everywhere, right?).

So we stole this chair, which is normally used by Michelle (our lovely client manager) – don’t worry, she wasn’t in that day, so we didn’t still steal it from beneath her! Then I asked Bryony to sit down in a way that felt comfortable and natural to her.

I had two flash heads pointing at the background to make it a clean, pure white, with a third, main flash slightly in front of Bryony and to the left (as we’re looking at it) to light her.

Softness and sass

Bryony is amazing in front of the camera, so I didn’t need to adjust her pose much. What I looked for was a balance of softness and sass.

Her body is angled slightly away from the camera, which is slimming (not that she needs it, but it always looks more flattering). Her knees are crossed, with the closest foot pointing towards the camera – this gives a subtle engagement signal towards the viewer.

Most importantly, her hands are soft: her wrists are relaxed and not tensed into fists. This gives a nice touch of finesse to the image. All too often it’s easy to overlook a detail like this during a shoot, but it makes such a difference to the final image.

Offsetting this elegance is a face-forwards head position, confident gaze and low camera angle. A low camera angle infers power and confidence on the subject, ensuring Bryony looks not only beautiful, but strong and competent, too. Which she absolutely is.

Lighting Diagram

Camera Settings

  • Focal length: 75mm
  • Aperture: f/13
  • Shutter speed: 1/180 sec
  • ISO: 280