A couple of years ago, Carl, a creative director friend of mine asked me create a series of portraits that would capture both the left brain and the right brain sides of his team. These executive portraits would embrace the concept of the “Personal Brand” which is based on the idea that, all things being equal, people want to do business with that they know and can identify with. And, all things being unequal, people will actually work to find those like minded people to do business with.
So, we set out to create the Yin-Yang Executive Portrait series to help illustrate more than just the professional resume portrait. Each person came to the studio with a wardrobe bag of options for a “business” portrait and a “personality” portrait.
The Yin Executive Portrait
The “Business” Portrait, or the Yin, is aimed at that traditional marketing tool, the “headshot”. However, the headshots of yore can look tired and plastic, and there are a lot of them out there that look, well, cheap and generic. Not good marketing! So we ramped them up a bit. After using our grooming/wardrobe team to help with choices, we worked with our subjects to find those real genuine moments that happen “in between.” Those are the moments when our subjects look professional, approachable, responsible, genuine and able to tackle anything. In other words, they look themselves on their best day and ready to do business.
The Yang Personality Portrait
The Personality Portrait, the Yang of the session, is designed to illustrate the other side our subjects. Everyone has a hobby or interest outside of work. Everyone has those moments when they are relaxed with their clients and then their passion shows through. Through wardrobe, props, and expression, these photos uncover a more intimate side of our subjects while still maintaining the concept of “being themselves on their best day and ready to do business.”
The tricky part of this side of the session is that we are trying very hard NOT to create a caricature of our subject. The collaboration is to show them as professionals but more casual.
The series has been very successful and has been updated several times as Carl’s company has brought on new hires. It has also expanded beyond his company as others have seen the series and wanted to have this type of editorial series for their own marketing libraries and tools.
Get a Yin-Yang Executive Portrait
Let’s explore the concepts of a Yin-Yang Portrait Series for your company’s marketing.