Corporate headshots:  Big Pink-  Shooting for the Sky

Corporate headshots: Big Pink- Shooting for the Sky

Assignment  Corporate shoot for Marcus & Millichap’s Christensen Group.  Investment Property Brokers.

Big Pink: Portland, OregonSetting:  19th floor of the U.S. Bancorp Building, known as “Big Pink”.  Downtown Portland.

Highlights:  For a portrait photographer, the ultimate challenge is a successful group shot.  Not only must a group shot include- by definition- flattering, positive images of each participant in the photograph, it must have an additional, powerful dimension that makes the group, well, a group.  A group photograph must answer the question, what holds the group together?  What is the visual metaphor that – like an electromagnetic force field- makes the group greater than the sum of its parts?

On a beautifully clear February morning, we set up in Marcus & Millichap’s Christensen Group office on the 19th floor of the U.S. Bancorp building in Portland.  Better known as “Big Pink”, the landmark building gets its nickname from a combination of Spanish granite, and a silver and copper window glazing, that clad the exterior.  The second tallest building in Portland, Big Pink’s northwest-facing offices hold a commanding view of downtown bordering the Willamette River.  A corner office, and a wide angle lens, captured almost 100 degrees of the landscape as the Christensen Group posed high above the urban setting. 

There are a number of group-defining elements at work in the resulting portrait.  Can you spot them?  One is the way organizational hierarchy is revealed in the positions people occupy:  less senior team members recede slightly into the background; more senior team members project forward; and Georgie Christensen-Riley, director of the group, stands out on the left.   Second is a diagonal line, appearing as the angle Georgie’s body makes in relation to the  square corners of the photograph- making a strong visual connection between Georgie and her team.  And third – the most powerful visual metaphor I could imagine- is the wrap-around exterior landscape that almost seems to launch the group upwards, rocket-like.

The elements combine into a theater of the sky.



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