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The CEO Portrait

A recent project from the Project Management Institute to photograph their CEO, Sunil Prashara, for their general use and for a cover story in European CEO magazine.

PMI CEO, Sunil Prashara, on the cover of the Winter 2020 edition of European CEO magazine. Photographed in Philadelphia, PA. October, 2019.

Additional takes from the project:

Project Management Institute CEO, Sunil Prashara. Philadelphia, PA. October, 2019.
Project Management Institute CEO, Sunil Prashara. Philadelphia, PA. October, 2019.
Project Management Institute CEO, Sunil Prashara. Philadelphia, PA. October, 2019.
Project Management Institute CEO, Sunil Prashara. Philadelphia, PA. October, 2019.
Project Management Institute CEO, Sunil Prashara. Philadelphia, PA. October, 2019.

Production

In what is fairly common for this type of assignment I had one hour with CEO Prashara. 10-15 minutes of that would be used by the makeup artist and in the remaining forty-five minutes I needed to complete one studio setup and a number of environmental portraits. That can be tricky to pull off depending upon the location and the logistics. In this case, we were working at Marriott in Philadelphia which is interconnected with the Reading Terminal Market and the Philadelphia Convention Center. The former provided a conference room for the studio setup and the latter a quiet area a short walk away where I could take advantage of the existing environment.

Lighting setup for CEO portrait. Four Profoto B10 Pluses and a muslin backdrop. Philadelphia, PA. October, 2019.

The space for the studio portrait was decently sized, ~40′ x 15′, but was constrained by an immovable boardroom table on one end. We made the best of it, clearing furniture and setting up in the more open end of the room. This left us about 15′ x 15′ of space to work in.

I knew the client’s preferences as to the look we needed to replicate going into the shoot. So, we lit the set accordingly.¬†Four Profoto B10 Pluses were used. The key was an XL Umbrella Deep White with a diffuser (~5′ in diameter), the backlight was in a XXS Chimera Softbox with a fabric grid, and two lights with reflectors provided some additional light on the backdrop. We didn’t need a fill light given the large key placed close to the subject and the low ceiling. All of the lights ran off of battery power to keep the small set clear of cables.

The environmental portraits were shot in the upper floor of the former Reading Railroad Terminal. It has a lot of daylight coming in via skylights and the window seen in the wider view above. As such, I could work with a small footprint, using a fifth B10 Plus in a Profoto Softlight Reflector (AKA beauty dish) and balancing its output with the ambient light.

Credits: UK Production/Mulme Ltd. Makeup Artist/Morgan Chalfant. Assistance/Chris Flanegan.

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