Portraits don't have to be boring
Companies need regular and updated pictures of staff, some for internal or media use, with requirements varying from a formal plain background, to trying to convey something of the nature of the business, especially in dark markets where product can not easily be advertised. Many clients describe themselves as 'people businesses' and don't actually have product of any kind to show anyway.
It is still amazing to me that on many shoots, I find my subject has not only been before the camera a number of times in the past, but sadly also hates the resulting pictures. Business portraits tend to stick around and crop up in all sorts of different ways. Getting a result that the sitter actually likes is not a bad aim for the photography. I've found that although some people do enjoy the process of being photographed, get very involved in looking at the imagery as it is taken, making suggestions, altering how they look as I work, others have little time, either because things are really busy and time is short, or like me, they just hate being photographed and understandably want to get the process over as quickly as possible.
Some people like to talk to the photographer, others regard me wearily in much the same way as you might dread that talkative taxi driver on the way back from the airport after a 'red eye' flight who wants to know where you've been 'on holiday'.
But it doesn't have to be boring. One memorable four day assignment suffered delays as we all began to feel quite sick and had to stop. The eel sheet of executives to photograph had to be re-arranged, and I was allowed to head back to the hotel. This was Hong Kong for the world's largest bank, but also a building who looked out over Central MTR railway station, and large demonstration and march had taken place all through the day in the street below my 'impromptu studio'. As things turned more confrontational overnight, the Hong Kong police had reacted with tear gas, and by the morning when we all showed up for work the building's air conditioning system had sucked up some of the gas, releasing small but enough quantities into the general air supply, making all of us feel, just a little below par.
These assignments don't need to be boring, and important portraits don't have to be just ID style mugshots.