A few weeks ago, I was contacted by the Bank of Montreal to take some corporate lifestyle photos. The description of the assignment was simple: take photos of Nagui Hallal, an employee of a BMO locale on Cote-Vertu. Nagui had recently won an award because of his excellent job as the branch manager, and they wanted a portrait of him working, interacting with co-workers, as well as a regular headshot. When you get sent in corporate offices and are asked to take pictures of people interacting together and working, the last thing you want to do is to create photos that look like stock photos. You know which ones I’m talking about. “Man in suit smiling while pointing at presentation.” “Woman behind counter smiling while greeting customer”. Oh god, those are the worst. They’re so bad and awkward that they’re also the best. For me, lifestyle photos need to be authentic and natural - whether they're in a lifestyle corporate setting or in a lifestyle family photo setting. That's why I cringe so much when I see those cheesy staged stock images. So at this point, my number one goal is to deliver the requested images to client. My second very close goal is to do so without creating cheesy stock-like photos. I’m happy to say it was easier than expected! And it was all thanks to my awesome subject. Nagui put everyone at ease, could make everyone laugh in a second (he did my job, really). The minute I met him, I could already see why he was an award-winning manager. He had just come back from vacation, and all employees seemed genuinely happy to see him in the office again. When their staff meeting started, he finally announced why I was there and that he had won the award, and everyone was ecstatic.
Is his infectious energy coming across in these photographs? He looks like the best manager one could have!