I’ve already expressed my love for the Santropol Roulant and their team. If you’re not familiar with this Montreal food-community organization, make sure you read my first post about them! Needless to say I was thrilled to have the opportunity to take their new staff portraits. Giddy with excitement! I had actually been wanting to do this for over a year. I wanted to create something more visually stimulating than just headshots of the entire staff on a same sterile background. Usually what comes to mind when people think of staff portraits are typical corporate headshots. Suits, ties, folded arms. That’s like the opposite of the Santropol Roulant. To showcase the many facets of their vibrant organization as well as its the physical space, I photographed most staff members in a space that is tied to what they do.
So Sam is in the trailer full of veggies from the Santropol farms in Senneville, Noémie is about to get her hands dirty in the rooftop garden, Jeremie, with his polka dot apron is ready to manage a kitchen full of volunteers, and Kai is greeting customers at the pop-up market with his big smile.
To create these wider environmental portraits, I only used my 28mm and 50mm lenses. As much as I love the 85mm, it stayed in my bag. I wouldn't have had enough space to back up and include the environment in the shot. Here’s how I handled lighting: for outdoor portraits, if the sun was out, I would either shoot backlit or find a spot where the subject and the background were in the shade. For overcast days, I wasn't restricted as much and I used a reflector. For most indoor shots, I had my flash in a Photek Softlighter supported by the Manfrotto Nano light stand. I love this portable studio kit! It’s lightweight, quick to set up, and has a small footprint. The staff members are as busy as the bees in their rooftop hive, so staying out of the way and working fast was essential. I was able to work around their schedules and only required a minute per person on average. And hey do you need new staff portraits where you work? Show these pictures to your boss and wink a few times.
This Thursday (July 16th), the Santropol Roulant is celebrating their 20th anniversary. They'll be closing the street off, playing music, hosting workshops on different topics and there will also be an Iron Chef food competition where we'll be the judges. Read more about it here. Come join the fun, I'll be there taking pictures!
As a side note I’ve just launched my second Postcard from Alex yesterday! If you’re not subscribed yet make sure to check it out to see more photos, stories and photography tips! Talk to you soon.