Dr Bill Griggs, an inspiring subject

Dr Bill Griggs for Weekend Australian Magazine

Dr Bill Griggs for Weekend Australian Magazine

Dr Bill Griggs is as passionate about teaching the unique skills of his craft as he is about using them. Bill is a world- renowned authority on trauma medicine and aeromedical retrieval and is one of Australia’s leading intensive care anaesthetics, and medical retrieval specialists.

Bill has been deployed on numerous occasions as both a Royal Australian Air Force reservist and a civilian to disaster zones and hostile environments.

As a doctor, a rescuer and a human being, Bill gives people compassion, hope and empathy in even the most tragic of circumstances.

I flew to Adelaide and shot Bill at the Urban Search and Rescue Training Facility for the Weekend Australian Magazine article.
It was an honour to meet him.


Today's Corporate Portrait Isn't Important

The photography industry has never been as easier to enter and it has never been more competitive.

One of my strengths is having many long term clients that I carefully nurture and service.

One of the ways I create this is when I am working with a client, whether it be new or long term, and while I am working on the job at hand, while I consider it very important, it is not as important as the next 10 jobs with that client.

This shows up in many different ways. It can be doing what ever it takes to accommodate all requests (Lately there have been alot around turnaround times of images), being gracious when quotes are unsuccessful, being accommodating about timings/cancellations/pricing usage etc, and being grateful about working in this industry.

One example was I showed my folio to a education institution in victoria when they were looking for a photographer to shoot the annual report and publications. I missed out on the job, but was understanding and gracious even though it was a real bummer with a great concept and look they were wanting to create.

Several years later, one of the juniors in the room had a senior role and another education institution, remembered me from that meeting and called me in and they have now been a client for over 7 years.

Another example is I was asked to shoot some corporate portraits in Sydney for a new client that was an insurance company. They had found me this site, executiveportraits.com.au ,  It was only for a short half day, and normally what I do is organise some other shoots to make the trip worthwhile.

With the corporate portraits work, I often minimize travel costs by splitting them between clients and sometimes wear a portion of the costs myself.

On this occasion, I couldn’t organise other shoots but I chose to go up anyway as it was a new client. The shoot was completed, there were requests for fun “hair swapping” portraits to be available and shown that day which were all accommodated. The whole shoot had only minimal earnings for me but I approached it as an investment in the future, I was thinking of the next 10 shoots with that client.

That client grew to be one of my top 5 clients within 2 years. The biggest and best result was a few years later, that client changed jobs and industries, and I was able to introduce her another arm of my services with truckphotographer.com . The client's new role has had that company grow to be my biggest client in that area.

It is approaches like this that helps me have a point of difference from the many other photographers in town.



Fascinating People

Leonie Sheedy, Advocate for Survivors of Australian Orphanages

Leonie Sheedy, Advocate for Survivors of Australian Orphanages

One of my favourite aspects of being a Photographer is how on an assignment I can visit a subject for a few hours where they often completely open up and leave with a deep insight into who they are and what they do.  Recently, I shot a very interesting person for the Australian Womens Weekly. Her name is Leonie Sheedy and she is one of the founders of CLAN, a support and lobby group for survivors of Australian orphanages.
We found a location near where she lived in Geelong at one of the many  old orphanages across the country of which many are derelict buildings. In an eerie coincidence a young boy and girl came to play in the front yard of the building as we were completing the shoot. They were almost like the ghosts of the children who used to live here. Shot on my D3x, 14-24 Zoom, SB900s and David Honl light modifiers.


Sometimes, not everyone can make it.

With group shots, sometimes it is impossible or impractical to get all subjects together. 
With some planning, it is possible to create group shots that seamlessly combine people who were there at difference times.
Here is an example of one group shot combination.

The original unretouched portrait from 2013 where 1 staff member had left and one was away.

The original unretouched portrait from 2013 where 1 staff member had left and one was away.

The unretouched portrait from 2015 with the new staff and the staff available.

The unretouched portrait from 2015 with the new staff and the staff available.

The final retouched image with the current staff.

The final retouched image with the current staff.


A Corporate Portrait Setup

For most corporate headshots, I aim to have the subject infront of the camera for less than 5 minutes and still give the client 2 options.

Here is a timelapse of the setup of one of those sessions.



Client: Daimler

I was asked to shoot a large group shot at a conference and supply prints for every attendee by the end of the day. There wasn’t a chance to so a site recci but I was told there was a large open area that would probably be suitable.

A pet hate of mine is seeing large group shots lit by lights (usually soft boxes) either side of the camera so the area is flooded by light. This is a safe option, but not very flattering for the group.

I always look for how can a accomplish a soft light, falling off from one side of the subject to the other with a good balance. On this job, I needed to have 5 speedlights aimed towards the ceiling to the left of camera, 2 speed lights through my interfit softbox, I  used the ambient for fill and had a speedlight lighting the ceiling behind the group to add some tone.