Some of my favorite photoshoots over the past year have been office spaces. It’s pretty incredible what some of these new offices look, nothing like what I experienced when I had a corporate job. Not only is the design usually great, but I also get to collaborate closely with my client’s team during the photoshoot, as their staff often serve as models.
Showing the space in use in the most important part of office photoshoots. One of the easiest ways to achieve that is to have a person walk through your frame. With the slower shutter speeds you get with interiors, they look blurry and it conveys motion. I recommend shooting several frames to be able to pick an image with the person in the right location and with the right posture.
With larger spaces, it’s good to showcase the different uses. Below, we had people occupy the various spaces of the kitchen. Having props (like a phone and a coffee cup) always helps people feel less “staged.” To add some interest to the image, I asked someone to walk on the side, as to not take hide too much of the space.
When shooting meeting rooms, it’s important to show people interacting. Giving them a laptop or a tablet can give them something to talk about. The goal is for the interaction to look as genuine as possible, even if they’re talking about sports or something else.
If you have a large conference room to shoot, you will need to bring enough people so it doesn’t look empty. Spread people to occupy more space, and have someone give some sort of presentation. An alternative is to show several groups working together.
If the space you’re photographing has screens, make sure most of them aren’t just black screens. Display some graphics or images related to what the company does. In the image on the left, we used brain scans for a neuroinformatics department.
If you have someone sitting in front of a computer screen, it can’t be a black screen. In the image on the right, I actually added graphics on the screen in post-processing. Finally, with whiteboards, have someone drawing on the board.
While people are important for office spaces, sometimes clients want some shots without. In any case, don’t forget to play with perspective: get some one-point perspectives (straight-on) and some two-point perspectives (at an angle).
Finally, a few detail shots are important to highlight the main features of the space. It’s also good to get some images of the graphics in the office, such as signs, murals, etc.