Corporate wine portrait photography: Bodegas Montecillo, La Rioja, Spain

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Corporate wine portrait photography in La Rioja

Passion, care, experience, knowledge, enjoyment, trust… these are all key concepts I’m trying to portray in my corporate photography. I want to show the pride and commitment people put into their work. And I want to show them in a natural, relaxed way that puts a human face on, in this case, a bottle of wine.

This all sounds very well on paper but when you’re in a field at 6.30am with the sun rising, the magical light fading and two winemakers from Bodegas Montecillo who aren’t professional models well, put it this way, the adrenaline is buzzing. 

On the outside I’m trying to show calmness and confidence. Inside my head all sorts of thoughts are racing round: what’s the foreground? what’s the background? how can I get the best of this wonderful light? can I risk shooting into it? how do I get them to pose? where should they look? should they be smiling at me or doing something? quick, think of a joke or something daft to say etc etc... 

Good preparation and people skills are key

I’ve always found that good preparation beforehand pays dividends. Close liaison with the marketing team to ensure we agree the type of shot we’re after. Decide on the clothes. Visit the area before the shoot to ensure there’s nothing unexpected, like power cables, to ruin the shot. And have a Plan B, just in case.

After that it’s down to personal skills. This, it seems to me, is a greatly under-appreciated skill in professional photography. A successful portrait shoot depends on a good relationship between the people in front of the camera and the photographer behind it. I show interest in their work, ask about what’s important to them. I suggest how to stand, where to put their hands, think of something witty to say and… Click!