Thankfully, there will always be a demand for executive portraits in Tokyo. This time around I was very fortunate to be asked to photograph the Japanese entrant in the Forbes 30 under 30 list in Enterprise Technology. Kazuo Ishigame runs Infostellar, a cloud based service which allows antennae operators to rent out their antennas between the long downtimes that they are waiting to be in contact with satellites flying overhead. Yeah, it’s pretty complicated.
When I was asked to do this shoot, trying to encapsulate Mr. Ishigame’s job description into a single frame became an extremely difficult task the more I thought about it. Computers, satellites, renting antennae? Photographing CEOs of tech companies with intangible services is definitely the challenge facing this generation of portrait photographers.
I ended up going with an idea that I had used in an unpublished test shoot from some years ago; my assistant and I strung up a large amount of cotton against a sky-blue background and lit it to look like clouds. Then I glued together a cheap plastic model of a satellite that I found on Amazon and strung it from the ceiling. I think the homemade, craft look made the scene charming and warm, rather than if I had just photoshopped some stock clouds onto the background.
Anyway, the moral of the story here is always keep experimenting when you do random test shoots – you never know when something you do might come in useful during a difficult executive portrait shoot! Here are some shots that were not used in the final version, I hope you enjoy them!
For this last one I brought the clouds down around Mr Ishigame’s waist to make it look like he was standing amongst the clouds – the photo was not used in the final layout however if it had been chosen I would have photoshopped out the fishing wire that we used to hang up the clouds.