Press Photographer and Photojournalist

Unlimited Magazine Portraits

Continuing on from my last post, here are a  couple of images from a commission by Unlimited magazine to create two portraits: one, CEO of Aviation New Zealand, John Nicholson; the other, director of Kiwi Landing Pad, John Holt (not the John Holt of reggae fame!). These two portraits demonstrate opposite ends of the spectrum when completing these kinds of assignments I think. I usually try to schedule between 30 minutes to one hour if possible, just to get a good variation of shots (and just in case the office-space isn’t to photo friendly!)

I had originally arranged to photograph John Nicholson for a period of between 30 minutes to one hour. When I arrived, John told me that he had to collect his car from the mechanic shortly, so I only had twenty minutes! The pressure was on. When time is limited, you are certainly forced to make quick decisions and in this case, I chose to forgo the fluorescent-lit office for the more interesting building lobby which had a number of features which could be used in the composition and for bouncing a flash off of. I think in this respect, having less choice and fewer options, helped to create a better photo.

Whereas when photographing John Holt, the options were endless. Kiwi Landing Pad is an entrepreneurial organisation which helps New Zealand companies break into the US market. As such, they do not have office space in New Zealand. I therefore had ample opportunities for choosing suitable locations with all the right elements to suit the subject. The ideal place to photograph John would definitely have been the helipad on top of the Intercontinental Hotel. The view would have been fantastic, the early morning sun would have helped to highlight John and the surrounding buildings (which would have also given the impression of the corporate or business world) and you also have a landing pad. To me, this would have been the most desirable location for this portrait. However, finding out who I needed to contact about access was a bit of a wild goose chase, and the deadline was closing fast. Even though I was happy with the locations I eventually chose, I think that having so much choice with location narrowed the creative possibility in the portraits some what.

John Nicholson, CEO of Aviation New Zealand. The industry association champions development of New Zealand’s aviation exports internationally.

John Holt, direct of entrepreneurial organisation, Kiwi Landing Pad.

John Holt, direct of entrepreneurial organisation, Kiwi Landing Pad.

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