It’s always fun to work on a creative project with my clients at Community First Credit Union. Last year, they contacted me about coming out to their corporate retreat in May and doing new headshots for their executive team and board of directors.
I was picturing the standard head and shoulders headshots – you know, the kind you always see in every annual report that involve very little creativity and look like every other headshot photo you’ve ever seen. But after discussing it with their marketing team, they were actually after something much more unique and approachable.
Their retreat was being held at the Casa Monica Hotel down in St. Augustine, Florida. If you’ve never been there before, it has a very Spanish feel to it, and it’s right in the middle of downtown St. Augustine. As beautiful as the hotel is on the inside, it wasn’t exactly the look and feel we were going for, so we had to be resourceful.
I made several trips down there to scout out the area and see what might fit the neutral look and feel we wanted and brainstormed the ideas with Community First to see which locations best fit with their marketing strategy. We came up with the Lightner Museum directly across the street, the front of the cafe area outside of Casa Monica, and the pool staircase in the valet area downstairs at Casa Monica. Those gave us a solid variety of locations that also worked well in conjunction with each other.
Twenty-five headshot sessions and six group photo sessions later, this was by far one of the coolest photo shoots I’ve done on location. We somehow managed to get it all done within 6 hours, and the Florida thunderstorms waited until we were completely finished to pour down that afternoon.
Special thanks to my assistant Ryan Schinneller, who not only brought his own giant reflectors and light stands to help, but also stayed on stop of our schedule to keep things moving quickly.