I figured once I started doing corporate shoots for start ups and innovators around San Francisco that I might just get to meet a famous CEO (or two). But I also figured it would take years of shooting for really obscure little companies before my chance came. So imagine my shock and excitement when I recently confirmed a shoot with Matt Mullenweg, the developer behind the free and open source web software WordPress. WordPress! The open source blogging tool that powers more than 20% of websites around the Web today and I was going to get to shoot for their Lead Developer!
As excited as I was, I was quickly brought down to earth as I started prepping for the shoot. Matt is a really busy guy -- not like the kind of "busy" friends cite when they would just prefer to stay home and binge on Netflix, but really, actually, truly busy. So busy, in fact, that I did not get the chance to speak with him ahead of the shoot. Instead, I worked with his representative prior to the shoot to provide guidance on wardrobe, and get feedback on location and the plan for the shoot.
Our shoot was for some photos to accompany a piece in SOMA magazine, and it was actually really helpful to have the writer for the article there as well, so I had a feel for the questions and setting of the text that would surround my photos. Once the writer was done interviewing Matt, I was able to photograph him in several locations around the office. We really wanted to showcase him and his office, and so we used props like his computer with the WordPress logo on it, to show who he was contextually within the photograph.
The results were fantastic -- the office looked amazing and the shots of Matt came out wonderfully natural, relaxed and yet very confident. For being a tough shoot to plan for such a busy guy, we were incredibly pleased with the photos we got.