Firefly Nights Photography Blog » Commercial Photography
Firefly Nights Photography is an internationally award-winning portrait and commercial photography studio. Naperville Photographer, Megan Drane, considers herself a visual storyteller, capturing the playful, whimsical, and mysterious aspects of people. By capturing people's true essence in combination with mastered lighting and experience, we create true pieces of art.
Ok, so I love it when I get to do something different. Back in high school, I was a swimmer, and I had a fellow friend and swimmer who would sing the national anthem before every meet. My dad clearly remembers how pretty her voice was. Little did we know that she would go on to become an international opera singer!! Like most people my age, I keep track of high school friends mostly via FaceBook, and have celebrated her career and life in Germany and seeing pictures of her performances. I always told her if she ever was singing in Chicago to please let me know, as I would LOVE to see her. Then I get an email – she is coming to town and wants me to photograph her! She needed updated promotional images for her site. This included a regular headshot, but she also wanted to do some creative images. Opera lends itself to storytelling and to overly dramatic tendencies like mine. As my makeup artist was working with her, we were talking about books, and it came up that she loved darker fantasy. And in pops the idea of a magic mirror. I showed her my idea, and she loved it. It is SO MUCH fun to work with a fellow creative person. Nothing was too crazy (which is saying a lot for me). Being an opera singer, she not only has to have an amazing voice, but she also has to act, so we wanted to show that she is a leading lady.
I had found the image of this old mirror and loved creating the woman trapped in the looking glass.
I loved her gorgeous blue dress in contrast to her beautiful red hair. And again, there was no such thing as too dramatic for her. Love, love, love this image for so many reasons!
I thought this just screamed dark opera. I wanted to show her actually singing, and of course, made her actually sing for me. It was awesome! For someone who is a horrible singer but loves music, it was magical.
Yes, I have a thing for flowing fabrics. You can see them in some of my maternity work, as well as seniors. It’s a thing, I guess. LOL
And of course we have the headshot.
If you are in need of commercial photography, or branding photography, then choose someone who can execute your own vision. I’m thrilled that I got to be that person for her!
On the day that I write this, our windchill is -50. It is a crazily cold day today, and it is so weird to look back to this session this past summer. It was a hot, hot day. But what I remember most was that it was BUGGY. Full of mosquitoes. They had everyone wear one of those mosquito repellent bracelets to help. I don’t know if they helped at all, as it was pretty miserable. We went super fast and were able to get some great pictures, but man, I will always remember how much we were swatting away the bugs.
So while I am a Naperville photographer, I do travel all around to find great locations for sessions. This location in Lemont was chosen by my clients. They had their wedding pictures here and wanted to return. I’m always up for something new. Now, remember how I said it was buggy? Well, it was really not helped by being on the water. Water is gorgeous, but at the end of summer and late in the day, mosquitoes are everywhere. Let’s also talk about clothing. For family sessions, clients often ask for my input on what to wear. I have to say that navy is a great color. And navy with yellow looks great together. I loved how everyone looked and enjoyed meeting their newest daughter!
I don’t get to be right on the water often, and it was cool to have such a scenic environment to where we could even see the clouds in the water’s reflection.
We left that spot as quickly as possible, as it was less buggy farther away from the water. The girls loved being super silly with me. I met this family last year and did their pictures then, and my how their oldest has matured! I can’t wait to see what they are like the next time I see them.
Middle sister was so funny. Can’t you just tell she’s a stinker with those mischievous eyes? And who doesn’t love those sweet curls?
Their baby sister was too little to put down on her own, so we didn’t get any individuals of her this time, though I’m sure we will do it next summer.
Being a Chicago headshot photographer, I see quite the variety. Being located in downtown Naperville, I get plenty of corporate headshots of all sorts, or branding pictures. But I also get actor and modeling headshot requests. This first guy is a local actor looking to expand his horizons. As we worked together, I asked what type of roles he typically gets – and he tends to be “the bad boy” look, which I can totally see. So we played up to that personality, even though he was super nice in person. With actors and models, I make sure not to over edit, as I know casting directors need to know exactly what they are getting.
Horizontal headshots are definitely the hot thing these days. I, also, love them. Definitely makes you stand out from the rest.
And doing a mixture of in studio and natural light provides for some great variety.
Another type of “headshot” session I’ve done is for fitness or bodybuilders. This Chicago police officer is my second CPD body builder to come through my doors. He was getting ready for his first body building competition and wanted to get pictures of himself at the peak of fitness. He looked great, and we had a fun time creating these looks. I mean, come on. What fun is this?!
When photographing for fitness, it is all about the muscles. All about the body, so lighting is key to showcasing the hard work they’ve done. This one looks like something out of a romance book cover, don’t you think? I love it!
And just one more from this short session.
Are you in need of professional headshots? What about gorgeous fitness photography? No matter what your need, Firefly Nights Photography is here for you. We love working with you to create the images you need – for the audience you are looking for – to tell the story of you.
While doing portraits is definitely the main foothold of my business, I do get to step outside my norm and do commercial work or product work on occasion and be a Chicago commercial photographer. I was originally asked to come do a photograph for the cover of a magazine for this company who was being featured in the magazine. I was given the specifics of what they wanted for that, and here is the image we did for it.
This company is a metal recycling company, which was so cool, as I have never at all experienced the process of melting metals. It was such a cool experience to see what is involved in this process. And obviously, it was extremely hot when near the melting. This was their large machine for larger molds.
And here we got to see the use of a crucible (I may be totally wrong on that). It took some work with my lights to really get the smoke right in the pictures.
This is definitely my favorite image from this day. There is ZERO photoshopping going on. No added smoke or anything.
Believe it or not, what they were pouring into the mold was actual gold! Here is the end result.
In another area of the factory, they do smaller metals, and this cup of pure gold was so neat. When they told me how much this little cup was worth, I was tempted to snag a few pieces. LOL Just kidding. Well, sort of.
I did a lot of pictures of every aspect of their factory, and it was a great experience. They used some images for the article in the magazine, but also for their website. So if you have a unique business with an online present, think about the images you are using to advertise your work. Make sure they are great and personal to your business alone. They say “a picture is worth a thousand words” for a reason. People are visual.
Firefly Nights is ready to serve your needs for your target market, reflecting your business brand.
I am a portrait photographer. This means, I also do lots of headshots. Now, there is the standard corporate headshots, which I definitely do a lot of. There are also modeling and acting headshots, which have a different feel. Then there are personal headshots or branding headshots (super fun to do!). For me, headshots describe the type of session more than the actual tight close up of a person. Headshot sessions are brief. I charge a flat $200, and people receive three edited images for their use. When people reach out, I always ask what the use is going to be – who is the intended target market, what is the personality we are wanting to reflect? Different industries want to promote different aspects. And when people are looking for something more relaxed and approachable, outdoor headshots are perfect. For this one, we wanted fairly natural lighting and posing, and to seem friendly and approachable. He was a tall guy and super nice and charming. Another thing to note with headshots is the extent of editing. For modeling and acting, it is required to have minimal editing, as directors must know what they are getting. So these are all questions to have up front.
Our first is a great headshot in the typical sense of being a headshot.
This next one is my favorite. It’s great to show a full body shot at times, but sitting kept his long frame condensed. We also had gorgeous lighting. So here, we are going for confident, outgoing, but approachable.
This last one is starting to be called “business portrait”, as it is longer than a trypical headshot. These type of portraits are more relaxed than a formal headshot. Also a bit of a smirk as opposed to a full on smile.
If you are needing headshots for LinkedIn, your company website or materials, auditions, dating, or whatever, we hope you give Firefly Nights Photography a call!
I had the privilege of photographing the Naperville Chamber of Commerce board of directors. Doing formal headshots can be boring, but I tired to spice it up a little. Here are some of my favorites from our time together. It also didn’t hurt that I am within walking distance from their office. LOL
Who said headshots have to be vertical? I love some horizontal ones.
Now personally, I will admit – I use Rodan & Fields for my moisturizer. I do think it rocks. So when I get the opportunity to do the professional pictures for the elite sales force in Chicago, I love it. There is an annual gala, and these lovely ladies will be attending, along with a life-sized standout of them. I can’t imagine having a life sized picture of myself. LOL So here are some from our time together.
So I do commercial headshots. I do corporate headshots. I do whatever. But it is super fun when I get someone who is either rebranding or creating a new brand. Then I get to really talk with them about their vision, their target market, their colors, their …. brand. Brand is super important, and your pictures need to reflect it. This client was new to me and on the cusp of a big adventure – creating a multimedia, national syndicate for financial fraud awareness and prevention. He does public speaking, so we wanted pictures of him up on stage. We talked for a while about his persona – the look he wanted, and he said that he wanted to be different – casual instead of formal. So he got several shirts of the same look, but different colors, to reflect this.
So, we started with a theater for representing his public speaking bits. It was fun to go do something totally different. We also wanted both posed and unposed. Both looking at the camera and more lifestyle, unscripted.
This was definitely my favorite from the theater location.
Then we went back to the studio to do more. He wanted at least one that was brighter. I tend to hate white as a background, but this light toupe worked great for him.
The other part of his business is a national radio piece. Being radio, it seemed it lent itself to a more edgy persona, so we went with the black shirt. And radio personalities have to be a bit larger than life.
He also grabbed some headphones that he would use while doing the radio set. I love this one.
I hope his new venture launches with great success! If you are in the Chicago western suburbs and looking for a brand partner for your photographer, we hope you consider Firefly Nights Photography. Being a Naperville photographer, we are easily accessible to all of Chicago.
When you need professional headshots, who are you going to call? Firefly Nights! LOL Yes, I have the Ghostbusters song in my head. I couldn’t resist. Headshots are not just for actors and models (though we do those, too). If you have a website, if you have a LinkedIn page, if you have brochures or media, then you NEED a professional headshot. A picture is worth a thousand words. This is a true adage. We judge everything by what we see. That is why companies spend so much money on advertising campaigns and branding. We (myself totally included) pick up books based on their covers and catchy titles. We even pick doctors based on if we like what we see – do they look competent? Nice? The same goes for many aspects of our life. What does your picture say about you? Why is your market? What are we trying to portray? Believe it or not, these are all things you should ask before you have your picture done, because headshots are not a one size fits all.
For example, you have your corporate standard (banking industry):
You have a disability case worker who needs to appear friendly and approachable:
You have an IT consultant professional:
You are a professional but need to appear more welcoming than a standard corporate headshot:
Or, you are creating a new website and rebranding your company – so we create an entire brand for you based on this look. This woman is an intellectual property lawyer with a slick, edgy look to her site. I had so much fun creating these with her. Who says headshots have to be boring? Or even just of your head? Or vertical?
So if you are in need of updating your headshot, profile picture, dating profile, or creating new branding material for your company, come check out Firefly Nights Photography! We can do something in our studio or something on location, depending on what we discuss.