A home and refuge for the elderly

In this post I take care to describe part of my day as a photographer in the corporate field. First you will see an account of what situations i met and observations I made during the process of photographing this. At the end of the article you can find some tips and rules of conduct when engaging in this type of photography. (See italics)

A few months ago Scandinavias largest private health corporation Aleris hired me to photograph their newly aquired elders home in Majorstuen, Oslo the capital of Norway. It was a challenging and exciting job to capture the essence of this refuge for so many elderly people. What caught my eye was how much love there was amongst the staff and the residents.

Make sure you get close and personal with the people on location. The quicker you get comfortable with them the quicker they will
will feel comfortable being taken pictures of. Always alert will get you photos like the one below. But as long as you are comfortable with the staff you can direct them a little too. In the photo above I noticed the caretaker was being supportive of the old man. I snapped maybe 30 photos in the course of 15 seconds. This is the one i ended up sending to the client, here we see just a hint of a smile on her face and there is clear interaction between the two of them. Towards the last 10 photos I had already communicated with her that I wanted her to keep doing what she was doing and that I was taking pictures. This secured me al least 2 or 3 extra usable photos.

Love your job, love those around you

One of the staff spent the better part of the time I was there baking homemade cinnamon rolls and delivering them steaming hot with coffee and tea at the doors of the floor we were on.

Capture stories, not moments. Moments in them selves often have little meaning or value. Should the client want to use the photos in a magazine or article, a series like the one below is worth a lot in empathy points.
Sykepleier portrett foto

Lieslott Kilaas the newly appointed CEO of Aleris Scandinavia was given a tour of the premises and greeted the tenants warmheartedly.

I had talked with the client beforehand to get a brief on what they wanted. This is key to giving them their moneys worth.

Aleris business meeting Daniel Feidal PhotographyAleris uranienborghjemmet oslo foto

I also followed them around as the director of the home was giving her and Geir Lægreid, administering director of Aleris eldercare an update on the current state of the facilities and what the needs in the coming year were.

Get around your subjects.

Multiple angles tell stories, and really capture the moment more than anything else.
Note the use of the three layers of depth in the photos before. Foreground, subject, and background. Increases the livelyness and dynamic of the photos by leaps and bounds.

Aleris business meeting Daniel Feidal PhotographyAleris business meeting Daniel Feidal Photography

Aleris business meeting Daniel Feidal Photography

Widen your perspective.

Go beyond what the client has asked for. Make sure you do the job and get the photos they want. Then go the extra mile, take other relevant photos that they might have the need for. You are already getting paid, most probably by the day, so why not use the time to its fullest. If you do this consistently it will be noticed. And you will benefit from it.

Sykepleier portrett fotoAleris uranienborghjemmet oslo foto Sykepleier portrett foto

Sykepleier portrett fotoAleris uranienborghjemmet oslo foto

Its your responsibility to see things they don’t neccesarily see. Its almost always about people. Companies want to be personal and people-centric. You can help them with this by focusing on just that. 

To sum it all up. It was an exciting endevour to photograph at Uranienborghjemmet. And Aleris media relations were gracious and supported me well in the decisions I made and the choices I took when shooting and delivering.

Last but not least: Follow up!  always get back to the client in a timely and respectful fashion. Remember, they might be your next employer.

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