CASE STUDY: Creative Accountant Corporate Portraits, Brisbane

OR: Does this bowl cut suit me?

Portrait of a bearded man in a shirt and tie, sitting on a low window sill, leaning forward, smiling


It can be hard for lawyers and accountants to get interesting staff portraits. For large firms, staff portrait day can resemble a sausage factory: stand here, smile, snap, NEXT! All your terrible school portrait nightmares burst forth into adulthood. Although, hopefully without the bowl cut.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. The results of two of my accounting clients can attest to that. One a large multinational employing hundreds of people in Brisbane alone, the other a small, three partner firm employing less than 50 people.

My Client’s Problem

Two vastly different clients. But actually, they have the same problem. They need their staff to appear professional and knowledgeable. But traditionally these values come with a side of uptight and unapproachable. Often, because most firms opt for the safety of portraits against a white background. I have complicated feelings about white backgrounds, which I discuss here. But unless there’s a specific reason, white background portraits are never the best option.

My Solution

Quite often, clients have interesting boardrooms, common spaces, lobbies, offices or hallways that can serve as a background. For the large firm, I utilised the rooms that overlook the CBD and the Story Bridge and a large open space that has a huge green wall with live plants. For the smaller firm, I used their bright, modern boardroom with fantastic architectural details as a great background.

I also put people in positions you wouldn’t ordinarily associate with accountants. Like having the partners sit on a low window sill to create a relaxed look.

The Outcome

Getting people to relax in front of the camera means you have to remove as many of the intimidating details as possible. Ditching the white background is a great first step. Using details within their offices mean we avoid the sausage factory bowl cut nightmares of our childhoods. It lets people be photographed in a place they’re already comfortable in. This means people look relaxed, professional and approachable.

And using interesting backgrounds and body positions mean their staff portraits don’t look anything like their competitors.