Barney Whiter on mountain bike

Editorial portraits for BBC Global

Editorial portraits for BBC Global

So I had an email one Thursday afternoon from BBC Global in New York – they were looking for a photographer to take some editorial portraits for a web feature they were putting together about Barney Whiter, a financial guru.

The catch was they needed the photos taken the very next morning and delivered to them electronically by Friday afternoon!

Luckily I was available the next day, and I am used to turning photos around to impossible deadlines – most PR photography jobs are like that!

I called Barney and agreed to do the shoot at his house on Friday morning, a short drive away in Farnham.

Editorial portraits to illustrate an article

Barney is an interesting guy – he used to be a chartered accountant and developed the idea of “FIRE” – Financial Independence Retire Early”. He set himself the goal of living well within his means so as to save as much money as possible. He cut out foreign holidays, eating out, and expensive consumer goods, and drivove an old second-hand car. By doing this Barney managed to put enough away to effectively retire by the time he was in is early forties. He now helps other people achieve the same goal of financial independence.

The BBC’s brief was to create a variety of portraits of Barney to illustrate their article.

I started with some indoor portraits, using the light from the big picture window in Barney’s living room, balanced by light from a flashgun in the hallway to “lift” him out from the dark-painted wall. We worked through a variety of setups and poses, including one with Barney in a  US Air Force uniform to tie in with his online persona of “The Escape Artist” (think James Garner in “The Great Escape”), and some shots including framed photos of his family, the motivation behind his drive for financial self-sufficiency.

Outdoor pictures to create variety

Before we finished the shoot I wanted to get a couple of outdoor shoots to suggest the improved lifestyle resulting from Barney’s financial freedom – luckily the weather (which had been dull and wet) cooperated and we were able to do some photos of Barney on his mountain bike.

I always enjoy this kind of shoot because we can create some images that are a bit more relaxed and informal than the typical “business portrait” – I call them “environmental portraits” because they show more of the person’s surroundings and character.

The whole shoot took around two hours from start to finish, and after some editing I sent the images were off to the Beeb in New York that afternoon!

If you would like to set up this kind of shoot for yourself, please do get in touch.

Editorial portraits - Barney Whiter

head and shoulders portrait of Barney Whiter

Barney Whiter working on laptop

Barney Whiter the financial "Escape Artist"

Barney Whiter reading a book

Editorial portraits - Barney Whiter with family photos

Editorial portraits - Barney Whiter

Editorial portraits - Barney Whiter

Editorial portraits - Barney Whiter

Editorial images for BBC Global

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