Getting Into Context

How Do You Show that You Are An Authority

Getting Into Context is important in order to demonstrate that you are an authority within your business sphere.

When you are being photographed, or taking photographs of yourself, it is important that they tell a story about you and your brand.

Thinking Backdrops

Whatever is behind you and around you will create a visual context for your clients and potential clients.

If, for example, you are as professional services consultant, i.e. and accountant, solicitor, mortgage broker, lending and finance person, you may wish to position yourself outside of some offices.

But, as with all rules these are made to be broken, occasionally.

It might be that you are breaking out of the constraints of a mould and more traditional environ

Being Different

The other day I met with a commercial lending broker, Claudine Reynolds. They wear tattoos and often have pink hair.

They are breaking out of a profession that is often presented as being conservative in the manner of their dress and attire.

This works for them. but, even then, when meeting some of their clients, they cover up their “tats” and dress in a more conservative manner.


Getting Into Context was important when I was out shooting with Life and Business Coach, Pradip Mistry.

I arranged to meet with him in London.

Pradip Mistry – Life Is Mistry – by Arwyn Bailey

A man looking out across the river Thames.

Images from the Time-Lord

The first few images, for Pradip, we shot with iconic London landmarks and scenes along the River Thames.

Alongside London bridge, and on the north bank of the river Thames, is the aptly named Walkie Talkie building.

Pradip Mistry – Life Is Mistry – by Arwyn Bailey

A man looking out across the river Thames.

Images from the Time-Lord

Getting into context, along the banks of the Thames, for Pradip, meant using the landscape of London to crate a story that Pradip is comfortable within a modern vibrant city environment, meaning that he is trustworthy and relevant.


Getting into context with for the more formal close up headshot also requires care and attention.

Pradip Mistry – Life Is Mistry – by Arwyn Bailey

A man leaning against a wall for a headshot photograph.

Images from the Time-Lord


In order to get Pradip into context for these shots, I am conscious that I need to enable him to relax.

The background is the next consideration.

As Pradip was dressed in a dark suit, a plainer background was required.

For these shots I selected white architecture receding into an out of focus background.

I shot a series of images, directing Pradip as we went along.


In this instance my subject, Pradip, was pretty relaxed and posed quite naturally.

But, I still chatted to him about anything and everything.

I watched him carefully and started to adjudge the moment.

We also had to await the moment when, in the background, there were no people.

Some of the shots that show more of the background.

As is inevitable, when we were ready to take some shots the background contained some pedestrians.


Most folk have no idea where to place their hands when posing and getting into context.

I direct my clients. A hand in the pocket, perhaps; gently leaning against a wall, without pressing in.

And, one of the most difficult things to achieve, a natural smile.

Whether it be a shot from the back of a client, a side on view, or a face to the lens view, capturing the right moment takes time and skill.


B&W v Colour

This is quite an important consideration when getting into context for your own photographs.

The following image illustrates this fact.

Pradip Mistry – Life Is Mistry – by Arwyn Bailey

Two images side by side of a man alongside the river Thames one in Black & White the other in colour.

Images from the Time-Lord

I have learned to see an image in. black and white before I take the shot.

For some brands a B&W image may be totally and utterly irrelevant.

For others, it may come down to personal preferences as either can work.

The image above tells the story that Pradip can help you to find the bridge between yourself and where you wish to get through, and thought he storm threatens, he will help you to look beyond your current frame of reference.

Which works best for you? B&W or colour?

More on Backdrops

You do not need to operate from a building in order to project a familiarity with it.

Pradip Mistry – Life Is Mistry- by Arwyn Bailey

A man walking out of an office building in Black & White.

Images from the Time-Lord

This shot demonstrates this.

Pradip may look as if he is walking out of this building, but, he is just walking towards me.

I knew where this building was located.

I used it to tell the story that Pradip is in control and authority.

Moving Around

Using the same building, from different angles, can be used to create different shots.

This image, in front of the same building, again contextualises Pradip.

But, on this occasion I have used the settings on the camera to bring the background ut of focus, but not to the extent of being a Bokeh effect.

Pradip Mistry – Life Is Mistry – by Arwyn Bailey

A headshot of a man in front of an office building.

Images from the Time-Lord


Shooting at an angle can create yet more different images.

But, a tip here, please capture the angle in camera.

If you edit the images you may need to enlarge the image within the editing process.

If you enlarge an image, you increase the pixel size being displayed.

This reduces the quality of the image.

Pradip Mistry  – Life Is Mistry – by Arwyn Bailey

A man walking out of an office building in colour

Images from the Time-Lord

Remember to leave some space to one side of yourself, or others, in your photographs, as I have done so above.

By doing this, you leave room for some text.

This might be to advertise an event, your products or services, a webinar or for some other purpose, such as a banner on your website or social media.

Colour Light Shadow

Pradip Mistry  – Life Is Mistry – by Arwyn Bailey

A man standing in front of a building with large red tiues.

images from The Time Lord.

Using bright colours can create drama, but, more importantly, it can help to stop people from scrolling on by.

By using shadow and light, effectively, this can also emit drama from your images.

As in this image, the leading lines of the walls, into the entrance, are great for drawing the viewer into the image; but, the shadows across the floor and up the red wall, contrast this directional pull.

Imaginative use of lines of light and shadows brings a contrast and intrigue into an image.

Being Iconic

By placing yourself, or your personnel, in front of a recognisable iconic structure can also tell a story.

Pradip Mistry – Life Is Mistry – by Arwyn Bailey

A man standing in front of Tower Bridge and the offices of the London Mayor.

Images from the Time-Lord

In this final shot on this article, Tower Bridge along with the office of the London Mayor, contextualises and grounds the images.

Pradip appears to be insignificant in front of the offices of the London Mayor.

It says that you may feel small, and even insignificant, but, if text is added to the image, explaining how one can overcome these feeelings, it creates an image for a social media post.

Being Technical

The advent of Smartphone devices has created a democratic accessibility to imagery.

However, such modern devices have not (yet) negated the need for experience, creativity and skill.

Shooting headshots and team shots is a challenge to my creative juices but the end results ultimately reflect the nature of each brand and client.

Within your own business there are occasions when your own mobile device will suffice, but, on other occasions, you need a professional to produce images that will create a lasting impression and gain traction for you and your business.

For your own headshots, and more, you need to be free to do what you do best.

A Smartphone will not cut it.  We can.

Get in touch

The services that I provide to you give you media that is impactful and designed to create a response.

Tapping into my experience starts with you contacting me by clicking here for a no-obligation conversation, or, book an appointment with me on my calendar.

You can review the services that I offer to you within a safe environment during this COVID-19 situation.

Start planning your own event or trade show endeavours with me today.

Lord Pennington-Bailey, Arwyn, of Hougun Manor.