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Authentic Portraits – Irwin

Dr. Irwin Mark Jacobs is founding chairman and CEO Emeritus for Qualcomm Incorporated.

Creating a comfortable, safe space when shooting a CEO can be a challenge especially when in their space and/or when there is a gallery of employees watching.  It is not any different if you were the subject out in the public square. The secret to get them comfortable and authentic is to get them to focus on something other than “they are on camera”.  Here is a well liked CEO, Dr. Irwin Jacobs co-founder of Qualcomm using and focused on the new, at the time, “Q phone” and myself.

After several other spec’ed shots by the public relations people, I explained to him my idea and he was intrigued. I described to him I would be shooting a very slow shutter, so the people would be a blur and he would be sharp in focus and would be independently lit. He would have to stand very still and comfortably. I suggested a stance with one bent knee (subjects can pass out with locked knees) and looking up two floors above in the HQ lobby, disregarding all the people around.  This was the last shot of the day and based on the number of times it has been published, the most successful.  Takes time to get the subject to relax, get comfortable and reveal their personality, authenticity.

When the you need to photograph a business executive, getting some background about the person can help immeasurably making the photograph exceptional.

Comfortable, assured and authentic.

Comments welcome.

Martin Trailer, is a commercial/advertising photographer based in Southern California, working for clients worldwide.  A working photographer for over 30 years, Martin has regularly provided thoughtfully produced photographs adding value for clients worldwide.  Starting out in the newspaper business, covering general news, events, sports, professional and college often on tight deadlines honing the skill of finding “the” authentic shot.  Over the years as a commercial/self-employed photographer, projects include advertising, collateral, corporate annual reports, multimedia and editorial types of media and consisting of autos, food, tabletop, fashion, architecture and destinations, all culminating on a focus of people and the authenticity of the person(s). Personal projects include most anything vintage themed and especially vintage trailers and there owners.  Authenticity creates value for the client, person, product or service.  All images are registered with the US Copyright office.  See more of Martin’s work at

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