From time to time I get to work with friends! Donna K. called and said her company told her they needed a professional headshot. She saw a photo on my website she really liked, which was done at R. House, an upscale food hall in Baltimore. So, one Sunday afternoon I met her there. She carried an armload of clothing options and just had her makeup done. We found a spot with great natural light and within 40 minutes (including two wardrobe changes) we were done. Lately it seems like we only see each other when we’re in large social settings, so after the shoot we were able to catch up afterward over a glass of wine.
Doing a client shoot in a public location is tricky, particularly if the client isn’t a professional model. Since we were on a Sunday afternoon, the place was packed — full of families and kids. I knew there was one section that had a long table (it was some kind of game), with no chairs or tables around. We stashed our purses and clothing in a corner, and did all our work there. Though it seems exposed, truth is no one pays any attention to you. They are all absorbed in conversation or in their laptops. After a few minutes we forgot we were in a commercial space.
You also need to make sure there are no restrictions on photography at the place. I contacted R. House beforehand to find out their guidelines. They said we could shoot wherever we wanted, no fee, as long as we did not include the signage of any vendors.