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Tom McKenzie Revs Up Corporate Portraiture for Entrepreneur Magazine

By Barbara Goldman


mckenzie choremonster

© TOM MCKENZIE
 CEO Chris Bergman of ChoreMonster.


Corporate portraiture is not buttoned up any more. Recently Entrepreneur magazine covered a story on Cincinnati, Ohio-based CEO / Co-Founder Chris Bergman of the new app ChoreMonster, and they wanted a new kind of environmental portraiture to complement their story for this new startup business. Entrepreneur is a premier source for everything concerned with small business and is leading the way for a new look for corporate portraiture. 

 "At Entrepreneur we are trying to take the business portrait in a new direction. We want to create images that are spontaneous and in the moment with lots of energy and emotion. I tell photographers to have fun with it and do the unexpected. To me, photography is about capturing a moment and if we manage to do that we are successful,” says Photo Director Samantha Cassidy.

 Cassidy and Creative Director Megan Roy tapped photographer Tom McKenzie  (http://www.photoserve.com/tom-mckenzie-photography)for the startup assignment. McKenzie is a commercial and editorial people photographer who loves to collaborate with clients. He has worked previously with Entrepreneur, as well as for Money, Runners World, ESPNHS, Summit Media, and others.

 McKenzie’s creative portraiture projects have included assignments such as U.S. Olympic woman's boxing gold medalist Claressa Shields, Rodney Stuckey of the Detroit Pistons, The Wassner Twins (professional triathletes), Hip Hop artist Royce da 5'9", comedian Dan Nainan,  Bill Newlands, the CEO of Beam Global,  Bernie Clark, VP at Charles Schwabb, actors David Fumero, Nic Novicki and more. Photographing these well-known people from such diverse professions has given McKenzie a great opportunity to interact and experience different types of photographic environments and challenges that have helped create his distinctive portraiture style. McKenzie’s amenable style helps him relate to his subjects and puts them at ease, allowing him to bring out the best in what they do. 

© Tom McKenzie

 As the magazine was ready to rev up their own corporate look, McKenzie seemed a great fit for photographing the ChoreMonster ‘s CEO Bergman and the accelerator program he was entering. ChoreMonster is a new fun web and mobile application that rewards kids for helping around the house by doing chores. Developed by Bergman, ChoreMonster was entered in the startup accelerator The Brandery in 2011. The Brandery, also based in Cincinnati, is a seed startup program that helps with funding, lays the foundation for brand marketing, provides mentoring and helps companies find partners and customers.  Startup accelerator programs are popping up every day and are now available to a wider range of entrepreneurs than ever before. As Entrepreneur reports, they are no longer limited to Silicon Valley and no longer just for tech companies. The newest accelerator programs are industry-focused and cover fashion, food and all kinds of socially conscious endeavors. The article focuses on what you need to know to birth a business in an accelerator program, what to expect and what an accelerator can and cannot do for your start-up.  The magazine’s new concept for corporate portraiture with energy and spontaneity and showing the workplace as an incubator was just right for “Rev up Your Startup.”

 With ChoreMonster as an example of the whole accelerator experience, McKenzie shot on location in Cincinnati. He showed Bergman’s child-oriented place of business but without it looking childish.  “We did some pictures in the office, actually a desk among others, which had some of the ChoreMonsters around, and then in the general areas where there are other businesses, (it’s funny we don’t think of other businesses as someone at a desk and each desk is a different company),” says McKenzie. With very little help from Mother Nature, McKenzie also shot portraiture outdoors in the rain at a nearby playground to show a playful Bergman and his company creating a fun and entertaining app for parents and children with technology they both love. “Chris is a kid at heart, as we all are. We got some great shots.  He told me he used to skateboard and would jump off the playground set. We did that shot in one take [with] the thought to show taking “the leap” to start your business” says the photographer. Most of the shots for the piece were done indoors with McKenzie using a Canon 5D MKII and Profoto Compacts.

© Tom McKenzie

The fun and energetic imagery for the ChoreMonster article appeared in the January 2013 issue of Entrepreneur, and Tom McKenzie has played a large part in revving up that new look.  See more of Tom McKenzie’s people at his site, www.tjmckenzie.com


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