Lifestyle Photography for SF Bay Area Tech Company

East Bay Corporate Photo Story for Rigetti About Quantum Computers

Quantum Computing and Corporate Photography In The East Bay

Rigetti is a cutting edge technology company with offices and production facilities in Berkeley and Fremont, California. They build quantum computers and the superconducting quantum processors that power them. Our creative team had the great pleasure of collaborating with Rigetti Computing on a corporate photography project that involved lifestyle photography, product photography, architectural photography, and professional headshot photography.

The marketing team at Rigetti Computing contacted me in the Spring of 2021. They had a few very different professional photography problems that needed solving. Ultimately, Rigetti needed us to create a library of corporate photography that they could use across many different channels including  marketing, website use, for company collateral, providing company updates to investors, and to be used as a historical archive for their company. This is a photo story about the project challenges and solutions creating professional photography for a quantum computing company in the East Bay. 

“Hi Drew. Thanks again for your amazing work creating all of these great images on such short notice. We’ve received excellent feedback from our executive team about the photography. And we have also used the new photos for tons of outreach, marketing, and communications over the last few months.”

– Lauren Rugani, VP Communications & Marketing, Rigetti Computing

What is Quantum Computing?

It’s a good question. We didn’t know the answer either when we started this photography project. Traditional computers use transistors and binary code (one or zero) to store and recall information. Quantum computing studies and harnesses quantum physics (meaning on the atomic and sub-atomic scale) to create a computing system that is exponentially faster and more powerful than traditional computers. 

Quantum computing exploits phenomenons such as simultaneity and superposition – where a quantum particle such as an electron can exist in multiple distinct locations at the same time. We’re literally talking about manipulating individual photons and electrons in order to enable mind bending speed and computing power. In addition by fusing artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning with quantum computing, Rigetti is creating computers with the ability to help address the world’s most pressing and complex problems. This is world changing technology. You can read more about quantum computing here. 

One of the very interesting and challenging parts of this corporate photography project was photographing the quantum computing machines with a white background (images above). The quantum computing machines are housed inside of a thermal shield to keep everything super cold. The quantum computers require temperatures just a few degrees above absolute zero (-273C). After the fridge is brought up to room temperature – a process that requires a full day – the thermal shield is removed revealing a complex construction of gold, platinum, silicon and other highly reflective metals. We set up a large 9ft white seamless background and used a specific three light setup in order to create these highly detailed photographs of the technology. It was a fun challenge!

Professional Photography Project Problems and Solutions

First, Rigetti needed corporate and commercial photography of their quantum chip manufacturing including high-end product photography of their superconducting quantum computers, the quantum chips, and the Rigetti Stacks that they build in-house. These images would be used for marketing, for sales, providing company updates to investors, and for media and press release. See the photo of the quantum computing unit (QPU) above which is a gold-plated copper disk with a silicon chip inside that contains the machine’s brain.

Second, they needed corporate lifestyle photography that showed their highly skilled team of engineers, physicists, and quantum chip manufacturers in the process of working. They wanted these images to capture what it felt like to work at Rigetti and also to help communicate that all of their quantum computers and processors are manufactured to spec on site right here in the East Bay (Berkeley and Fremont, California).

Third, they wanted to have professional architectural images of their office interiors and production facilities. And fourth, they wanted professional headshot photography for their leadership and executive team.

Photography Pre-Planning And Fast Same Day Image Delivery

It was a complex project requiring multiple styles of photography with some intricate lighting needs and macro photography of quantum processing chips. Taken all together, we designed a two day corporate photography project that involved a combinations of lifestyle photography, product photography, commercial photography, and business headshots.

The project included two pre-production scouting days. During the scouting days we visited each East Bay manufacturing location in order to better understand the lighting and equipment needs and to create a storyboard and photography shot list with the marketing team and engineers at Rigetti.

Rigetti also had need for fast, premium rush delivery of the final images for press release and other marketing use. To solve this request, we also provided an on-site photo editor as part of our creative team. This person sat at a mobile editing station and they imported, culled, and edited the photography in near real-time while my photo assistant and I were creating images. By including an on-site editor we were able to allow our clients to do image reviews throughout each photography day. And at the end of each photography day we delivered finished, edited and ready to use images to the clients. Now, that is fast!

Micro Chip Manufacturing and Professional Headshots for Corporate Leadership Team

We were also tasked with photographing Rigetti’s state of the art quantum processor chip manufacturing operations (images above). For this portion of the corporate photography project we had to go through a complex cleansing process to remove all static charge from our persons and our photography equipment. We then dressed in the full white protective suits before entering the lab. The photography setting was very similar to many of the bio-tech photography projects we had done in the past. Except, in this setting we were not allowed to use any flash photography as this would adversely affect the quantum technology. So we photographed the engineers and lab with available light only. 

In addition to the lifestyle, product, architecture, and corporate photography described above, Rigetti also needed professional headshot photography for their leadership team. We brought our mobile headshot studio to Rigetti’s offices and created a series of really fabulous professional portraits with a seamless white studio background. Here are a few of those headshots.

Download our corporate lifestyle photography brochure here and our professional headshots and portraits brochure here.

This corporate photography, lifestyle, product, and professional headshot photography story was made in Berkeley and Fremont, California in partnership with the quantum computing technology company, Rigetti. All photos created by Drew and his assistant, Stan. Drew Bird an international corporate photographer and a freelance photographer based in Oakland and the San Francisco Bay Area. Drew and our creative team are available for projects world-wide. Get in touch with Drew.

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