Well done! You’ve just taken the most difficult step in creating a terrific online presence – you’ve booked your headshot photography session.
As with a lot of things in life, the first step is the most difficult and from now on, it’s pretty easy. I’ll steer you through the whole process and show you how to get the very best results from the session.
Before your shoot, we’ll chat and discuss the reason for the headshots and where they’re going to be used. It sounds pretty obvious but the more information I have before the photography session, the better able I am to tailor the style of the shoot to your needs. These include:
- Processing and editing and adjustments
Most of us hate being photographed so I’ll be pleased to tell you exactly how the shoot is going to progress, the reasons behind parts of the process and of course to answer any other questions you may have.
A typical senior management style of portrait. You’ll see I’ve opted for a horizontal crop (to stand out from the sea of vertical portraits), a ‘warm’ black and white finish to complement the expression and chosen a black background to add a touch of formality to the portrait.
Clothing is important to all photographic portraits, even headshots. My advice for a business headshot is to always select plain, mid toned clothing that’s not going to draw attention away from the face. Steer clear of loud colours, bold patterns or anything distracting. V necks work well and can balance the headshot portrait nicely. If in doubt, feel free to bring a couple of alternative tops to the portrait session so we can discuss prior to the shoot.
Without lighting, there is no portrait 🙂 There’s a big difference between just illuminating the subject by shining a big light in there general direction, and using a number of lights to create a mood, minimise unwanted elements and to create a flattering portrait. No matter how advanced cameras have become, no software can assess this and create a lighting set up that enhances the portrait and contribute to you looking your best. Naturally you don’t have to worry about this, I’ll set up the lighting and reflectors ahead of time (based on our pre-shoot discussion) and tweak everything as the shoot progresses.
Composition. Again, that’s something I’ll take care of as we photograph. We can discuss this ahead of time and I can give you some insight as to how this affects the ‘feel’ of the portrait. For example, most portraits on LinkedIn are vertical in shape. By using a horizontal crop we can make your portrait stand out on a page of listings. It can make a big difference.
Backgrounds. I often favour an off-white background for business headshot photographs but I can show you how these can affect the finished look of the portrait. A black background gives an entirely different look of course – it can be cool for some applications but it’s as well to be aware of these prior to the shoot. Again, we can chat about these before the photography session.
Expression. Probably the most important part of the portrait in my opinion. Given that your corporate portrait will usually end up on your website, it’s important that the mood of the photograph is open, warm, genuine and approachable. You don’t want to scare anyone off 🙂 Throughout the shoot, I’ll be coaching you in exactly how to achieve this look in a way that doesn’t come across as contrived or cheesy. I know a lot my clients worry about this but rest assured, I’ll be guiding you through a process guaranteed to result in great photographs you’ll be proud to use on your website and online.
Processing editing and adjustments. After the session, the digital workflow involves downloading and backing up your images, processing each individual file, cropping and adjusting for colour balance, density and applying any corrections needed. This takes a little while but it’s well worth it so the colours are natural and neutral.