You're thinking about booking a Headshot Photoshoot.
Great idea - you know its all about the visuals these days on social media.
We are all very good at scrolling past profiles - and you want to stop that happening to your profile.
But you have concerns.
How long will the shoot take? Where will it take place? Is there enough light in our offices? And so on.
This can cause decision paralysis: humans are pretty good at putting off unusual choices. If thinking is required this kind of thing can be put to the bottom of the pile....kicked into the long grass. I'm speaking from personal experience here too!
So this blog is intended to address some of these concerns and hopefully provide some comfort in making the next step, if thats what you wish to do: to organise a brief zoom meeting and chat over a headshot session.
Ultimately you want to present to the web the best version of yourself: to either get that perfect job, improve promotional prospects or gain more (and better-suited) clients for your business. Let's go.
I typically receive an inquiry by email and my first reply is to ask for a phonecall to find out what they have in mind. It's simply fact-finding. No sales stuff.
I'll want to know what type of shot they wish - is it inside or outside. Is it a plain background? What style it should be? Where? There's a lot of fact-finding to be done which, by email, is just not that good.
This Headshot is of a senior management team - this was shot in a very small room in their offices whilst the team was having a quarterly meeting in Glasgow - the team was spread over the globe and was flown in for the meeting/photoshoot.
These types of things will be talked over and if we decide to go ahead further conversations will take place on choice of location, times, what to wear, how much time is involved and so on.
"[Guy's] experience and encouragement in the lead up and on the day was amazing."
If a team is to be shot, a plan for the day will be produced so that those involved know when they will be photographed and how long each person will have. These plans are of course not set in stone. So no queuing for hours at a door waiting for a slot.
One of a team of seventeen - Headshot taken against a window - this presented a challenge as the light from behind changed throughout the day - from clouds coming and going to of course the sun moving - it was important to get their shots consistent with what they had before.
Most of my commercial headshots have been shot in the client's place of business - so I've not been beaten on space yet.
This benefits the client - work can go on. Disruption to the workplace is kept to a minimum. There's no wasted time travelling, parking or finding the studio etc. etc.
And do you need to supply a room with a plain wall and a plenty of light?
No: I'll bring along the background, if needed, and the lights will be supplied and controlled by me - in fact big windows without blinds, would not help.
A Headshot studio set-up, above, in a client's premises, to achieve a white background.
This Headshot was taken at a conference location in a seminar room
So don't worry about the room - these things can be chatted over in advance.
If a team is to have their headshots photographed (which I do a lot of) I will arrive at their place of business, typically at 9am for a 10 am start.
Arriving earlier often doesn't work, although if I can I will. I prefer more time. But much depends on when staff arrive at the office and access to the place where the Headshots will be taken.
I'll set up a studio in the office (in an area discussed in advance) and test the lights etc. to make sure I am happy.
Softboxes - these are used to modify the light and form part of the studio set up - Profoto is a leading, top-end brand and have a reputation for consistency, reliability and quality - so when the CEO arrives from Dubai the chances of light failure or technical delays are massively reduced.
The amount of time each person has for the session will be determined (in advance) by how many photos they expect at the end - and also seniority has a bearing. If a CEO has been flown in from, say, Dubai, she will probably be allowed more time for additional options.
"Guy took all the hassle out of a full set of sales team head-shots. The whole process was run so smoothly by Guy and nothing was a problem."
Each person is coached on how to stand. It's awful being placed in front of a camera not knowing what to do; so plenty of guidance is offered.
I'll not say "do your thing..!" 😂
If you are comfortable in front of the camera that will come over in your headshot.
"When the time came to update my photo, I could think of no one better or understanding of my intense dislike for having my photo taken.." Dr S Scurlock
"Very friendly and you will be at ease, great experience!" D Kumar
At the end of the shoot each person will choose their Headshot and thats it sorted.
If someone is struggling to choose something (folk can be quite harsh on themselves) we work out what's liked and not liked; then have another go. And we keep going until we're happy.
This is a headshot with a white background - shot in a boardroom in Cumbernauld, Scotland.
On the day of the shoot invariably someone will have a change of plan so flexibility is key - an important meeting may have cropped up or the kids may have an issue at school. It's never a big deal. I'll swap folk over or find space.
If you are an individual having a headshot taken its pretty much the same routine as it is for a team - it's just a little bit easier to organise.
Within an agreed time-frame the final images chosen will be worked on and delivered by online link - sized both large (for prints) and small (for the web) so they are ready to use immediately.
Also they will, if you wish, have spare space around them (uncropped) so that they can be adjusted to suit the size needed - Linkedin may want a square headshot but a publication may need a 5x7 image....room around the pic helps with that flexibility.
So what have we covered in this blog - in summary, the lesson to take away is "everything can be worked out":-
✅ Your offices will be the location - saves time, disruption and expense.
✅Everyone knows when it's their turn - no time wasted.
✅Style Guidance is available - wear what's best for your shoot.
✅Lighting - I supply that.
✅Plain Background - I supply that too.
✅Windows in room - not needed. Unlike coffee: needed!
✅Communication - we will chat everything over in advance. Preparation and planning!
So there you go - a whistle-stop tour of a Headshot Photoshoot.
Get in touch and we can have a no-obligation, free, informal chat to go over your options and get your team representing your brand in the best possible way!
A mug shot of me - testing a light set-up before a client's arrival. If it helps, I'm never happy with my test shots either...this one I can live with! We're all in the same boat.
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Drop me an mail 💻[email protected]
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Federation of European Photographers