Corporate Headshots For Your Office
Looking to establish or update your office's website with fresh headshots? That's what I do. Most of my work is done on location at businesses just like yours. It's a simple thing to bring me in and work with your people to get high quality headshots.
Where To Start?
I think a phone conversation is a great way to begin. If you just starting your search for a headshot photographer it might be helpful to read over this page. I will cover most of the questions I get on an intial conversation along with some other thoughts.
How To Budget
My minimum to come to your office and shoot is $500 which includes the first 3 subjects shot and retouched. There are ways to lower the overall costs. For instance you may not benefit from having every subject retouched. It could be that many of the images will only be on LinkedIn or of a similiar size on your company website. Perhaps you just need your leadership team's images retouched. By reducing the number of images retouched you can save money with large groups.
How much space do you need to work?
I need a space with about 12 feet of length and 10 feet of width to work with. I need 45 minutes to set up and half that to strike and load out. I've always been able to make it work. I'm sure we can find a way to make your space work. However if you're in a complex where you can sign out a room, use a corner of a common space, the lobby, or other space it can produce some great results.
How To Dress For Your Headshot
This varies from industry to industry. The broad strokes are this. You should wear a shirt with seams down the middle. Vertical lines do us all a favor. If you're the self concious about your weight wear a shirt with a collar that covers the shoulders and has a seam down the middle. The alternative to that is a black or dark turtle neck with a jacket. That has the advantage of covering your neck if your concerned about what's been happening under your chin in the last decade. You could also do the "aging rock star" trick and wear a scarf. If a scarf not one with a print pattern or of bright color. Retouching will take care of a lot of what is happening in that area for you. Women have many choices. I think covering your shoulders and upper arms is a good decision. I'd be careful that the neckline isn't too low. This isn't for the sake of being conservative. It's for having good cropping options. I deliver a crop with more margin that shows a neckline. If your webmaster crops tight it might appear that you aren't wearing anything if you were the wrong clothes. Look at my website and get ideas from there. For a woman's headshot, I think a nice business shirt is hard to beat. If you feel you need slimming then wear a dark jacket with a slim opening. Clothing for a headshot is tame. If somoene looks at your headshot and says, "Great dress" it's not a great headshot. It's really about your face and you don't want to distract from that. Bright colors, low necklines on dresses, are shoulders, large jewelry, necklaces in general... all distract to some degree. Simple clean vertical slimming lines are key in my opinion. Pleats don't work as well as non-pleated clothing. Seam lines with extra fabric or "frills" will make you wider. Shoulders with puffy pleats will make you look wider.
Headshot Day At The Office: What to expect
I shoot tethered to a laptop computer. Once I get the subject situated and we get a couple of decent takes I bring them over to the computer. We look at the early takes and based on what we see I make suggestions. This is one of the most important steps in the process. Everyone does better after they see themselves. 99% of the time they find it encouraging. They go back to their mark more confident and relaxed for a second set of takes. We repeat the process until both the subject and I are satisfied that we have a few great choices. Please don't have the employees line up. Men especially tend to be disruptive in a light hearted way. But it's distracting and things will go better without the male banter. Women tend to be very helpful with each other. So, it's best to bring them in one by one or send the women in pairs according to help each other. Women have many more options then men so it's very helpful for me as a male photographer, to have an additional female in the shooting room. I suggest having a list of folks in the order you want them shot. Give them a window of time to be available. Situations vary and we can talk about yours and how to handle the que with respect to your workplaces individual needs.
How long should I allow for each person to get their headshot taken?
A rule of thumb is about 3 minutes per person. So if your office is busy and you can't spare people and you need to "get it done" I'd give me an hour per 20 people. I am able to shoot as many as 30 to 40 people in an hour. Typically that is in a conference situation where time is limited. In the studio I spend on average 30 minutes on a single headshot. The limiting factor is how much time you give your people to get shot. In the workplace most people are doing well to have 3 to 5 minutes for a headshot.
This happens a lot. It's understandable that the C level folks would want the most predictable part of the schedule. BUT... I need to dial things in. It's best to give me one person before them, then bring in the leadership team.
Who picks the final photo?
There's a number of ways to work this. The most common is that I put up a proofing gallery and someone at your company, most often the subject, chooses the final take to be retouched. Alternatively you can have the subjects choose at the time of the shoot. Lastly you can have me choose for you. In certain situations, like when I'm used as "booth bait" at a conference, trade show, or expo, having me select is the only way it works affordably.
Once the final photo is selected I retouch the images if you have ordered retouching. Unless you're on a strict budget I retouch the images personally. I have over a decade of retouching experience and it would be more expensive for you to hire out a retoucher with my experience. That is to say: I'm your most affordable option for high quality retouching. All the work you see on my website is retouched by me personally.
You can save some money by hiring out the retouching yourself, or foregoing it all together. It depends on how you will use the final images. If the images are going to exist only as 100 pixel thumbnails on your website it may not matter. My retouching holds up at any size.
My retouching includes blemish removal, base tone skin blending, hair silouette clean up, and minor clothing fixes (moire).
You can go to print or the web with my retouching. I do not have a "before and after" page out of respect for my clients. On request I can send you a link to a temporary page to see some of my retouching.
What background should we use for our headshots?
What background should we use for our headshots?
If you're in doubt I would use a light gray paper background. It works for the most people and brings a consistency to your presentation of the headshots. If you're a company with lots of locations a gray background is easy to replicate in any situation. Other colors and white work as well. I would caution against a strong color like orange or yellow. Outdoors is a great way to get some variance in each shot but with a consistent look. Occassionally you have to deal with rainouts though. If you're people are local this is a great way to go. The view through the window. Does your office have a great view? Using your conference room window is a great way to go. Again weather conditions apply but you can also composite a view in the window in those situations. Extra costs apply to compositing a sunny day view of your office if we work on a cloudy day, but it can be a better alternative to rescheduling. Your office as a background. It could be a logo on your window, or just the office itself. Check the gallery on this page for some ideas and things I've done in the past. Composite backgrounds are an added expense due to the time involved in combining two images and making it look like it's one shot done in camera. Or it can be a more illustrative approach where the composite bg is obvious and the whole look is somewhat stylized. Pre-Printed background. This is a great way to bring consistency to a brand with multiple locations. It's an added expense but if each of your locations had the same pre-printed background, everyone's headshot would be consistent. It could be a picture of an office, a view through a window, or your company logo etc... many possibilities.