Tag Archives: corporate headshot tips
These days a contemporary, current headshot for corporate men and women is almost a “must-have.” If you go by the old standby that “first impressions matter” it could not be more true than in the business world. At our “Dallas Headshots by Sal Sessa” studio, and on location at hundreds of business offices, we shoot tons of men and women’s headshots. So in this blog post we would like to show some some off and sample what makes a great woman’s headshot.
We have a whole list of “Do’s and Don’ts” on our web page, which easily cover the basics. But it’s nice, we think, to have a look at some of the “headshot all stars” we have picked out who really show up looking good. We won’t say much here as we would rather let the photos speak for themselves
We provide a lot of examples of our work on our website and even give a “month by month” version just to let viewers see monthly work in progress. Clients can always call and discuss their plans or needs by phone: 214-683-6363 or by simply emailing us by the “contact us” button on our home page.
Ahhhhh. Retouching. The question we always get in the client / photographer conversation. “Do you include retouching?” Well, of course we do. And, actually it is almost as much an important part of the process as the photography itself (at least regarding headshots.) In the “old days” of film, photographers used to resort to all kinds of cool tricks to soften up skin with lighting, filters, vaseline on filters, saran wrap on lenses, etc. Then in the post process (when there was such a thing as custom labs / LOL /) the lab guys used to spot toning, more softening, diffusion, etc. But, “now-days” the photographer “is” the lab as well as the photographer and Photoshop has pretty much replaced any / all technique for making folks look good on the way in. Of course we try to compensate with nice, soft lighting, e.g. big windows, large softboxes, etc. BUT, if clients saw their RAW files and had the ability to zoom in and examine every pore and flaw they would of course, freak out in advance. That is why we always spend time on our proofs (they come pre-cropped and softened up nicely so as to give an accurate view of what final photos will look like.) As you can imagine to the degree that a photographer works on a file after a shoot can go in either direction. Going to far with a file can make it look fake and awkward. ”Shopped” as the term has become to be used. Taking a 75-year-old man and making him look 20 may make the client feel good at first glance, but will probably not go over very well in the business world. It takes a big of a relationship in advance between the photographer and the subject to understand just how much the client expects in this regard. To that degree, we just ask, Petty simple. Some folks really want a lot of work done, some don’t. In general what we supply as “minimal retouching” is deleting blemishes, but keeping scars (unless client requests them to be minimized,) smoothing skin (more later) whitening teeth, brightening eyes and removing stray hairs (more later.) This subject needs to be addressed in two or three parts so we will add to the “more later” as well as expand the subject in a few further posts.
Continuing the last conversation. What is it they say? The “devil is in the details?” Well, same goes for corporate headshots and business portraits for women. Of course you want to come prepared to “be yourself” and present a professional appearance, but here are a few tips as well.
About your hair. Please bring some gel / spray / brush to prepare right before the shot. The photographer may have these, but bring just in case.
Bring a hand held mirror. Not a little, itty bitty one, but you know; one of those 12 inch square types with a handle. Again, photographer may have one but bring just in case. And I’ll tell you why. Hair falls out of place when you are moving your head (tilting, turning, etc.) Photographer is usually looking at your eyes (for focus points.)
During the shoot: Smooth your hair. It’s hard for photographers to get those frizzies close to the edge of the outside hairline to smooth out with out looking fake. The closer you can get to “perfect hair” the better your shot is going to look. All this is NP if you have a MUA / hair stylist on board at your shoot, but if you don’t, remember the above at the minimum. In addtion to the hair, please consider these things as well: Jewelry. Keep it simple and classic. My favorite? Pearls. Why? They pick up the lights and give a bit of a sparkle catchlight that just makes them even more beautiful in a picture than they are in person. What else? Diamond earrings. Always work. Simple necklaces. But remember that mirror? Have the photographer hand hold it for you every once and a while during the shoot to make sure it’s centered. Hands: Jewelry for shots that may include hands? Well? Rings, bracelets, etc. of course. Your very best and favorites. But, please keep it simple (but still “be yourself.”) Fingernails should be perfect (just in case) photographer does “portrait style shots” with hands in the picture, meaning maybe get a mancure before the shot, and / or at least do your nails nicely.
That’s it for now. More later for the ladies of the corporate world! I know it’s “hard to improve on perfection” but we folks at Dallas Headshots will always do our best to help you put your “best face forward” the the business world!
On a recent corporate headshot portrait shoot in Dallas at the Hilton Park Cities Hotel, our client wanted a “natural background” vs. a standard background for a new look they were trying to get for their web page. She showed me a bunch of samples and they were good. Good enough to make me excited for a bit of a challenge. Well, the challenge got more interesting when we entered the hotel which was, albeit beautiful, small. I mean the lobby was very small and, being a lobby, busy. There were only two hallways available which were uninteresting, dark and busy. We would have to shoot the thing at 1/4th of a second, even at ISO 400 with this, and even that would be at 2.8. This is photographer lingo for, uh, not good. The assistant and I worked intently to try and come up with something, but the clock was ticking and getting closer and closer to the appropriate time to start shooting the corporate executives. At this point I was hoping someone would just shoot me. This is when you either decide to “go for it” or “punt.” But only if you know what to expect after-the-fact. We had looked at a background (a very large mural painting) that had a lot of nice swirl and warmth to it, that I felt would be perfect. But we spent 3/4 of the time looking for something better, which was our first mistake (oh, yeah, we make them!) LOL. Since we had tested it when we walked in, and were (please excuse the football analogy) on the 5 yard line, 4th down with seconds to go we went for it, re-tested quickly and were in gear as our first of nine Moneygram subjects walked out for their headshot portrait. So when shooting headshot portraits on location you not only have to be geared up for surprises, but you have to know that when it comes down to it, intuition and going with your gut is important as well.