In the first place, a photography brief helps compile information for the photographer. As a result, this information helps the photographer by giving them information regarding the photographs you require.
WHAT THE PHOTOGRAPHER NEEDS
The boring stuff
Your company name and address, this is so they know who is commissioning the work. Together with the responsible person that the photographer will have contact with, this includes contact details.
In light of your requirements, what do you want to use the images for (print, web)? Moreover, what is the date/time the photo shoot is to take place? In addition, have you a list of the images required. Accordingly, if the shoot is outside is there a plan for bad weather? In this case, do you require the images in landscape or portrait, in high resolution or low-resolution imagery?
The essential details
In any event now for the meat of this blog. When did you think about the images you wanted what did you consider? As can be seen, the thoughts that you had are important and should be shared with the photographer.
Overall, are you looking for a particular style for your images? As an illustration, do you have you some examples of what you are looking for? At the same time, do you have links to these images?
Consequently, do you have a message that you want to convey in the image(s)? As a result, does the photographer need to leave space in the image for a logo or branding?
Likewise, what is the lighting like at the location., will the shots require lighting equipment?
The important stuff for the Photography Brief
Therefore, what is the deadline for the images and how do you want to receive them?
For more information Contact Martin he will be happy to discuss your requirements.
How to Prepare for a Headshot Photo Session
Accordingly, headshots from a headshot photo session are a powerful way to market yourself. As a result, you could be a business person, model, lawyer.
Therefore, in this post, I explain how you should prepare for a headshot photo session with a professional photographer.
Choosing a Photographer
In the first place, photographers are all different, no two are alike. As a result, each one has its own individuality of shooting style and editing style and bedside manner. Therefore, one photographer may be very laid back with their clients and like to keep the shoot casual. While another likes to keep a more business-like setting to their sessions. To put it differently, does either style make one less professional? Absolutely not, it’s all a matter of preference.
By the same token, Photographers have different levels of expertise and experience. Thus some have been shooting for 20+ years and their work can be lacking. Equally, others have been shooting for a few short months and have some amazing work under their belt. When choosing a Photographer don’t be fooled by the length of time they have been shooting. Therefore judge them by the quality of their work, most photographers have an online portfolio
Different Types of Headshots
Henceforth, all photographers have a different style of shooting for a headshot photo session. Therefore, you should think about the style that you want. Most importantly tell your photographer which style you want when booking.
Another thing to consider is the background. In fact, I personally prefer white it’s clean and where LinkedIn is concerned, makes you stand out.
1. Vertical Studio Headshot
A common style that is vertical (portrait) in orientation. Consequently, this gives you the opportunity to show what you are wearing. Hence, this lets people get a better sense of who you are and what your style is.
2. Peter Hurley Style
Horizontal instead of the traditional vertical usually with a nice and crisp white background.
For this reason, I personally like to shoot this style. The white background works well for all aspects of the internet whether it’s your website or social media.
3. Environmental Headshot
In this case, for professional headshots, environmental headshots are taken outside of a studio. For this reason, this is shot using natural or artificial light.
Consequently, they are a more casual style of image. Hence, a good outdoors headshot is one that has separated from the background. Therefore, the background is blurry and is known as Bokeh.
Getting Ready for your Headshot Photo Session
Accordingly, you’ve chosen your photographer and have had your first discussion over the phone. As a result, you’ve thought about the style you want and the location/background. In addition, the date is looming for the photoshoot. Therefore, being prepared for the shoot makes you relax and easier to photograph.
Moreover, simple is best. Therefore, what you wear is an expression of you and reflects your personality.
- Accordingly, choose solid colours as these look good in headshots.
- Do not wear something that is patterned.
- In particular, bring a few changes of clothes to the shoot.
- Equally, it’s not likely that the photographer is going to have an iron. Please make sure ALL clothes are ironed and pressed before the shoot. Because the wrinkles in clothes are difficult to Photoshop out.
- Likewise, for headshots, you don’t need to worry about your shoes, be comfortable.
- In this case, please do not visit your hairdresser on the day of the shoot.
- Accordingly, please bring with you a brush and some hair product (gel/hairspray), this helps to calm any stray flyaway hair.
- Furthermore, if you can afford it and would like, hire a hairstylist for the morning of the shoot.
3. Makeup and Face
- In general, start with just enough to cover up any blemishes.
- Moreover, try not to use matte styles of makeup this is likely to dry out your skin. It will also show in the finished photo.
- Please bring your makeup and moisturizer with you just in case your skin does get dry or you need touchups.
- Likewise, bring lip balm or lip gloss with you to help keep lips looking soft.
- The night before brush your lips with your toothbrush to help get rid of any dead skin.
- Don’t do visiting a tanning studio, or have a beauty treatment right before the shoot. It’s important to have a skin that is natural and not irritated.
- Remove stray eyebrows the night prior to the shoot.
- Also, if you wear glasses please bring them with you. Also, some lens wipes to clean them before the shoot. Similarly, only wear clear contact lenses if you have coloured ones please don’t wear them for the shoot. To explain, these will look fake in the photos.
- Shave right before you leave for a shoot. Hence, a 5 o clock shadow can’t be Photoshopped easily. Accordingly, use cooling gel or aftershave to help with skin irritation.
- Bring some oil absorbing sheets to soak up any oil or sweat that might build up during the shoot. As a result, the studio lights can get pretty hot. As a matter of fact, some great sheets are the Clean and Clear: Oil Absorbing Sheets.
4. Practice Makes Perfect
Consequently, as an added extra, if you can afford it. Why not hire a Makeup artist to do your makeup and stay with you during the shoot for touchups.
Before the shoot
- Furthermore, do you know if you have a good side? Therefore, look at yourself in the mirror, do you have a side that you like better.
- If you are aware of one eye that is visibly smaller than the other. In this case, turn the side of your face with the smaller eye towards the camera. As a result, it will help reduce the difference between the two.
- Practice your smile before the shoot. It’s amazing how many will comment and warm to you. A good photographer will get different expressions from you during the shoot.
- Moreover, if you are have discoloured teeth, let the photographer know, they can correct this in photoshop.
- Accordingly, if you have a favourite set of music, ask the photographer if you can bring it along.
During the Shoot
- In this case, music helps take the tension out of your photo session.
- Equally important, follow the photographer’s direction, even if it sounds a little silly. Accordingly, we know the best posing on headshots and the best way to shape your face. You may feel a little funny posing differently, but trust me the photos will look great.
- Henceforth, the session should be fun to relax, be yourself.
- In addition smile, a difficult one to do naturally. In this case, don’t force your smile it will look more genuine.
- Squint, Squint, Squint!!! Squinting your eyes just a little will also help the shots look more confident and natural. To put it another way, having your eyes wide open looks like a rabbit in the headlights.
- In addition, take time to relax, drink some water and move away from the lights and take a break.
After the Shoot
Accordingly, each photographer has a different editing style for photos from a headshot photo session. Equally important, let them know if you want the photos edited. In general, here is a list of some of the items you might want to consider.
- Imperfections. Do you want imperfections cleaned up (Freckles, moles, scars etc…)?
- Double chin reduction.
- Eyes Whiter
- Teeth whitened/corrected
- Remove bags under the eyes
Equally, don’t feel awkward about asking or the photographer asking you about editing. If they’re truly a professional then they’ll expect this. If you do want any major editing done, please keep in mind that it may cost extra.
Depending on the amount of shoot post-processing that needs undertaking will depend on when the photos are available. Accordingly, please be realistic in your expectation.
Hopefully, this guide will help you prepare for your big day in front of the camera for your headshot photo session. It will also help make your experience a little more stress-free. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or email me
Use this form to give me some information about what you’re looking for.
What is a professional headshot image?
Accordingly creating the Professional headshot image is an art after all “Image is Everything”.
For one thing, it’s personality, a body, a face, an expression. For this reason, it’s an expression and energy that conveys realism, character and intensity.
What is the energy?
In this case, its someone who wants to be in front of the camera. As well as the ability to offer a range of expressions and acting naturally. As a result, this creates good commercial energy usually with a great natural smile. Consequently, the viewer senses the energy from the eyes projected right into the lens.
Accordingly, the image must look natural and not over styled.
In the first place, your professional headshot image is your ambassador. As a result, when someone meets you in person they will expect to see the person they viewed.
Therefore, what impression will they form if your image is different from your appearance? In the first place, the impression that they then form may not be a good one. Surprisingly, the lifespan of a headshot is 2-3 yrs.
In the first place, it is not as simple as standing in front of a camera and taking a picture. Consequently, you have to consider the background, lighting, wardrobe, hairstyle, smile and look. Specifically, the wardrobe and styling are to complement the subject not overwhelm them.
Equally important is the framing of the subject with a background that is either plain or out of focus. Accordingly, the background should not stand out, the viewer’s eyes should concentrate on the subject.
For one thing, the world wide web has probably been the largest drivers of white backgrounds. As a result, most templates for websites etc are white or off-white for profile images. For this reason, a professional headshot can integrate fairly seamlessly directly onto most websites and social media platforms.
Consequently, this has created the need for the background of headshots to be uniform. For this reason, white portrait backgrounds fit this bill very well. In addition, this helps in making them work best across viewing platforms.
For this reason, business profile photographers like Peter Hurley use light and white backgrounds to make the subject stand out.
Setting the professional headshot image mood.
To begin with, setting the mood is about relaxing the subject. Therefore a good way to start is by using music, find out what music the subject(s) like to relax to.
In like manner, the subject needs to be comfortable. As a result, avoid extremes of hot or cold indoors or outdoors. Accordingly, keep movement around the photo shoot to a minimum to avoid the distracting the subject.
In this case, framing is about creating a professional headshot image. For this reason, the photographer has to study the subject and talk to them. Consequently, some of the information is obvious to the photographer, like scars, different size eyes, broken nose, physical appearance.
In contrast, others may not, such as a lazy eye, the subjects best side. As a result, this information helps the photographer bring out the best in the photo shoot session.
The aim of the professional headshot image session
In the first place, the aim is to provide a professional headshot image. Therefore this needs to convey warmth, confidence and authority.
For this reason, the image should have a natural smile, pleasing eye contact, shot from a flattering angle and at eye level.
Additionally, for further information or to book a photo shoot, act now by contacting Martin
STUDIO LIGHTING (part 2)
In this case, this blog is about Studio Lighting Setup.
To begin with, in the last blog I wrote about the choice of studio lights available. As can be seen, in this blog, I am going into a bit more detail about setting the lights up.
Furthermore, as mentioned in the previous blog, for this type of backdrop four lights give you a good photo. In this case, my studio lighting setup for four lights is:-
- Main/key light.
- Fill light
- Hair light
- Backdrop light
Studio Lighting Setup
In this case, the lights placed to one side of the camera to highlight the subject. Therefore this lights one side of the subject. In general, the light level for this would be around f8-f11.
Generally speaking, you would place this light on the opposite side of the camera that the main light is on. In contrast, the role of this light is to put light into any shadow created by the main light. To clarify, it lifts the shadows and is not a strong light. In general, the light level for this would be f5.6-f8.
In addition, the hair lights placed at a high level over the top or at the side of the backdrop. In this case, this light lights the hair of the subject. The typical value for light level is f5.6
Coloured/Dark Backdrop Lighting
Accordingly, this lights placed low level behind the subject light the backdrop. In like manner, the light level is similar to the hair light.
In this case, the main light and fill stay in place. At the same time, the hair and backdrop lights become redundant. With this in mind, place these lights to the side to illuminate the white backdrop. In this case, the lighting levels for the two side light is around f11. Equally important the lights must light the backdrop evenly.
As an illustration, the diagrams above should help with you setting up your lighting for profile headshots. However, feel free to contact me if you require help.
Studio Lighting (part 1)
Accordingly, studio lighting takes many forms. As a matter of fact, there are flashlights, continuous lighting and strobe lighting.
As a result, you have to consider which benefits you best.
In this case, Flashguns used off camera.
Likewise, as the name suggests the lighting does not change although it can be dimmed or brightened.
Accordingly, this normally has a modelling light that allows you to judge the final lighting setup. In addition, it has a strobe light that supplies the actual lighting for the subject when fired.
When I started the business I choose Stobe Lighting. For this reason. that it was a portable unit. In this case, the units are mains electricity or battery powered. You can also use a variety of light modifiers over the strobe to soften the light.
Moreover, all forms of studio lighting require setting up for light level and colour balance. That is to say, to do this accurately you need a light meter and a using a grey card. If you don’t do this then you will get inferior results. Must be remembered, each light requires setting up individually to produce the effect the photographer is looking for.
You can use 1 or multiples of, in most cases, you would use more than 1. In this case, the ideal studio lights for portraits is four.
1. would be the main/key light.
2. would be your fill light
3. would be your hair light
4. would be your backdrop light
For this reason, these lighting setups are normally used for coloured backdrops.
Generally speaking, if you’re using a white background, you remove the hair and backdrop lights. These then get placed pointing at the white backdrop.
In addition, with the lights in position and set to the levels required, the cameras set to the settings. In this case, the cameras set to the main/key light setting.
Watch out for part two. Want to know more then drop me a line.
In the first place, a business portrait requires an expression that conveys realism, confidence, character and intensity. In this case, for a business portrait “Image is Everything” which makes this an art.
For this reason, it’s important to get your image right, have a look at this study from Photo Feeler
Furthermore, the biggest challenge a photographer faces is getting people to relax and look “themselves” for a good business portrait. More often people are simply too tense or self-conscious when facing a camera to really let their guard down. Consequently, this causes a problem by denying a chance to capture their relaxed, smiling and natural expressions.
How To Create A Pleasing Business Portrait.
In the first place asking someone to smile for the camera, can look a little fake. Surprisingly a fake smile does not show in the eyes.
Likewise, to achieve the genuine smile you need to employ a few tactics, what’s the best way to do this?
For one thing, never ask people to smile or ask them to say “cheese”.
In like manner, it’s important that the photographers relaxed and smiling as its contagious. Consequently, if not the client will sense the uptight feeling and they won’t relax. For this reason, if they feel uptight this will show in the photos.
Therefore start by asking them to think about someone or something that makes them laugh. As a result of that way, you get a great reaction and a genuine smile.
In the first place, get the conversation going, take the pressure off by chatting. Therefore, ask them what they like or dislike, what the weather is doing, what was there best night out. In other words, DO NOT stand behind the camera and not say a word.
Using jokes is a good way to break the ice. Beware though keep within acceptable limits. In this case, you can use corny jokes or even knock-knock.
Surely you remember the fun you had at school with tongue twisters? Prepare a couple on a card and ask the client to repeat them aloud. Then in front of the camera ask them to repeat them quickly. As a result, yes, you guessed it they will start to laugh/smile.
Compliment them, find something that is part of them. Like their eyes instead of their outfit.
Furthermore, try and find out what music they like. During the session randomly start singing. See what happens when you sing the lyrics wrong?
Ask Them Not To Smile
As an illustration, make a point of asking the client to keep a straight face. Particularly if you’re still smiling. As a result, when you tell them not to smile they find it hard not to smile.
On the positive side, I hope that you enjoyed this. For further information, contact Martin
As a matter of fact, your LinkedIn photo identifies you to your viewers. With this in mind does your LinkedIn photo create the right impression?
For this reason, have you given much thought to your LinkedIn photo profile? In fact, have you updated it recently?
People who join LinkedIn do so because it is the largest professional networking site. Consequently, by making connections you expand your circle of businesses that could be looking for what you offer.
In the first place, your LinkedIn photo matters have a view of this piece of work by Alexander Todorov. LinkedIn photos do matter, in fact, it is a powerful marketing tool.
For this reason professional headshots important, it is your first chance to impress the people that visit your profile. In other words, it creates your first impression. From the article by Alexander Todorov, it’s less than 1/10th of a second for someone to form that first impression.
For example is by using a selfie, a photo from a wedding/party, business people are doing themselves a disservice. That is to say, the square box on your profile is really important. In other words, go on give yourself a chance you never know who is looking.
Consequently, have you looked at the people your connected to? In addition to how many of those profile photos stand out as a good first impression?
What makes a bad LinkedIn photo that lets people down?
Likewise, selfies have their place, but not where you are portraying yourself as a professional business person. Consequently, you are more likely to impress people with what you do, can do or what you have to offer. Thus a poorly taken selfie is unlikely to create that great impression.
For one thing, giveaways are the hair, medallions, flairs, glasses, holding the brick phone these reveal a dated photo. As a result, what does that say to the viewer?
Accordingly, it portrays how seriously you take your online presence, viewers are likely not to take you seriously.
For this reason, I would recommend updating your profile every 2-3yrs.
Photos that look nothing like you in real life
Equally important is that your LinkedIn photo should reflect you as you are. When you first meet someone they want to see the person they have been looking at. Consequently if not they are likely to ask themselves “can I trust this person”.
Photos not showing the face clearly
By the same token, people make first impressions on what they see. For this reason, people have a tendency not to trust people whose face they can’t see. In this case, it could be something as simple as sunglasses. Therefore as the saying goes “the eyes are the window to the soul”. Also, don’t wear a hat that shields the face, people need to know who you really are.
Feeling awkward or false smiles
In my opinion, a natural smile looks far better than a forced or fake grin. When people enjoy themselves smiles come naturally, therefore, you look relaxed in a photo. For this reason, this is something that you probably won’t be able to replicate with a selfie.
In the first place to relax a subject its all about communication. Consequently the more communicating you do the more at ease you feel
The first thing to remember is your photo needs to show your personality and how relaxed you appear. Your face requires to be visible, so viewers can relate to you when they communicate.
Equally important is what you wear and how you prepare for this a whole new subject.
For your updated LinkedIn profile photo get in contact with Martin and book your session.
Corporate Headshot with a Cityscape Backdrop
First thing to remember is that a Corporate Headshot is a personal and a business selling tool. For this reason, it is important that you have a quality image that portrays you and your business. In this case, it’s this that forms the first impression of you.
CREATING YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION
To begin with, the start of the process is to capture your headshot. In this case, I attend your office and set up the lighting and a white or green collapsible background. As a result, the main point of this exercise is to capture a well-lit professional headshot.
For this reason by shooting at the client’s office means that I am in full control of the lighting. Consequently, the major benefit of this method ensures the headshot looks like it taken in an office.
With this in mind, green is good for replacing the background of an image (as in green screen).
In this case, white is perfect for web-friendly images. Unfortunately, when you photograph against a white background you always have a hint of grey in it.
Then in post processing, I work on the photo to remove the remove the original background. The client is then able to have a white background or one of there choice.
As a result, the white background is highly acceptable for professional headshots. However, sometimes the client likes to match a current corporate website background colour and drop that in for the individual.
Accordingly, the next process is to email the client a range of backgrounds. In this case for them to choose from and then we add these to the headshot.
When the client has selected the backgrounds(s) the subjects placed in the image. Indeed cares taken in placing the subject in the right place. That is finding the right place and ensuring the background is not pin sharp. Also reviewing the angle of the background ensuring it matches the subject.
For this reason, I ask the client to choose different backgrounds as not all of them will work. Therefore choosing the right one is about making the image look real.
Another great benefit once I have captured your headshot, you can review our photo library for a variety of backgrounds that you feel suits the headshot. Accordingly, you could use these for different media or profile photographs.
Find out more about this service corporate headshot with a city backdrop contact Martin
White Backgrounds for Professional Headshots
Professional Headshots using White Backgrounds is undoubtedly a personal and professional business selling tool. For this reason, the first image that viewers see helps to build rapport. As a result, it’s the start of “Like, Know and Trust”.
It must be remembered that until we meet, our professional headshot becomes our public face. To put it another way, your website and social media platforms are your extended workplaces.
Professional Headshots, Social Media and Web Use
For one thing, the internet and social media have probably been the largest drivers of white backgrounds. As a result, most templates for social media and websites profile images are white or off-white. For this reason, a professional headshot can integrate fairly seamlessly directly onto most websites and social media platforms.
As a result of the shift to web-based viewing, this has created the need for the background of headshots to be uniform. For this reason, white portrait backgrounds fit this bill very well. In addition, this helps in making them work best across viewing platforms.
Corporate Look Matching of Headshots
For the most part, companies wishing to maintain a ‘corporate look’ to their employee headshots, need consistency. As an illustration, headshots taken on different days of different people in different locations can look totally different. For this reason, the easiest way to consistently match looks is with plain white backgrounds.
Thus white backgrounds are the easiest most flexible background colour choice for larger companies, with constant new hires and multiple sites, wishing to maintain a uniform corporate look to their headshots. They are also simpler for smaller operations, though not as much an issue on this score until a new hire is brought on board, or if one of the team members needs an update for a new look they may have, due to a new hairstyle or significant loss of weight, etc.
White Backgrounds are Distraction Free for Headshots
In reality, no matter if we shoot in black and white or colour, plain white is the most consistent distraction free background for headshots.
In black and white, the pure white tone is usually lighter than any skin tone and separates faces well from the background for most people. This is regardless of their race.
In reality the smaller the size of a headshot being viewed, the more pronounced the white background effect. In fact, as the display screen gets smaller, the lack of distraction of the background becomes more critical. As a result, what looks a fantastic headshot on a full page size look indistinguishable on smartphone screens.
In particular environmental headshots, become hard to distinguish as size becomes smaller due to their many distracting elements.
A HEADSHOT ON A PURE WHITE SAYS, PROFESSIONAL,
When someone takes a selfie the pure white background is very difficult to emulate. That is to say, you usually end up with a greyish background. Under these circumstances, to have a pure white background is to use a professional or have it created post-production.
Pure white backgrounds silently convey the powerful message that this headshot is a Professional Headshot of a Business Professional.
For your Professional Headshots give me a call and book your headshot session.
Head shot Background
For a head shot background there are a lot of choices. In view of this only a few of these are regularly used.
As this is a head-shot all you need is a white background large enough to cover the head and shoulders. If you want to do this yourself you need white card or white foam backed card (gives you a bit more stiffness). As it’s a head-shot the card only needs to be large enough to cover the head and shoulders. You could use a white screen if you have one or a white painted wall.
For best results use your flash off camera, this will eliminate red eye in the photos.
Black as a background is not common as this is a little more tricky to light or rather not light. As this is a black background we want the backdrop to absorb the light and not make the background show up. In order to do this the subject needs to stand far enough in-front of the background so that the light only falls on the subject.
This again could be black card or foam card or black cloth like Felt.
For something different use the great outdoors as your backdrop. With this in mind, you want something that does not stand out, ideally bushes, rocks or water. The trick is not to shoot the subject and have the background stand out. You want a blurred background this allows the subject to stand out and draw the viewers eye towards them.
Today you can by a background that enables you to fold up into a convenient sized bag. They come in a selection of sizes but the 2m x 1.5m should be big enough for single subjects or a small group. They come in a selection of colours, White, black, green, grey you can even get mottled look coloured backgrounds. You can buy separate covers to zip over the original to change the background,. These are not cheap but they will last a long time.
Green screen as a background offers a lot of possibilities, you do need photo editing software like Photoshop to post process the image.
To photograph the subject, you need the subject to stand about six feet in front of the backdrop and try not to spill light onto the backdrop (creating a hotspot), just the subject. See here or here for more details.
Transfer the image onto your computer and open the software. The software allows you to change the background and use another suitable image to place behind the subject.
Whatever background you choose remember that the subject needs to stand out and not the background.
Tell me what your favourite head shot background is and why you would like your image shot against it?