Staff Headshots, Company Photoshoot, Staff Photoshoot

Make your Staff Headshot day a success

You have just been given the task of organising staff headshots. Sounds straightforward enough (and it is). But as with all things involving people, making sure the day goes smoothly requires organisation. So here is a simple management checklist that ensures you ask the right questions, create the right brief, hire the right photographer and get a set of images that everyone is happy with.

How long does a corporate headshot take?

Realistically anywhere between 10 to 30 minutes is needed for each person.  Your objectives determine the length of each individual session (and therefore, how many staff can have their headshot completed in a day). A headshot is a stylised portrait. It

Corporate Headshots

Length of headshot session depends on your objectives.

should communicate your organisation’s brand values. For senior, customer-facing staff, the process should be more considered, individuals given time to work with the photographer to get the right pose and expression. Junior staff, whose image may only be used for internal communications, can get a perfectly  presentable image within 10 minutes.

Where should the shoot take place?

Many companies have a meeting room or boardroom that can be converted into a studio for the day. But, as with ‘how long’, your location is dependent on your objectives. If you wish to convey an impression of a dynamic, creative office, it is worth considering headshots taken in an office setting. If your office location is important, headshots taken outside with a city backdrop may be an option. You also need to consider consistency. Location headshots look great but if your first photo shoot takes place in June and the second in December, your photographer may not be able to maintain the same look and feel in your images. You might also consider the shoot at the photographers’ studio. Provided the location is central and convenient, it may be an opportunity to get geographically dispersed teams together for team building, planning and the photoshoot itself.

Makeup Artist?

Professional headshots London

Some staff find headshot day intimidating. Often it is an unwanted interruption in a busy schedule. Executives can find themselves rushed on set, thinking of actions from their last meeting and trying to prepare for the next. Add a humid, dusty city and cramped public transport and your staff can feel uncomfortable in front of camera.

A makeup artist doesn’t simply ensure grooming is just right, they allow a few moments of calm, where the subject can relax and become centred. There is time to chat about the shoot: what they should expect and most importantly, what message does the individual wish to communicate in the headshot.

Subjects: men as well as women, benefit from 5-10 minutes with a good makeup Artist: they relax and go onto set knowing hair is perfect, shine is reduced and any redness removed.

It creates confidence and that confidence shines out through the eyes. It is for that simple reason that we always recommend a Make Up Artist. And we always provide it as a costed option.

 

How to co-ordinate diaries?

Corporate Headshots

A green screen gives you the option of a standard office background.

One of the biggest headaches is choosing a day when everyone is in the office. We recognise that this is an almost impossible task. Even on the day, client

meetings and sickness can mean one or two last-minute absences. Which is why we always offer complimentary studio shoots for staff who cannot make the main event. If you have opted for a studio style background, we can create exactly the same conditions: making sure that images are consistent. We also have a ‘green-screen’ option so staff can be superimposed on your office (or city backdrop) location.

Knowing you can complete the shoot at the studio gives you m much more flexibility: opening up more potential dates and keeping everyone onside.

Ongoing Support?

You should expect good support immediately after the shoot: clean images prepared for selection and retouching done in a timely manner. But there is also support required throughout the year. Staff change: old friends leave and new colleagues join. Many organisations have an out of date ‘our people’ page with blank spaces and ‘awaiting images’ messages. This is because companies wait until they have several staff needing headshots before they book another day or morning’s photo shoot. This is where photographers with permanent city centre studios are at an advantage: new joiners book a shoot in the studio as part of the induction process. So your website is never out of date.

Maintaining consistency is also vitally important (you will win points from the marketing department if you achieve this). We take care to document each client’s shoot so that images are consistent, no matter where or when they are taken. And the team travels to different locations. For some of our international clients, we create the same studio conditions: whether that be in London, Zurich or Geneva.

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You’ve been told headshots are important and agree that something needs to be done about your LinkedIn profile picture. But what? And more importantly, how?

Don’t worry, with our handy 5 Headshot Hacks we’ll give you all the information you need for a pain-free update of your online presence.

First impressions count. And in our connected world, first impressions are often made online. We might not like to admit it but we all judge a book by it’s cover. Researchers at Princeton University in New Jersey found that we make snap judgments on character within 0.15 seconds of seeing someone’s picture.

So whether your looking to change companies, career or looking for your next promotion, your corporate headshot needs to support your objectives.

1. Do your homework

Your profession has a look; a dress code, a way of just being. Inter-weaved into corporate culture, you know when someone just ‘fits’ in your team. After all, you’d expect a Chartered Accountant’s image to be subtly different from a graphic designer.

So check out the competition. Search on LinkedIn for people with your job title (or the role you are after). If you are about to apply for a job, look at your prospective employer’s ‘about us’ page, does the company publish pictures of their employees? Take a note of the image style, expressions and dress code.

How far you match your corporate colleagues is down to you. Can you combine elements of different portraits to get something that is right for you? Don’t allow yourself to be forced by convention into an image you feel uncomfortable with. After all, it’s you we are talking about, not some corporate clone!

2. Communicate

Images speak. People read pictures before they read articles. And they make judgments, consciously or subconsciously, immediately. Often it is an emotional response. And no matter how much logic and well-developed the argument, judgments made on emotional responses are notoriously difficult to change.

What kind of background would work best? Classic white background (good for companies that have lots of staff and need consistency), outdoor, natural, office or dark background. Each will create a different mood and feel, exciting distinct emotions in the audience.

Your choice of clothing, colours, styles and approach to the shoot should be worked out before sitting in front of a camera. They should compliment and co-ordinate with both you and the photograph setting. Try to avoid strong colours and patterns: eye-catching clothes may look great, but it is you we want people to be looking at!

3. Work with someone

It is perfectly possible to set a camera up on a wall, cupboard, stool or purpose-build tripod and take a sophisticated ‘selfie’. But the process is difficult.

First there is the framing and timing: you cannot be in two places at once, which means your focus and cropping is a best-guess.But more importantly, your portrait is being taken for an audience. Simply having someone on the other side of the camera, taking your picture, means you have an audience (at least of one). Your colleague or friend can capture that ‘perfect expression’ in a way that the camera’s timer can only guess at.

Working with someone else is not just a lot more fun, you can review the images and adapt your pose and expression accordingly. And when you’re done, you can swap places and return the compliment!

4. Lighting and equipment

You do not need a medium format camera, complex lighting and top-of-the-range prime lenses to get a good headshot. It is perfectly possible to get great results with good quality consumer cameras.

The quality of your final image is dependent on the light. Firstly you need plenty of it. Cameras compensate for low-light situations by turning up their sensitivity. This creates noise (grain) which can make the image look indistinct and fuzzy. Whilst you need good light intensity, you also need great quality light. Direct sunlight casts dark shadows, eyes can look sunken and an unflattering shadow from the nose can detract from natural elegance. Finally, think about light direction: is it lighting you correctly? is it enhancing your features?

Once you’ve got the right light, then make sure you are using a lens with the correct focal length. Wide angle lenses will distort, so use a telephoto to keep your nose and ears the right size!

5. Cropping and file preparation

Few consumer cameras produce square format images, so you’re probably going to have to crop the final image before popping it into your profile. A simple procedure which can be done either your camera’s, apple’s or microsoft’s editing software.

LinkedIn have recently changed the way portraits are presented (circular, like the image to the left).

Optimising an image for Linkedin is straightforward, firstly make sure your initial pose enables you to get your head in the centre of a square crop.

Consumer cameras will normally produce jpg images, perfect for LinkedIn. The optimum size is 400 x 400 pixels at 72 dpi.

This produces an image that has been correctly sharpened and sized, giving you the best possible result.


Mark Grey is a portrait specialist whose clients include: Accenture, Chanel, Charles Taylor, Kearney and PwC.

His studio is in Covent Garden, a stone’s throw from the tube station. Contact for more information or to get your own headshots Click Here.

www.studio-grey.net

How to make a Great LinkedIn Profile

Your LinkedIn Headshot is just the start!

Here are 6 great tips from a leading personal branding professional.

Video courtesy of Linda Raynier, subscribe to her YouTube Channel Or visit her website for resume advice. www.LindaRaynier.com

Authentic Professional Portraits and LinkedIn Photos

Director headshots for linkedin profilesTrust is a valuable business commodity. Hard won and all too easily lost, most companies employ PR professionals and marketing departments to protect their brand.

For individuals and organisations, personal presentation is an important element of their marketing mix. Clients, employers and potential customers will often check personal details: from your company ‘about us’ page to your LinkedIn and Social Media profiles.

Building trust requires your portrait to be an accurate, professional and honest representation of who you are.

With digital images open to easy manipulation, how much ‘photoshop airbrushing’ is consistent with authenticity?

Professional Portrait: Professional Identity

The portraitist Lucian Freud remarked that, “the aura given out by a person or object is as much a part of them as their flesh”.

Capturing aura (or character) is the foundation of authenticity. To communicate authenticity your first question should be: what is my or my company’s professional ‘character’. Branding: corporate and personal, has become vitally important in a world where assessments of character are made through virtual media rather than physical meetings.

Both photographer and subject need determine what to communicate to the audience and prepare accordingly. Decide on attire, location and style. Recognise that no single image can communicate everything. Your welcoming LinkedIn photo accompanying an article on online fraud, would be inappropriate. If you need multiple messages: you need a suite of portraits to communicate authentically.

Corporate Portraits: Alternative Realities

Corporate Headshots Services LondonThe camera lies.

Or more accurately, the camera does not record pictures in the same way humans do. The unflinching, uncompromising monocular gaze of the lens may result in a technically accurate representation: warts and all. But we do not look at people like that. A mechanically captured digital image may not reflect the reality of human experience. To start with most people enjoy binocular vision. And our focal length is closer to 55mm than the standard portrait lens (85mm to 100mm). It means even the geometry of our vision is different to a camera. But perhaps the biggest difference is that we record images over time. We scan a face and build an impression of character based on a series of facial expressions, body language and conversational cues.

Capturing character with a mechanical instrument, like the digital camera, is the challenge you pay a professional for.

Chasing Perfection: ‘Airbrushed’ Portraits

Corporate headshot photographer LondonFrom carefully crafted high-end retouching by experienced photoshop professionals to automated packages, digital images are easily manipulated. We have all seen over-processed aliens with what looks like polished skin. In most cases these ‘hyper-real’ images are the result of over-enthusiastic use of photoshop, automated systems and inexperience.

Our portraits are all post-processed individually, by hand. Any enhancement is consistent with the message you wish to communicate. We will not change your appearance: but temporary spots and stray hairs are removed. We make you look as rested and confident, just as you are when you’ve returned from holiday.

Finally, your portrait will be rendered on many different devices: a variety of desktops, tablets and mobile phones (it may also be printed). To make sure you look your best, we prepare several files optimised for each media.


Mark Grey LRPS is a qualified, award winning portrait photographer based in Covent Garden, London.
For more information on our packages head over to our Prices page, call us on 07764 801420 or email: enquiries@studio-grey.net

How to prepare for a headshot session

Your corporate image is more than a simple ‘snap’, it should capture your professional profile, support company brand values and your individual skill set.

It is a big ask but perfectly achievable provided you prepare.

Our ability to construct complex portraits with subliminal supporting elements is why we have won awards from respected national bodies and we can help you define, create and publish images that work as a marketing resource for you, your company and your PR team.

What are you all about?

Much of the work defining your individual and company values may well have been done. Your mission statement, values and objectives provide a written reference. But it’s worth re-visiting just to make sure your messaging is current.

Understand there are a minimum of three people in every portrait: the sitter, the artist and the audience. You and your photographer work together to convey the right message through your image. The photographer should create a mood-board. It is a series of images that will help you define the style and look you are going for. If you’re organising the shoot for a company or team, mood – boards provide a great way of communicating to team members: it helps them visualise how the final images will look, helps them choose appropriate colours, outfits and keeps everyone ‘on message’.

Choose the right clothes

Your choice of clothing should reflect the image and message you are trying to create. Like preparing for an interview, you want to create the right impression. Make sure they are appropriate for your role (or the role your aspire to). Check colours, you’re unlikely to make a mistake with the outfit itself but do the colours clash with your company’s website?

 

Don’t expect photoshop to correct any creases (time editing is often charged). Check the fit: does the jacket slip over your shoulders correctly? Is your collar too tight? A few minutes making sure everything is right means getting the shoot right first time.

Do you need a make – up artist?


Man or woman: a professional make up artist will enhance your look. And a little touch up before the shoot can give you an extra confidence boost.

They will make sure your hair is looking its best and that your natural features are made look their best.

 

 

How much time is needed?

Photography with the right balance and lightingIf a job is worth doing, do it well.

Arguably getting images that support your career or company profile is a pretty important. So give yourself time.

Unless you are a celebrity, model or politician, you’re unlikely to have practised your posing technique. Even straightforward LinkedIn Headshots need thought, preparation and time. Most people need at least 30 minutes before they start to relax in front of camera.

Consider where and how you want to employ your portraits. LinkedIn suggest changing your profile picture every quarter: it keeps things fresh and keeps you front of mind. Take two to three images away from the session and it gives you the option to update your image during the year.

If you’re looking for PR images, then it’s unlikely your LinkedIn headshot will work.

PR images are usually associated with single issues or particular messages. So your welcoming smiling LinkedIn headshot would be inappropriate for contributions to articles on Cyber-Security or Financial Stability. Think through what images you are likely going to need over the next twelve months and plan accordingly.

Arrive calm, remain calm

Corporate headshot photographyThis may sound like an impossible task in a hectic schedule. But if you are busy it is more important to plan your journey. Cutting things fine means you risk turning up for your shoot hot and bothered. It may take quite a while before you’ve cooled down and any redness in the face has subsided. It also has a negative impact on your state of mind.

Your headshot will be communicating to the world, so you don’t want to be worrying about your next appointment. It is an investment in yourself so give yourself enough travel time before and after the shoot.

Want to get ahead? Get a headshot!
Three recent clients used headshots to rocket-fuel their careers.

Business headshot photographer LondonCareer Control

With a new role in Washington DC beckoning, Mateus Karwacki decided that he’d make an impression before his aircraft touched down at Dulles.

Matteus joined us in our Covent Garden studio for LinkedIn headshots.

A quick turnaround was vital.

Taken on a Tuesday, the final retouched images were ready by Wednesday and uploaded to Mateus’ profile the same day.
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