A professional headshot is also a reflection of your brand. There are times when a particular background or 'look' is required. I recently had the opportunity to photograph Carla Atkins Long for Elite Title. You may have seen her last photo I created on a billboard in Springdale, well soon you'll be seeing a new one.
In speaking with her, she mentioned that she's always speaking with her clients in an open fashion from a chair in her office. This reflects an openness and honesty no boundaries to 'hid' behind such as a table or desk. To that end we created many images and the one below best emulated the brand of Elite Title.
I recently had the opportunity to create new headshots for all at both locations. To compliment and go with their brand, they suggested outdoors. It's very rare I create headshots outdoors, simply because we have a studio and weather can be unpredictable at times. Even with the high winds the images look great.
Your brand and the look/feel you want to portray can set your company as unique and professional, consistency is one of the keys. You offer professional quality work, your headshots must reflect that quality.
A Headshot is part of preparing to meet your prospect for the FIRST time. It's your virtual handshake, so everything has to be right, so you may be nervous and self conscious , but that's ok, your photographer is here to help make things right.
Here are some tips to a great headshot for your company.
- Confidence is Key … Being in front of the camera can be stressful and intimidating. But don't worry! Keith is a professional and will coach you through the process. He will take care of all the little details and guide you to create a portrait that will make the best first impression.
- Strike a Pose… If standing, shift your weight to the back leg, if sitting, lean forward slightly, shoulders back and down, tummy tight! Don't forget to relax the arms and slightly away from your body. Together, we'll help find the best pose for you.
- Size Matters … Loose fitting clothing does not photograph as well as tight fitting clothing. Clothing that fits well is important for your session. Men, make sure your suits re tailored properly.
- To Stripe or not to Stripe… Solid colors are always a better choice. Patterns and stripes will add one to two sizes to you in a photo so stick with solids! Avoid contrasting colors and bottoms as well (if a 3/4 to full view).
- Bend and Snap … If it bends, then bend it, we don't want to look too stiff and rigid! Creating movement and depth is one of the best ways to look great in a photo. Think about bending your joints-wrists, elbows, knees and ankles (if full length), again Keith will help you.
- Chinny Chin Chin … If you want to avoid the dreaded double chin, we have a helpful hint for you. While most want to lift their chin to the camera, it's best to stretch your chin towards the camera and then lower chin down. It will feel a bit awkward, but will minimize the look of multiple chins.
- Smile with your Eyes …. Get a little playful in front of the camera! A confident attitude and a glimmer in your eye will make your photograph take on a personality of its own. So don't hold back during your session.
- Bring out your Best Side … You'll rarely be photographed straight on to the camera. Since your shoulders are the widest part of your body, you will want to turn your shoulders about 2/3 turn away from the camera. This will not only be more slimming but most flattering.
- I'll Have What She's Having … Hair, make-up, and grooming are very important to the success of your session. Makeup should be tastefully done and in a non-trendy fashion. An airbrush finish is suggested. For men, make sure the 5 o'clock shadow is taken care of.
- Practice Makes Perfect… Don't hesitate to practice in front of the mirror before your session! This will help with the pre-session nerves. You may think it's silly but nobody has to know, don't worry, Keith will take care of you and coach you through the entire session, you'll love this experience.
I had the opportunity to photograph Derek & Sarah Kilpatrick at the stables for Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce magazine. Sarah is the event manager, as you can imagine she is very busy lady. A side note, while talking with her, I discovered I photographed her cheerleader photos back in 2002 when she was in high school, small world… also starting to feel a little old. Derek is the vineyard manager and sees the the best quality wines are produced. Super nice couple who will make sure your visit and event is one to be cherished.
If you've never visited Sassafras, take a nice evening off in the summer and enjoy the back patio of the winery for a relaxing evening with their wine.
Everyone needs a good quality headshot, but what defines a great headshot.
Lets first answer the question of the purpose of a headshot.
1. Shows the face behind the business. This is pretty simple but important so the client can visualize you while talking. This gives your business a personal touch, people like to put a face behind the name, it's a step in making a relationship.
2. To show that you are approachable. Being approachable is crucial in any headshot when you're representing a business, when a prospect can feel connected and feel that they can easily do business with you through a headshot, that quickly turns into profits and more referrals. This is achieved in the posing and expression.
3. A quality headshot will compliment your biography page. While prospects are reading about your history and accomplishments, they will relate this information to your portrait.
4. It will make your website look more professional. Most businesses invest heavily into their web site, it is the 'billboard' for your business, a professional headshot is required.
5. It is useful for Branding and Marketing assets. A headshot is not limited to a website, it is vital in LinkedIn as well as printed materials whether business cards, brochures or even billboards.
So now you are ready for your headshot, here are some Tips:
1- Don't use an old photo of yourself, when you were younger, we all want to look younger, but you want a headshot that shows what you look like now. Anything else is misleading about your age and you want to be honest.
2- The average shelf life of a headshot is about every two years.
3- I always ask the client what type/color background they want. It's best, when applicable, to tie in the background color with the marketing colors or type of business. Background colors can also have a psychological effect, for example, a white background can denote clean, which would be good for doctors, black would denote a more dramatic image.
4- Solid colors work best, ladies should avoid sleeveless outfits, but 1/4 sleeves are ok. Men should be clean shaven. The type of outfit will be reflective of the type of business, a plumber will not need to wear a suit and tie.
5- Since the images can be used on web and print, make sure to get a large resolution file in addition to web resolution.
Business portraits can be in studio….
Or on location….
Last year, I had the opportunity to photograph Patrick Swope, who was promoted to CEO of Legacy Bank. In the brief time I had to speak with him, I could tell he was humble and had true concern and dedication for the bank and his new role. I make an effort to listen when great leaders, such as Patrick, speak, you never know where they'll drop 'pearls of wisdom' that could enhance or change your life.
PS: When visiting Legacy Bank web site, I have the honor to have created the banner images on the front page :)
Rosie is one of those people that, after chatting with her, you're thankful to know her. She works closely with people all over the world, diagnosing English as a second language problems and prescribing remedies (to borrow her words). She gives group sessions and webinars to help more of her clients all over the world with their English. Imagine you speak a language other than English and have been given a great job opportunity, but everyone speaks English. Words and phrases, and general 1-2-1 interaction, can be greatly different from your country of origin. This is where Dr Rosie steps in to help make a transition. She has a huge heart for helping others, this is quickly apparent when getting to know others, which makes her even better at what she does.
It takes a lot of thought and courage to rebrand a business, Rosie has done just that with a theme that will be memorable and tie into what she does. Visit her web site at: http://drrosie.org/
Here are a couple of the images created for her business brand…
When I have photo projects with them, I always have time during set up to visit with Gary. He's an easy gentleman to talk to, genuinely interested and concerned for others, his wife is the same. If you have the need for a counselor for any reason, you'll be glad you contacted Pinnacle Counseling.