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.
When you look at the menu (and website), you'll see the food photos I created a few years ago. NOW, the next time you visit Noodles, you can say "HEY, I know the photographer who created these yummy photos in the menu!" to impress your friends! :)
Recently, I had the opportunity to create images for further marketing to feature the ambiance, service, behind the scenes and feel of Noodles. Being behind the scenes, I had a great view of how well orchestrated the work flow goes and how quickly they work to serve you, it is truly a well oiled machine. The entire staff I worked with was very nice and helpful in any way I needed. Noodles is one of those restaurants you can always count on to be fully satisfied every time. I had the opportunity to photograph a few scenes of a portion of the dining room with one of the kind servers, behind the scenes in the cooking area full of large flames and capable mixologist in the bar area that will all be featured in local advertising and marketing in the very near future.
Another way is being prepared, 'just in case' something happens, this is something I learned a long time ago. When going on location, I always carry backup, yes, it makes for a larger load but I know I'm prepared just in case, since I've been through several situations and learned from them. I always carry a backup camera, lens, batteries, backup flashes, cords, etc. that is, I have at least two of each just in case, say, a camera falls? This has actually happened a couple of times, as stressful as it is, I carry on with the session objective in mind and deal with the problem later, because I have a backup that will complete the job. One example was a wedding about 25 years ago when I was moving from the church to the reception and the camera fell off the tripod on to the concrete, when I picked it up, all i could hear was broken glass inside the camera (in the film days). I had another camera that did the job just as good and carried on. I once had a strobe start to smoke and over heat, I immediately unplugged it and replaced it with the backup.
Another way of being prepared is knowing the environment and situations of the location. As much as I communicate about the photography project, there are times were I'm not able to see the location until I arrive. On these occasions, I bring more than enough equipment to handle a variety of lighitng scenarios, my therory is that it's better to have too much, than not enough.
It's all about making sure the customer gets what they want and delivering the quality images they expect in a professional way. If you ever have a session where the person taking the photos shows up with only a camera and flash, be forewarned, not only are they not prepared, but they also don't have experience needed to provide the images you really want.
Shown below is a sample of the equipment taken to on location jobs, it always varies. Not shown are the light modifiers, tripod and stand.
With an architectural photography client, who needs images created of the interior or exterior of their facility, I ask several questions, such as… who are the photos for? What do you want to emphasize? Is there a portion of the facility you want shown over others?
It's my job to make their area shine with pride. I first walk the area for the best composition, I may do several angles to make sure all areas are displayed. I also made sure all tables and chairs were straight. This is where it gets more complicated and I have to visualize what I want the final image to look like. See the images below, the "Normal View" is what the camera sees at the first photo taken, the other is after over 30 images are taken and composited for final image. The tables and floor are properly showcased so your eyes are excited to dance around the photo, thus holding the viewer's attention In addition, proper colors are held true. For example, notice the ceiling's true color is black, but in the original it has a blue cast, which is from the blue sky outdoors. I made sure all vertical lines were vertical rather than leaning because of camera tilt. It's these subtle things that the eye picks up and tells the brain "something isn't right here". Question: Which restaurant photo would you rather go to?
I'm always appreciative of my long time clients, one of which is Commercial Realty / Been Kemp Construction. I've said before but it still holds true, these clients give me the opportunity to see more new locations and meet great people than most people. This location is the new Newks Eatery in Siloam Springs, in the strip center across from Walmart. There is another location in Fayetteville off Joyce in front of Home Depot. I've had the opportunity to eat at Newks and the food is great, if you're in the area, drop in and check them out.
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 :)
I had the opportunity to photograph the Longhorn Restaurant in Branson MO for Commercial Realty. I ran into some challenges that forced me to work quickly to allow new staff to come in for training since it was not open yet. It's challenges that make us think quickly and how we react can make or break the job or customer satisfaction. I arrived on location at 7:30 am, since I was 30 minutes early, I took the opportunity to photograph the exterior first since the lighting was nice rather than wait until after I completed the interiors. It was a good thing I did, an hour later, an entire paint crew was out front putting on the finishing touches. When I got inside I noticed the dining area was set for training. After discussions with the GM and calling Commercial Realty, they asked that I photograph everything on the shot list except the dining room. At this point I had 30 minutes to capture three angles before training started, I was proud to say I completed the job as requested and did not interfere with their work.
I always love photographing architecture at dusk because the dark scene forces your eye on the building without distractions, but I really like the final image of the exterior. Look at the "Normal" view (as anyone would photograph it) and the final image where I took the image to another image, forcing your view to the building with little to no distractions.
I've photographed many properties for Commercial Realty and look forward to many more, helping their marketing and success.
The same applies to commercial images. My goal is to get the view EXCITED about the image, to take the eyes on a visual rollercoaster with excitement that makes them want to stay on the ride. A ride full of peaks and valleys tall and low (highlights, shadows with great contrast) that excite the visual senses and the brain. This kind of image sticks in the mind and remembers that ride and where it was, to want to go back again. The highlighted areas draw the eye to many points throughout the image, makes the viewer examine the photo, become involved and ENJOY THE RIDE!
See how this image came to be what it is through over 50 photographs and photoshop work -
The difference is amazing! The goal is to create an image void of obstructions to completely focus on the building, the primary focus of the shoot.
See the progression of how this image took shape through MANY photos and photoshop talent -
I’m thrilled with the final image, all areas of the image are properly displayed with correct colors. I’m looking forward to seeing Tyson use this image world wide.
As impressive as it is, I wanted to photograph it as soon as possible. I went one night and it couldn’t have been a more perfect an evening (except for the one car I had to remove from the image, but that’s ok). After that night, I spent some considerable time making sure every element was taken care of with no distractions.
I’m VERY picky on how I portray the images for my clients. I want them to excite the eyes and mind of the viewer to want to go into the photograph and BE there. NOTHING is half way done. In the first image you’ll see the before as you might see the room with a photo from someone else, just a point and shoot. Very boring, visually. The next one, while has a photoshop work done, would not look like that without the 130 photographs it took to make it, but only 110 were actually used. That’s right 110 photographs were used to create one photo. This was done to light specific areas of the room to entice and excite the eye to move around the room and explore the depth.
It’s my goal when photographing a scene such as this to draw the viewer in to gain visual time for my client and increase their business through photography.