Maintaining consistency in corporate headshots
This week’s featured post is about Chris Illingworth, property lawyer at Watsons Solicitors and all round top bloke. I’ve known Chris for a few years and when he moved to Watsons Solicitors in Warrington last Autumn I was asked to take his new headshots for the firm’s website. Watsons is a very well established and well respected Warrington law firm offering a mix of family, property and commercial law disciplines. I’d done new headshots for Watsons in 2019 where we created a new style for their people and meet the team photos.
As we had an established style to follow the shoot was very straightforward. However, consistency is the key to preserving a brand image and that means attention to detail. The photos need to follow the same style and the lighting needs to be as consistent as possible. When people are photographed at different sessions there can be a variance in lighting, colour temperature, background texture etc. This is especially true of outdoor headshots like this one. Watsons’ front door faces slightly south of west and we need shade for the shots by the front door sign but we also need a bright day so that means watching the weather forecast and choosing a early morning session as the sun creeps round by mid morning in Spring and Autumn and even earlier in Summer. If that happens we’re too late and the opportunity is lost.
To help maintain consistency I use the same Canon camera and lens each time and the same aperture and ISO settings. That gives me a little latitude with the shutter speed if I need it. For Watsons sessions I use my trusty Profoto B2 Off Camera Flash system, with a modified 24” Octagonal softbox and diffuser. That gives me a powerful but soft light which balances nicely with natural daylight but gives full control. It’s also very easy to use. But why does that matter? Well, it means that I can put my energy into getting the person being photographed, often called the subject although I don’t really like that phrase, comfortable in front of the camera and then we can start taking photographs.
Some people really hate being photographed and others are pretty comfortable with it and occasionally we’ll get someone who loves it. Chris was really comfortable with being photographed and we chatted about stuff in general as you do, about his new role and so on. This chitchat is more important than many people realise. When people are chatting away, thinking about their lives, their stories, their families, they soon forget about the camera. You have to work quickly though as some people get bored and the moment can be lost.
So, if you’re looking for a headshots or portrait photographer, by all means have a look at their portfolios, get some quotes but read their testimonials and look out for the ones that tell you how much the clients enjoyed being photographed, about how relaxed they felt in front of the camera. Those are the things that will make the difference, particularly if you don’t like being photographed. The best photographer to go with is the one who makes people feel happy in front of the camera.
At Just Headshots, we create natural personal branding headshots for for individuals and businesses looking to enhance their brand position, SME’s, corporate and large enterprises as well as government and public sectors. Get in touch today to discuss your next headshot project on 0800 304 7375. Alternatively you can message us through our contact page.