What goes into creating great headshots?
Last summer I received a phone call from Helen at Libertas Wealth Management in Warrington. I’d met Helen at a few networking events and a couple of charity dos in Warrington and had got to know her as we’d chatted about our work and the companies we mix with. They’d talked to a couple of photographers but they didn’t seem to be on the same wave length. Previous staff photo sessions always seemed to fall short of their expectations so this could have been a tough brief. It turned out to be the opposite. And the key to that was preparation. How we prepare clients for being photographed is a major differentiator between justheadshots.photo and many of our competitors.
Understanding = outstanding
I suggested I meet with her and her colleagues and talk about what they wanted to achieve, how they wanted to use the photographs and most importantly, how they wanted to project their company brand. As wealth managers and financial advisers, trust and integrity were high up the list of values. Approachability and empathy were high on the list as well. Clients have to feel like they can really open up and share their situations in order to get the best advice.
Meeting at their offices allowed me to assess how we could use it as a background for the headshots, business portraits and team photos that they needed. Understanding their brand values and style, seeing their surroundings and being briefed on the types of clients helped me to recommend an approach that would deliver the visual assets they needed.
Recommendations and preparation
We proposed to do two different sets of photographs for each person and some ambient group photographs. One set using their offices as backgrounds and the other set using a corporate blue background. We also proposed business makeup for everyone; male and female. Makeup makes a huge difference. Physically it cuts skin shine, increases definition and conceals skin blemishes. Psychologically it makes a big difference because it helps people feel that they have been prepared and that they look great. This helps them relax.
We held briefing phone calls with everybody so they all knew exactly what we were doing and how they needed to prepare. Haircuts were arranged, suits presses, shirts and blouses ironed. Each person was asked to bring four outfits the they would wear if meeting a new client.
The shoot and final photographs
On the morning of the shoot we rocked up with a mountain of gear, cameras, lights, lighting stands, backdrops, the complete works. Then we set about moving some of the furniture around to accommodate the set ups we had agreed at our preshoot planning meeting. We needed space to be able to use the office environment as a background and an area to set up a dark blue paper background. As they had an open plan office all this had to happen with minimal disruption to people working.
Nicole did everyone’s makeup and the shoot went perfectly. I used three or four areas in the offices to create a bit variety in the photos and then the dark blue background as well. You can see from the photos in this post how I created complementary yet varied sets of headshots and business portraits for each person.
What our clients at Libertas Wealth Management said about their headshots photography session
We all really enjoyed our Libertas photography day with Andrew Collier.
With some misgivings, a new set of office photographs were booked with Andrew. I speak for the team when I say we’d all probably felt uncomfortable in previous photograph shoots and there was a natural reticence to put ourselves through this again. Whilst the ones we had were nice, we felt they didn’t quite fit with our relaunched brand image.
We were immediately put at ease by Andrew who took the time to visit the office and meet everyone before the booked day. He suggested backgrounds and locations, wardrobe changes and colour schemes; we considered patterns and poses and he answered all our questions before the day. He also suggested a makeup artist and very simple effective things like making sure clothing was properly ironed, all things that are very obvious once pointed out but that we hadn’t considered previously.
The preparation led to a very enjoyable photograph day in the office which was comfortable, well run and actually fun! The end result was the choice of a large number of quality photographs, all of which I feel show our respective characters perfectly.
The feedback from the team has been really positive too, with comments including “Surprisingly I really enjoyed having my photograph taken”, “I’m really happy with my new profile picture on LinkedIn now” and “That actually looks like me!”. These positive comments are reflected in the pictures we’ve now uploaded to our website and I am confident the personalities of the team members shine through. It was a job well done, we feel we got value for money and we’re really happy with the experience.
We needed new profile photos using our offices as a background. Andrew from justheadshots.photo came to meet us and view our premises. His approach was very different to other photographers we had met. He quickly understood our needs and concerns, and explained how to achieve the quality and style we needed. Everyone really enjoyed the session and we were delighted with the excellent quality of the photographs.
If you’ve enjoyed this blog post and you’d like new headshots and profile photos for yourself or for your company please get in touch. You can phone us on 0800 304 7375 or click here to arrange a consultation