The following tips will help guide you towards getting a great headshot. There is also a downloadable eBook where I shares a wider range of advice – see the link at the end of this article to better understand the process of getting a great headshot.
Whether you are an individual or part of a large organisation, you are the face of your business. A compelling portrait gives you a competitive edge while ensuring that you are immediately recognised during meetings. Remember, it is not only about your appearance, this is about you representing your brand.
A great headshot is a key component in representing your trustworthiness. It is often quoted that body language accounts for 55% of our communication; in a photograph this is distilled into your pose and facial expression. Consider what you want your headshot to tell your audience.
There are many reasons you may want an image of yourself, here are a few suggestions:
Search the Internet, magazines and newspapers for the style(s) of portrait you prefer. Make sure to share these images with potential photographers to set expectations and to expedite the planning process (link to helpful tools and resources here).
Your session can take place indoors or outdoors; in the studio, at a specific location or even within your workplace. Think about whether you want to be pictured in your working environment or for you to stand out against a simple background; it all depends on the mood you want to convey.
Just like any important purchase, do your research first. Get online and review a selection of portfolios to discover which photographer’s style meets your needs. It is important to note that some photographers are known for their particular style.
Always ask for a free consultation before you commit to buy. This will give you an opportunity to meet the photographer in person, work through your ideas, get your questions answered and to understand how they will work with you.
If you found these tips useful then you will want to download my free eBook “The Headshot eBook – A Guide for Clients”, which is packed full of helpful information including advice on choosing an appropriate wardrobe, details to clarify with your photographer, what to expect before, during and after your session, some links to useful tools and resources, plus a whole lot more.
…and then I push myself a little further!
I have found that there are few shortcuts to self-improvement. For the majority of us, we become an expert through study, practice, good old-fashioned hard work and hopefully, enjoying what we do. One way to help move forward, is to draw upon the knowledge of current and past masters of photography. In this, I am afforded a glimpse of the world from a different perspective, rich with experience.
To gain this insight, I have embarked on an eight week portraiture study. This is no usual watch and learn, this is hands on and get on with it affair, led by my good friend Don Giannatti. My aim is to take elements of what I learn to incorporate into my own photography, to get away from the safe haven of the ‘go to’ lighting set-up, camera angles and poses, to offer my customers that something extra, to step up the level of quality.
These first two weeks of portraiture study have been spent with Skrebneski and Karsh. I have been pushed hard into new territory and the speed of discovery has been breathtaking! Here’s a sample of my journey so far.
Next on the portraiture study agenda is Sarah Moon, she will certainly put me, my thought processes and skills to the test! Then we move onto what I would describe as the more traditional photography found in the work of Peter Lindbergh. When something is this enjoyable how can it be labelled work?
We were recently commissioned to photograph a Church Architect for a business portrait. The setting was a prestigious Grade 1 listed church located in West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. The church receives many thousands of tourists, pilgrims, and architectural enthusiasts throughout the summer and dates to the 13th and 18th century. The Church Architect maintains the fabric of the structure and is designing the first extension in over 250 years.
Collaborating with Joshua Harrison of Cohanim Architecture was a pleasure, allowing me the latitude to create these amazing images. As a result, I was able to convey the passion and responsibility Mr Harrison feels for his clients in his profession.
It is a privilege to photograph one of the oft unsung heroes who help maintain England’s rich and beautiful heritage.
To me, an outstanding and memorable business portrait is one that integrates you with your working environment. It sounds obvious, but I regularly see the opposite, which only enhances the honour I feel each and every time that I create a business portrait that clearly tells my clients’ story.
Achieving the right balance between business portrait and business environment is crucial…
…and the set-up requires the delicate use of studio lights to take advantage of the ambiance of the natural light. Consequently, the resulting portraits will look as if they are naturally lit.
Certainly, having such a beautiful location steeped in history offers plenty of inspiration. Therefore, if you find yourself in or around High Wycombe on a lazy Sunday afternoon, find some time to visit St Lawrence Church and the surrounding area; West Wycombe Park, West Wycombe Caves will also serve you well for your day of sightseeing. The views from the church tower are astounding
You may be interested to learn that St Lawrence Church has been featured in the popular TV series ‘Downton Abbey’. Most recently it was also the setting for a scene in the latest Bridget Jones movie.
Update 2016-10-06: Pleased to achieve front page of ‘the door’. Pick up a copy from one of the 855 churches in the area http://www.oxford.anglican.org/