How to choose a photographer for your corporate portraits or professional headshots

November 12, 2019

Profesional headshot of man in suit at boardroom table

What to consider when choosing a photographer for corporate portraits/professional headshots

Today, clients are looking for authenticity when choosing a business to work with. And they aren’t just choosing products and services, they’re choosing the people they wish to patronise. So, it’s more important than ever to put across the right image of your personnel and your business. After all, the ‘About Us’ section of a website is the second most visited after the homepage. Your corporate portraits are digital ambassadors for your brand. And now, more than ever, having excellent headshots is crucial. Click here to read a blog about professional headshots vs. corporate portraits.

When looking at corporate photographer websites:

It’s paramount that the photographer not only captures a good likeness of the subject but expresses the right image for the business and the industry. What works for an author’s headshot might not be the right look for a business portrait for banks or barristers’ chambers, for example. It’s crucial that your professional photographer understands your brand.

It may seem very obvious, but have a good look through your corporate photographer’s portfolio. Check to see if they have experience capturing the sort of image you wish to project. If you are a bank or barristers’ chambers and they only shoot actors’ headshots or book jacket portraits, it might not be the correct fit.

Assessing the professional photographer:

Should the photographer offer a pre-shoot consultation, it’s a good idea to have them come to your offices and see the environment and the culture you have created. They will no doubt scout possible locations in your office and the surrounding area if outdoor portraits are desired. And they can also advise on layout, dress, and backgrounds to make the shoot day go as smoothly as possible.

It’s also worth thinking about the photographer’s personal attributes. Firstly, it is a given that they must be organised, prepared and professional. Even if you are in a creative industry, it’s important that they be calm, competent and able to deliver what you are looking for, on time and on budget. But professionalism isn’t everything. For example, it’s also important that the photographer is a good listener and takes on board what you want from your portraits. Furthermore, it’s imperative that they have the ability to put the sitter at ease. Not many people are naturally comfortable in front of the camera and posing in front of colleagues or on a busy street can create additional unease. So it’s crucial that your photographer is not only professional in approach, but also warm and able to make a connection with their subject.

What you can do to prepare for your corporate portraits:

To get the best out of your session, it’s important to prepare. Give your photographer a detailed brief of who will be photographed, what groups and hierarchy (if applicable). Consider the location of the portrait shoot (eg boardroom, reception, etc.). Also, how the images will be used, such as website only, or printed, framed and displayed in the office.

For example, this is how one of my clients uses my portraits in their London boardroom:

Collection of Professional headshots on a boardroom wall

And this is ‘A Portrait of Glasgow’ installation which I created for their offices in Scotland:

Collage installation of corporate portraits on wall in foyer of office building

Be creative, but also ask your photographer for ideas. A good photographer is a true creative, not just someone with camera skills.

Finally, when you find the right photographer for your business needs, stick with them. It’s quite obvious when companies do not use the same photographer. That’s because the style, lighting, poses, etc vary from individual to individual on the website. Unfortunately, this makes for an incoherent message. While each portrait can and should be approached individually, there should be a commonality to them so they can sit together on a website. Only then can they send out a harmonised brand message.

To discuss your corporate portraits or professional headshots, email me on serena@serenabolton.com, ring me on 07958511819. Or click here to book a Zoom or telephone consultation.

Logo of Serena Bolton Photograhpy

CORPORATE PHOTOGRAPHER LONDON

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