The goal of an executive portrait photoshoot is of course a selection of great headshots. Portraits which flatter the subject but do not embellish. Images which show the sitter at their very best. So the question is: how to achieve this feat?
Ideally there will have been a good deal of pre-shoot preparation on both sides. The photographer will have familiarity with the site, having arrived early or conducted a pre shoot meeting on location. They will have thought about the light, and set up properly any equipment which is required. They will have worked out angles and where they will position the subject. And also where they will stand and whether there are any obstacles in the way of getting a great executive headshot. And finally they will position any chair/stool/table etc and set up the scene.
The sitter should simply be able to arrive at the photoshoot, dressed and ready. At that point, it’s entirely the job of the photographer to make sure the magic happens.
Once the sitter is in place, the main job is to get them to relax. After all, most sitters are not super experienced or comfortable in front of the camera. And while they may be very high powered in their business lives, it does not follow that they are confident having portraits made. So get them to take deep breaths, to roll their shoulders back and down. and to smile.
once the executive headshot photoshoot has started:
It’s important for the photographer to guide the sitter through posing. And to give gentle direction with the angle of their heads. Or the positions of hands. Of course, a good photographer has an eagle eye for detail. So they will notice if there is hair in the wrong place, or if a jacket needs straightening, etc.
And it’s a good idea to stop frequently and just get the subject to breathe or shake their shoulders, arms and head to just relax them further. Though I have been known to make a very uptight sitter stand up and shake themselves from head to toe like a wet dog wringing themselves. Of course, I do this with them which normally causes us both to laugh.
Laughter can really be the magic ingredient. If a photographer can get the subject to laugh then the smiles are unforced. And it really shows when the sitter is having a good time.
Perhaps it’s your job to coordinate your company executive headshots? If so read here on how to failsafe organisation of company headshots.
If you are ready to take control of your image with some fantastic new executive headshots, I would love to help. You can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org, ring me on 07958511819 or click to book a Zoom or telephone conversation.
“Photography through the lens of a storyteller”
LONDON EXECUTIVE HEADSHOT PHOTOGRAPHER