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The value of hiring a professional headshot photographer

There are abundant reasons why hiring a professional photographer can add value to your corporate image when taking team headshots. Here are a few key differences that set apart a professional from the guy in the office who happens to have a great camera.

1) Lighting and flash systems An ample amount of light is always needed for a photo, that’s why professional photographers invest in flash units that have sufficient power to light the subject and environment properly. Generally, a minimal of 2 flash heads are needed, with the addition of reflectors and/or whiteboards to bounce light. Depending on the background and lighting style of the photo, a professional photographer can easily use 4 flash units, along with white boards and/or reflectors to capture a perfect company headshot image.

The direction and distance of the light source from the subject also make significant differences in what is captured and the style in which it is portrayed. For instance, there are numerous methods of photographing a Rembrandt style image, each with slight differences in lighting, hardware, distance of flash to subject and direction of light source.

In many instances, companies must have team headshot photography executed within the parameters of corporate brand guidelines. In other instances, selecting a style of photography for business headshots is an important detail in supporting the overall culture and branding of the company, style and tone of the website, and the persona of the individual being photographed.

Styles of lighting should always be discussed with your photographer before the shoot date.

2) Composition The composition of an image is a major detail that a professional photographer evaluates before clicking their shutter. This is vital when shooting in a natural environment versus shooting against a backdrop or in a professional studio.

I’ve seen a corporate headshot where an exit sign was in the background, or a pole was directly behind the subject’s head. These are composition fails. A professional photographer will not only evaluate the subject for position, angle and lighting, but also pay great attention to what is in the background and adjust the camera angle accordingly.

When shooting in a natural office or outdoor environment, a professional photographer will ensure that the environment is a simply the backdrop, and not the predominant subject of the image. Use of depth of field becomes an important detail in such shoots.

The individual is the focus, and with proper use of the f-stop value, the individual should be the only subject in focus.

3) Prepping the individual to be on-camera ready It is expected that most people will have shine on their skin due to natural oils. Photographing an individual with shine will result in a terrible photo. With most company headshot shoots, clients prefer not to incur the additional costs for a hair & make-up artist on location, which is understood.

A simple a cost effective solution that we offer is to use a “setting powder” on all individuals. It is a colourless powder that is gently applied on ones face, which instantly covers any natural oils and shine. With just a small investment of time for application by a professional photographer, the improvements are significant.

4) Ability to create an enjoyable experience People love photos of themselves when they are natural and capture the essence of their personality. In order to capture a natural and relaxed image, I believe that it is important to have fun in the process.

A professional photographer should be able to create and offer an enjoyable experience while taking headshots. By making the individual feel relaxed, the result of the photos go from being stiff to natural.

5) Photo Editing A professional photographer has the capability and talent to make adjustments to a RAW photo he or she captured. This includes proper cropping of the image, adjustments to the lighting, white balance, and any minor retouching that may be needed, such as smoothing out a blemish.

Whether you’re a startup looking for shots for your About Us page or an established company who wants to capture headshots of your sales team, consider these points listed when deciding whether you should use a professional photographer.

We’re a professional photography studio in the GTA that offers great packages for headshots. Contact me if you have any questions or want to get started with great headshots for your team or company.

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