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The Value of Hiring a Professional Headshot Photographer

Updated: May 7

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 for Headshots

An ample amount of light is always needed for a photo, and that’s why professional photographers invest in flash units that have sufficient power to light the subject and the environment properly. Generally, a minimum 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 whiteboards and/or reflectors, to capture a perfect company headshot image.

The direction and distance of the light source from the subject also significantly affect 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, the distance of the flash from the subject, and the direction of the light source.

In many instances, companies must execute team headshot photography 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, the 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 failures. 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 ensures that the environment is simply the backdrop and not the predominant subject of the image. 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

Most people's skin is expected to have shine 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 and makeup artist on location, which is understood.

A simple and cost-effective solution that we offer is to use a “setting powder” on all individuals. It is a colourless powder that is gently applied to one's face, instantly covering 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. I believe that having fun in the process is important to capturing a natural and relaxed image.

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 goes 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 that wants to capture headshots of your sales team, consider these points when deciding whether to use a professional photographer.

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

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