You’ve booked a professional corporate photography shoot or maybe even some headshots for LinkedIn. What do you do now as preparation? How should you prepare to get the most out of the photoshoot? At Pitch Visuals, we’ve done hundreds of executive portrait sessions. Over many years we’ve developed this list of 17 tips to produce the best photography session with your booked photographer. Out of these 17 tips, the key motive here is effective preparation.
1. Know What You Want From Your Portrait Photography
Without preparation, there isn’t any guarantee you’ll get what you want from your photography. You might not even know what you want. Therefore, you should consider how your photos will be used, as well as what message the photograph should portray about you specifically.
2. Personal Branding
Think of your professional headshots as an exercise in personal branding. If you’re not sure what your personal branding is trying this exercise. Collect a series of portraits that you like, and don’t like (try using Pinterest). Then one by one jot down keywords that describe what you see of yourself in your collection. Pay extra attention if you see the same keywords more than once.
3. Interview Your Photographer
In order to know what your photographer can do and have them know what you want, an interview with them would help you easily prepare. In doing this, you can be reassured that :
- they know what they’re doing and
- they’re willing & able to create whatever it is you have in mind
4. Show and Tell with Your Photographer
Show your photographer existing photos of you, and your team. It doesn’t have to be corporate photography either. What the photographer is looking for is a sense of who you are. Are you flamboyant or understated, colourful or conservative, friendly or intense?
5. Think About Your Clothing
Your clothing can often determine your style, as well as embody a physical representation of who you want to be displayed as. Remember first impressions last. You should probably avoid clashing colours or outlandish articles of clothing unless this is really your style. Keeping this in mind will help you easily show yourself at your best, as you see yourself.
6. Use a Stylist
If you’re still in doubt about clothing, and if the style is important to you then consider using a stylist.
7. Photography Style
Work with your photographer to decide on a style of photography to suit you and your organisation. If there are a number of people to photograph then it’s important that the photo styling be consistent. You may choose a standard style such as even lighting on a white background. One advantage of that is it’s easy to match in future if there’s a change of staff. Or you may choose a strong style such as portraits using your office’s distinctive architecture, or using a strongly coloured backdrop, or even photographing each person with a unique prop that’s mentioned in their bio story. The advantage of this is the branding message that your people are unique & memorable.
8. Don’t clash in Group Shots
If you’re going to be in a group shot consider what others may be wearing and make sure not to clash with other people’s style. If you’re in a brightly coloured shirt while everyone else is in conservative white the photo may not turn out how you’d like it. You can always change outfits between individual photos & the group session.
9. Plan out your Hairdo
As with clothing, your hair should be thought of. If you get a haircut a week or so before the photo shoot, you will have time to get comfortable with how it feels. Women may choose to book a hairdresser appointment on the day. If there are multiple portraits to make consider having your hairdresser come to your offices.
10. Consider a make-up artist for the Photoshoot
If your using a hair-dresser then perhaps book one who also does makeup. A photo shoot is about presenting yourself at your best and projecting the confidence that results. Even men can benefit from a little powder to avoid shiny patches, although proper retouching can also help with shininess.
11. Give Yourself Time
If you walk into the photoshoot unmotivated after a tough meeting it will show through in your portraits. Try to book a time when everyone being photographed has enough time to enjoy the experience. Think of it as a social experience. If you can approach the photoshoot with a smile and in a good mood, that will come through in your photographs.
12. Should men wear a Suit?
Wearing a suit can present you and your organisation as successful and sophisticated. It also says you take your image seriously & you attend to details. On the other hand, your clients may be comfortable seeing you in more relaxed clothing. For some people, an open shirt would be more appropriate. You can always try both. But on a webpage, it would be a mistake to mix photos of members or your team wearing suits while others are more casual.
13. Ladies, wear a Blouse
Ladies, choose a nice fitting blouse that will go well with your form. If you go for a baggy or a tight blouse, it won’t feel as comfortable as a blouse that fits just right. Additionally, a button-down usually goes well, or even a suit coat. Clothing that’s a little loose fitting can be pegged at the back for a nice fit.
14. Wear something that you Know
If you wear clothes that you just bought from the shops, you may not feel comfortable if you haven’t been wearing it for some time. A blouse or a suit that you’ve worn many times prior to the photoshoot will make you feel at ease.
15. Give your Photographer a call a few days before the Photoshoot
Contacting your photographer with any last-minute questions will keep you up to date with what’s to be expected. Further insights from your photographer about the photoshoot you booked will also alleviate any concerns you might have beforehand.
16. Bring a change of Clothes
Although you may feel prepared with the clothes you brought, you never know when a spillage or a downpour might render them unusable for photography. Also, a change of clothes will give you some alternative looks which can come in useful n future.
17. Pocket Mirror
Bring a pocket mirror or use your smartphone just to check those finer details right before your photography session. This is mainly a confidence booster. It’s hard to remain natural under the lights if you’re concerned about a wayward hair or a collar that pops up.
Why not contact Pitch Visuals to get help planning your next corporate portrait session…
The take away from years of experience of corporate portrait photography is that preparation is the key to creating unique & eye-catching portraits that project the personal branding that you want for you & your team.