Getting professional business and corporate headshots of your staff may be low on your list of priorities, however getting high quality portraits taken can make-or-break a potential client’s decision to work with you. Read on to find out why.
What makes an excellent corporate headshot?
Consider that in most cases, your team is your greatest asset, and it’s an advantage to have business and corporate headshots on the about us page that inspires people to work with your and your team. Another reason for having an inspiring headshot is on LinkedIn because it’s the first place where the first name and last name appear when somebody googles another human.
People want to do business with people that are professional and exceptional at their craft. So an excellent corporate portrait is an image that inspires others to want to work with you and your team, and it’s accomplished by a professional photographer, talented at capturing raw human emotions. A selfie is an image of the human being snapped by that person; a portrait is a picture of a person photographed by someone else, a good portrait is photographed by a professional, and a great corporate headshot is photographed by a specialist with talent at capturing the human soul.
Whether you have a young team, seniors or people identified as a particular group, your business and corporate headshots should be inspiring.
How to choose a business and corporate headshots photographer
Ensure they have lots of portraits in their portfolio, positive google reviews and professional dedication to corporate portraits.
Hire a photography agency that gives you and your team discretionary usage rights. Your privacy is paramount, so make sure that they don’t hire photo editors that may compromise your identity. You wouldn’t want to go to court because the photographer specified and limited your usage to force you and your agency to spend more money later.
Besides being talented and a dedicated professional, consider if you and your team will feel comfortable with this individual. Stay away from the smelly sandals photographer, the egocentric, or the unemployed person acting as a photographer because they may not have the ability to provide integrity when all is done and finished. It’s a difficult career that requires a team of business and corporate headshots professionals to provide the finished product.
Four common mistakes when hiring business and corporate headshots photographers
1. Not hiring a professional
“We asked [our receptionist / the child of a staff member / the wife of the CEO] to take pictures.”
Don’t do it. Using an amateur photographer, or someone related to an employee could cause conflicts in the workplace. Someone on your team could fancy themselves a photographer, but because you didn’t ask everyone, that person could grow to resent being overlooked. Furthermore, using someone related to an employee or owner could appear biased, or as though you are practicing nepotism. Your team deserves an impartial and talented photographer.
2. Making everyone look too similar
“We decided that we wanted our people to pose to the left, all closeup, look mean, all should have arms crossed, all should wear dark blue blazers…”
Most companies want to showcase their talented staff in the hopes of convincing that on-the-fence client to hire them over a competitor. The trouble is, when you make your staff look exactly the same, each employee’s individuality and specific talent can get lost in the crowd. You should aim to capture the essence of the individuals rather than forcing all to be one way or another. The cohesiveness of your staff comes in the form of similar feeling backdrops, and the same cropping of the photos instead of having 20 requirements.
3. Taking retouching too far
“We want heavy photo retouching of each of our employees”
Do you enjoy the company of your friends and family only because of their perfect behaviour and looks? Probably not. These people likely have quirks that, despite your best effort, you can’t quite explain why it makes you like them. The same goes with headshots. When we take editing too far, it takes away people’s individuality and makes them look like unrealistic cartoons. A more realistic amount of editing includes removing skin blemishes and getting rid of stray hairs instead of altering their facial symmetry or body shape.
4. Having a staff member supervise the photographer
If you’re worried the person with the camera won’t be able to follow your guidelines, you’re probably using an amateur. Instead, hire a professional that doesn’t need supervision. All our photographers have experienced situations where an employee doesn’t feel comfortable during their allotted time because a third person was supervising the photo session. When employees don’t feel comfortable in their session, you can sense it from their portrait via their shuttered expression, tense body language, or lack of a personality in their photos.
While we know you have good intentions at heart with supervision, it just doesn’t work. If you’re still worried the photographer won’t understand your business and corporate headshots concept, you should volunteer to be the first person from your team that the photographer photographs to showcase your guidelines.