4 THINGS YOU SHOULD LOOK AT WHEN CHOOSING YOUR HEADSHOT PHOTOGRAPHER
Updated: Apr 28, 2020
You have reached a point in your career where you know you need to step up your game in terms of personal branding and executive presence ( Head this way to know what personal branding is 😉). Typing your name in Google Images can be a wake-up call to move forward and to decide to book a professional portrait photographer.
But here you are, facing so many different offers... what's more, if you are in big cities like New York or Paris!
Here is a checklist of what you should pay attention to when choosing your corporate headshot and portrait photographer:
1 - PROFESSIONAL MODELS IN THE PHOTOGRAPHER'S PORTFOLIO
A good executive portrait photographer has skills that differ from a fashion photographer and vice versa. A professional headshot photographer should excel at handling people that are not used to be in front of a camera and it requires a lot of training and experience. To photograph a model is a completely different story as the model plays a major role in posing and giving expressions to the fashion photographer. As an executive, that is definitely not your job to know how to handle that part. You have already so much more on your plate. That's 100% of the portrait photographer's job.
So look at the images on the portrait photographer's website: If it shows mainly what seems to be professional models, it will give you a hint that chances are high that you will have to handle your posing and expressions yourself. However, if you see a very diverse portrait portfolio, you can feel confident that you will be fully guided and you won't have to stress in any way to make sure you look your best self on your professional photos.
2 - SOLID PERSONAL BRANDING = DIFFERENT MOODS & IMAGES
As an executive growing your career or your own business, you have to work on your personal branding. It means a strong visual identity in all the professional images you post on internet for all your different projects. It will help you stand out from the crowd.
If you want just one professional headshot similar to your coworkers or if you are not interested in differentiating yourself from the competition, then you will be fine hiring a headshot photographer that shows all the same backdrops and moods and lights on all the images of her/his portfolio.
However, if you want to do things the 'convincing' way, you will want to show the different facets of your personality and expertise, so look for a professional photographer who is able to deliver images in studio light, natural light, inside, outside, with different types of backdrops, poses, framing etc. A portrait photographer that will fully tailor your portrait shoot and create the images around you needs.
3 - EDITING STYLE
You have 3 types of headshot photographers :
Purist ones: The ones who shoot and do not edit or retouch the images in any away. (So better have 7 great nights of sleep before and a perfectly ironed outfit 😉 !)
The quick and fast ones: The ones who shoot and simply edit the images: they load the images in a software like Adobe Lightroom or CaptureOne and they will adjust the contrasts, the colours, and tones. But again, they won't touch up any hair fly-aways, or shirt wrinkles, etc.
The full-service portrait photographers: And finally, you have the one who wants to deliver a complete professional service and so they edit (like the point above) and retouch on Adobe Photoshop the images. Keep in mind that in the photoshopping part, there are different degrees. The ones who correct in a subtle way different details like hair fly aways, glasses glare, clothing wrinkles and bulging, dark circles, etc. And then there are the ones who go way too far and you end up with no more pores in your skin, extremely white teeth and eye white, etc. (you don't want to go there either)
What you want to look for, if you want a neat and clean professional picture, is for the photographers that offer editing AND retouching in Photoshop in a natural and subtle way.