Team headshots are an important tool to help promote a business’s brand. They should look professional and accurately represent the personality of the subject. It’s important to remember that these photos will show up on various platforms including LinkedIn and other social media. Therefore, they should have a certain standard and quality to them. The biggest challenge, especially for smaller companies, is that professional headshots are not cheap.
Here are 10 tips to help you take your company’s own professional looking headshots.
1. What Makes a Good Headshot?
The best headshots are when the subject is looking directly at the camera. Eye contact catches the viewer’s attention and helps communicate the subject’s personality. It’s also important to ensure that the lighting is good on the subject’s face as spotty shadowing can make for an awkward picture. The picture should be easy to view even when it’s small, as that’s likely how it will be viewed on certain social media platforms.
2. No Selfies!
Don’t take a photo of yourself! The best way to create great headshots is by getting other members of your team involved. When someone else is taking the photo, they can provide feedback and help create a natural reaction from the subject. A great tip is to get the subject to say something unexpected, which will result in them laughing. Those are when the best photos are produced.
3. Location, Location, Location.
Headshots turn out best when they’re taken outside, as nothing replaces natural lighting. The key here is to take the shots in a well-lit shaded area or on a cloudy day. Overcast days produce the best and most even lighting. Taking the photos in direct sunlight can create harsh light, not to mention your subject will become a serial squinter. If you are taking the photos on a sunny day you want to look for the perfect spot in open shade and get your subject to face the light.
If the weather isn’t cooperating and you choose to shoot inside, you want to choose a room with lots of natural light. Have your subject face the window so that their face is naturally lit and ensure that you are happy with the colour of the background. In both scenarios, it’s best to choose a background that’s a solid colour as this will make the subject stand out more.
4. Use Additional Lighting.
If indoors, it’s a good idea to rent or purchase a little lighting kit of your own. Basic lighting kits can be purchased affordably on sites like Amazon.ca and there are so many great tutorials on YouTube on how to properly set them up. It’s important to note that you want to either use artificial lighting or natural lighting. You don’t want to use a mix of both as they have different lighting tones.
5. Take Lots of Shots.
The key is to take numerous shots. I am talking about hundreds of shots. This will give you the best chance of getting that perfect shot of the subject. With this is mind, it’s important to ensure you have lots of memory space on your camera.
6. How Long Should the Photoshoot Be?
You don’t want to feel rushed, so it’s a good idea to block off a minimum of a couple of hours for the shoot. You will need the time to ensure you capture that perfect shot. It’s important to factor in the time that it takes to find the location, set-up, shoot, and then go through them to ensure that you’ve been successful.
7. Practice Posing!
As awkward as it can feel, it’s a good idea for the subjects to practice posing in front of the mirror. This will help the subject learn the best ways to pose to help their personalities shine through.
8. What Should I Wear?!
Since the headshots are framed from the chest up, you don’t need to be worried about what bottoms to wear. As for the shirt, choose a colour that represents your personality but avoid overly bright or busy patterns. It’s a good idea to bring a few different top options in case you don’t like the look of one of them.
9. The Camera.
The best solution would be to find a DSLR camera with a prime lens to use. Prime lenses help create that beautiful shallow depth of field where the subject is in focus and the background is blurred. If you don’t have a camera, phones today have excellent built-in cameras that can be set to burst mode to help you take numerous shots and help capture that perfect picture.
Position the camera so that it is at a slightly higher angle to the subject. You do not want the subject facing the camera straight on. It’s just more flattering when the shot is taken from off-centered angle.
10. Post Photoshoot!
Choose your favourite 15 photos after the photoshoot and send them to some friends for opinions. This will help narrow down the single best shot. Once the best shot has been determined, it’s time to edit! There are many ways that this can be done. If you used a camera, you can edit using high-end programs like Photoshop, or you could use GIMP, a similar free online program. The photo programs that come with computers also have a decent set of editing tools that can be used. If you used a phone, there are numerous editing apps that can be used to edit your photos.
There you have it, 10 tips to help you create some awesome headshots of your company’s team. Nothing will replace the work of a professional as they have the professional equipment. Even so, these tips are sure to help produce some great shots that will do an awesome job of showing off your team.