What should a business headshot cost?

Pricing for headshots can be all-inclusive (like our studio) or a la carte. We recently visited several websites that appeared to have a really great $100 headshot, but after looking carefully we realized they were charging extra for some very important features that most clients assume are included.  Their service ended up being $150 more expensive than ours ($375 vs. $225).

Our standard business headshot session is 20 minutes long and for $225 includes two fully retouched digital images. We also offer 24 turnaround and an online gallery at no additional cost so you have the time to look through your proofs at your leisure before making a final decision. We have a brick and mortar studio so when you arrive for your session you have a variety of background and lighting options and we go over samples with you to assure the best result. But not all photographers offer this service. They charge extra for the second digital image, the photoshop retouching and add on fees for quick turnarounds — so compare apples to apples!

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You should always choose a photographer based on the quality of their images, but then make sure you know what you’ll be spending.

What are the elements of a good business portrait? Look for a crisp image with even lighting –for online use you don’t want uneven shadows. Light in the eyes, and no clothing distractions like excessive wrinkly clothes is always important. Good skin tones (orange cast to the skin is a sign of underexposure), eye contact and a general overall attractive smile. A good headshot can work for you for years — but a bad one is just a waste of your time AND your money.

 

Locations for business portraits

Choosing a  location for your business portraits is almost as important as what you choose to wear. If you work from home, you  can still choose a great business look for your next headshot -maybe a bright office lobby with nice furnishings, or an outdoor setting with impressive buildings in the background.  If you’ve got access to a great view, don’t be afraid to use it!

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With a few photoshop edits we can remove distracting elements from the background and give your potential clients a glimpse of what it’s like to do business with you and your firm.  If your partner group or team is needing a more youthful look, we will help you choose a bright more high-tech look to add interest.  Need to add a feeling of prestige? Let’s use a scene with artwork or a courtyard with sculpture or interesting architectural elements.

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business headshot after editing

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With professional lighting, even an interesting piece of art can flatter your people, lend interest and convey a message without distracting from the primary message.  We can help you send the right message.  Visit our online portfolio for more samples:  http://www.headshots.teresaberg.com or call us at 972-250-2415.

Are Business Casual headshots too casual for your business?

It depends. The obvious answer is to match your headshots to your brand and match your brand to the industry you compete in.  But what about standing out in your universe?  Do you want to send a subtle message that you’re just a little bit more hip than your competitors?  Or that your firm is younger and leaner than the bigger guys?  Or maybe than you’re still “young enough?” We can help.

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We live in the world of visual cues. Sometimes something as simple as the angle of your shoulders or the color of your clothing sends a message.  What type of lighting tells the story that is right for you? Not every business has a marketing department focused on these things.  If you need to sit down and study some sample business headshots and discuss the options –give us a call. We’re always ready to offer suggestions and go through the options.  We can even help you create a ‘style book’ — because maybe your sales people need a slightly different look than your C suite, or maybe you have multiple uses for your business headshot that require slightly different looks? As your business grows, your new employees can come to us and get the same look, lending continuity and building confidence in your firm.

Think you don’t have the right location for outdoor headshots?

We are often asked to photograph business people at their office building or in their office environment — but in today’s workplace, that usually means a business park or office complex without a lot of greenspace.  Or a building with 90% parking lot and 10% grass. Sound familiar?

What you may not realize is how creatively we can use just a small green area or a grove of just a few trees to give you a woodsy or natural look.  The examples shown below were shot in the  parking lot of an office building on the Dallas North Tollway.  It was a rainy day in what most photographer’s would consider marginal shooting conditions.

This design firm wanted a rustic, almost woodsy look for their business headshots — and to add to the challenge, they didn’t want them all to match.  So we brought supplemental light with us and moved around on a 20 foot strip of grass in their parking lot and created these.

So don’t feel you’re wishing for the impossible if you want outdoor business portraits in Dallas — we can make it work for you. Or we can meet you at a nearby location that will give you the look you need.

Teresa Berg Photography
Outdoor business portraits in Dallas
best dallas outdoor business portraits
Teresa Berg Photography Dallas headshot photographer
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Dallas business headshot photographer Teresa Berg

 

Business Portraits for Trade Publications

We are often hired to do assignments with trade associations and publications or content creators who need a key person photographed for publication. We sometimes work from a written spec sheet or style book, or we can sit down with the subject or art director and strategize about creating the look from scratch. A style that works with current branding.  Either way, we provide everything needed. Sometimes we bring hair and makeup professionals with us to give people a truly polished look (also  a great tool for giving key people a more youthful appearance) – and always advise on wardrobe and location.

Tributary Systems CEO Shawn Sabanagayam
Shawn Sabanagayam of Tributary Systems was photographed for CIO Review Magazine

And that’s just what happens BEFORE we photograph. What happens afterwards is often close to magic.  The all-important photoshop editing is the icing on the cake. It can be so subtle that no one even knows what we’ve done –just that all of a sudden everyone on the team looks crisper, professional, more rested and younger.

3 Questions to Ask a Photographer BEFORE you hire them for business portraits:

  1. Does your price include the Photoshop work (i.e. digital touch-ups)?  You’d be surprised how many will say you don’t need it (because they don’t provide it).
  2. Does the price include an online gallery so that we can choose our images?  You will want at least 3-5 proofs per person if for no other reason than to keep people from complaining later that they “didn’t get to choose.”
  3. Does the price include all the backdrops and lighting equipment? Many photographers do not have studio lights and professional equipment and will try to rent or borrow what they need, and those costs are often passed on to the client.
David Huntley of AT&T
AT&T’s David Huntley was photographed for Health Care Compliance Association & Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics Magazine

If you have a speaking engagement on the horizon or are about to be published or interviewed — it’s time to get a great business portrait.  We can help!  

 

 

Corporate Headshots and Photoshop

Our quotes for headshots and corporate photography always include editing. Make sure you get what you need as far as editing when hiring a photographer.

Do corporate headshots and Photoshop go hand-in-hand? Absolutely. But to most people, Photoshop is a magic wand to make them look younger, thinner and more attractive — and photographers can be lazy.  They can use Photoshop short cuts and quick fixes and all of a sudden, every face looks  like the same plastic mask. No wrinkles, but no detail or contrast either. Good editing takes time, which is why a lot of bargain headshot photographers don’t include it.

Here is a simple example:  This client hired us to photograph several employees in their Dallas offices so that the finished images would match their brand (they are a global firm) which called for crisp black and white images with a soft blurry background, cropped wide.

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This was our starting point — after choosing the location, setting up lighting, posing and adjustments to a few elements in the background — but before we edited skin, hairline, and little background annoyances like exit lights. See if you can tell the difference.

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finished business headshot with the final cropped image
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posing is another important element for a strong professional portrait

In short, Photoshop is an essential element when used properly, so when hiring a professional for your next business portrait, be sure it’s included in your quote and ask to see some “before and after” shots.

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black and white images should be crisp with a full range of black to white

Five reasons to use a Hair/Makeup artist for your headshots.

We will always answer YES to this question!  Here’s why:

  1. Professional makeup people can minimize a variety of skin imperfections (and we all have them) . Dark circles, fine lines, skin cancer, wrinkles — you name it.
  2. Makeup artists can help you to look more alert and more youthful.  It’s not just about wrinkles and photoshop.  You want your eyes to pop and it takes more than just mascara! Your headshots are an investment… don’t cheap out on yourself.
  3. Matte finish.  The last thing you want for your headshot is shiny skin. A professional matte finish is really going to make your skin look younger and healthier.
  4. Hair!  The goal is never to make you look like someone else — but don’t you want to look your best?  Coming from home or the office with droopy hair ( or hair that has been exposed to the outdoors) right before you step in front of the camera can be risky.  You don’t have to look like an ad for a salon, but you should not look whipped and frizzy!
  5. CONFIDENCE.  What better way to look your best than turning it over to the pros?  They will take direction, consult with you about color choices based on the clothing you plan to wear — and even advise you on jewelry.  So you get to step in front of the camera knowing you’ve got it all pulled together.

My assistant, Jessiree (below) and I recently re-shot our headshots here in the studio. We chose a bright, natural light look and used one of our favorite makeup artists.  As you can see, our ages are vastly different — and we both benefited greatly.

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So give yourself every advantage and consider using a professional — and keep it simple!