We visit offices all over the Dallas area to photograph business people so we see every imaginable business set up and have drawn up a short checklist of what makes a great space for in-office or “environmental headshots.” So often the people tasked with hiring a business headshot photographer have never hired a photographer before, so even though talking about square footage and lighting doesn’t make a very exciting blog article, it will make a big difference in creating great business portraits.
- Floorspace. An open area like a lobby or conference room is usually enough space if we’re only photographing one person at a time. Think 10×15 feet. Some conference rooms have the size but there is a giant unmovable table in the center of the room –often we can shoot over it, but if we’re setting up a backdrop instead of using the view behind our subject, we’ll need more empty floor space
- Light. We love to use natural light when we can but we usually bring supplemental lights to fill in the shadows. The samples here were a mixture of daylight and flash, taken in the client’s Boardroom.
- View. If you’ve got a great view and it works with your brand — we need to show it off! Best to choose a day (or time of day) when we are not competing with a ton of hard sunlight. Bright indirect light is best, so if you have several rooms to choose from, we’ll probably opt for north facing windows or early morning.
- Message. Sometimes the location of the business portraits needs to include a logo or another signature element that relates to branding. A sculpture, a portrait of the Founder in the background, etc. Just let us know and we’ll bring whatever lighting equipment is needed to give you a truly professional photo. You can visit our business portrait portfolio here.
Regardless of the lighting setup, we coach people on how to stand, what to do with their hands, even what to wear , if needed — and our image files always include our expert Photoshop work. We are available to discuss your particular needs and setup any day during business hours, just call the studio at 972-250-2415
Often hiring a headshot photographer falls to a team member who has never hired a photographer before and may not know what questions to ask. Where to begin? Here’s a list of questions to start the conversation.
- Can you send me a sample?
Photographers should have a variety of samples they can attach to an email to demonstrate a certain type of lighting or background color. Directing you to a website is not the same thing. You need a sample image you can inspect, or that can be circulated to the people making the decisions about the work. Need a few shots of the products you sell? Not all photographers know how to shoot products. The same goes for event photos vs. portraits vs. sports — many of us specialize, so be sure to ask.
- What type of equipment do you use?
Not that everyone needs to know which camera does what — but your photographer should have a quick fluid answer re: cameras, lenses and lighting equipment. It should be written into the quote. And yes, you need a written quote. Nobody wants to think about this, but make sure that your photographer has back-up equipment and liability insurance in case things go wrong.
- How long do you keep images on file?
Again, make sure you hire them for what you really need. If you only need two headshots and you’re never going to need more, then file storage is really not an issue. We store images for a period of months and always check with our clients before deleting them. Also ask who chooses the images — do you need an online gallery (most executives want a selection so they can choose their photos) or does the photographer choose?
- Is digital re-touching included ?
This is a big one, because not every photographer puts a lot of time and effort in to the finished product. The cheap shoot-and-burn guys may just be cropping them and sending them over. You want someone who touches up skin and hair at the very least. For many of our clients we can easily skim off a few pounds (and a few years!) during the editing process. If your team is aging or unattractive? You need a photographer with good skills in this area.
- What are your studio hours?
There are a lot of part-time photographers. Do you need a quick answer? Does your group tend to move their dates around a lot? Sometimes for budgetary reasons, a part time photographer may be all you can afford. Just be very specific about deliverables and make sure your emails get prompt replies.
View our portfolio at our website: here or call the studio at 972-250-2415