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.
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:
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).
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.”
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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