Insights on how creative corporate headshots enhance your brand
I wanted to discuss the importance of branding your business with professional headshot images that reflect who you truly are.
Is there a certain photographer who inspires you?
Platon, definitely. He’s shot everybody: Muhammad Ali, Vivienne Westwood, Mark Zuckerberg, Bono, Clint Eastwood, Annie Leibovitz, David Beckham, Bill Gates…even Barack Obama! His portraits exude so much personality. I often look to him for inspiration when I’m planning an Image Branding shoot.
What’s the difference between standard corporate headshots and Image Branding?
Standard corporate headshots shows your head and shoulders against a white background. Everyone in the company stands in the same position with the same lighting and background – it’s really just there so that people can put faces to names.
Image Branding is completely different. It’s creative. It’s collaborative. From the detailed research I conduct into your business and your current branding to the creative brief, I entirely tailor the experience to you and your needs.
Why are business images so important?
Your business images are your visual resume. When consumers are perusing their options, they’re scanning over you and your competitors simultaneously. You’ve got ONE chance to stand out. ONE chance to impress. A boring head-shot just isn’t going to cut it anymore.
How is shooting a family experience different to shooting an Image Branding experience?
With families, it’s more about letting them take the lead. I’m interested in their bonds and how they interact with each other. I’m putting music on, building relationships with them and high-fiving the kids!
An Image Branding shoot, however, is completely different; for a start, I take more control. It’s a professional process, so my clients need to feel 100% confident in my abilities. After all, it’s their business: it’s important to them and to me that we get it right.
What’s the most important element of an Image Branding shoot?
I need to know the answers to two main questions:
1. What are the images for?
2. What do the images need to portray?
All technical aspects of the shoot rest on the answer to the first question. For example, if the images are primarily for use on a website, I need to know as much as possible… Whereabouts on the website will the images be going? A portrait shot for the ‘Contact’ page will be cropped completely differently to a rotating banner shot. Do we need to leave room on some images to add your logo? I like to know the specifics, so I can set up and design the shots perfectly.
Similarly, all stylistic aspects of the shoot rest on the answer to the second question. Some people might want to show their power, confidence and experience; others might want to show their warmth, approachability and passion. I’ll change everything according to those answers: clothing recommendations, colours, lighting, angles, crops, tones, positioning, spacing – everything.
Image Branding caters to everyone from dancers to financial executives. How do you ensure the images represent each person/group authentically?
Connection and communication are key, regardless of who you’re working with. For example, if we’re aiming for a strong, authoritative shot, I’ll set up my angle, lighting, etc. accordingly and then get the client to talk about their greatest professional achievement to date. The pride they feel in that achievement emanates through their face and posture. Similarly, if we’re aiming for a natural, friendly shot, we might discuss what happened at last year’s office Christmas party. That way, the emotion and passion you see in each shot is genuine.
What has your work within Image Branding taught you?
That standard head-shots are a thing of the past! I always knew how powerful portraits could be but I didn’t apply that to professional shots untilI started my Image Branding service. I now understand that your business image can and should be as striking as an amazing portrait photograph. I’m pushing boundaries in ways I never thought possible.
How do you ensure you’re always evolving as a photographer?
Photography is about constantly critiquing yourself. I find it helps to ask the people you admire to give you feedback, too.