Today we're gonna chat a bit about why you should have professional portraits of your staff, and how you can prepare for your session. If you'd like to skip straight to it and schedule a session with us, head on over here and contact us today!
But first, perhaps you're wondering why you should spend a portion of your budget on staff portraits. Why not just bring in that one guy with the good camera in accounting? Or maybe everyone can just use their phone and get one at home? Those all seem like cheap, convenient options, right?
Well, yes and no. It sure is easy and affordable, but staff portraits are an important part of your business and they communicate a lot about the quality of work you do. Behind all your marketing and design is the message that your product is valuable, worthy of the time and money of your client. Your appearance is a part of that message, and these days, the first look a client gets of who you are is almost certainly on your website.
The only thing a smartphone selfie communicates is "Quality doesn't matter as long as it's cheap and easy!" Probably not what you want to say, right?
So, let's talk about what a professional brings.
It's fairly simply, a professional will know how to work with your staff to get good images (even the ones who hate being in photos!) They won't take up your whole day, and they'll return images that have been expertly edited to help your staff look their best. A professional will know the technical details behind flattering lighting, proper posing, and have the experience to get it done in a reasonable amount of time.
Case in point, here's a before and after image from one of my recent sessions with the good folks at Elmhurst Mutual.
We can see in this un-cropped portrait that the changes to exposure, color, and the skin are all subtle, but make a big impact. The eyes light up and engage the viewer, the skin looks warmer, and elements like the logo on the shirt stand out just a tiny bit more.
Eyes, in fact, are one of the most important parts of the portrait. Find someone currently using a smartphone selfie for the business and compare the eyes in it to a proper headshot. There's a world of difference. Any professional portrait worth their salt is going to put life and energy in the eyes of their subject, and not merely in Photoshop, but in the photo itself, with proper lighting and posing.
See what I mean?
So, let's move on to how you can prepare for a shoot with us.
1. Think about when you want to schedule your session: We use a mobile studio set up and prefer to come to our clients. Unlike traditional studios, you won't have to carpool your whole company out to a single location. We'll come to you and work around your schedule. Think about a convenient time to have as many employees in the office as possible, and try not to schedule us up against any other big events.
2. Inform (and remind) your employees about their upcoming portraits. Given them enough forewarning that they can schedule hair appointments if necessary.
3. Think about how you want your staff to dress. Is their a dress code they'll already be following? Do they have company shirts with logos they can wear? Can they dress in the company's colors? Simplicity tends to lend itself better to a sense of professionalism, so if something starts to sound too complex or expensive, that's probably a good sign you need to do something else.
4. Set aside a location for us to photograph. We'll be setting up a background and lighting, and it needs to be out of the way. Often times we'll find ourselves in a spare conference room so as not to disrupt ongoing work. Also consider whether or not you need group portraits-- that may require a larger room!
5. Consider consulting with your company's graphic designer. What does he or she need for the website? Does a particular background color better than others?
6. Contact us! Even if you're not 100% sure what you need, we're here to help cast a creative vision for your company's portraits. It can be something as simple as the classy gray backdrop you saw in the portraits above, or maybe I'll spend 8 hours underground with one of your cleaning teams. This is one of the best aspects of working with a professional-- not just executing your vision, but helping develop it.
We're here to help you look your professional best!