I’ve been doing a lot of corporate headshot sessions lately, and I’ve realized that a lot folks really don’t know that there are different types of headshots. It seems that you tend to think all headshot sessions are the same, and that’s actually not the case. Headshots have sort of a dual function. Yes, they’re photos of an individual, but they are also photos for a company at the same time. They have to represent both the person and the company they work for, and they have to be created in such a manner that it also ties in with marketing and design efforts.
Sometimes, the person and the company are one in the same – meaning, you own your business and you basically are your own brand. The type of headshot session I like to do for business owners is totally different than when a company hires me for photos of their employees. I like to find out more about the business and what the overall look and feel of their business is, as well as what their end goal is for the headshots, and then I’ll make my suggestions for the type of session we do based on that.
So there are three main types of headshots: (1) Environmental Headshots, (2) Studio Headshots, and (3) Solid Background Headshots. There’s a time and place for each of them, and hopefully this post will help you decide which option best suits your needs.
No, this doesn’t mean you’re out taking photos of someone advocating for the environment. Although you could be, depending on the client. What this means is that the photos are done on location. Sometimes, it’s at the business location, and sometimes it’s out and about in the community. For this headshot below, we did Justin’s session at Maple Street Biscuit Company. We chose that spot because he meets clients in local businesses to talk about their website needs all the time. He’s never just sitting at a desk in an office building, even though he works for a larger company. He’s always out and about, and we wanted that to show through in his headshots.
Environmental sessions can also be done in the business’s location, if it makes sense. For Dr. Mahajan’s headshot, we did the session as part of a larger photo shoot of her newly remodeled pediatric dentistry office, Kids First Dentistry. We wanted the photos to show her in an approachable way, while conveying what it is that she does. It made sense for her to wear her white coat, but I wanted the pose to feel like she was just standing at the reception desk talking with you, just like she would with the parents of any of her dentistry patients. She is a warm and approachable person, and her headshots needed to feel the same way.
Studio Headshot Sessions
Sometimes, it makes more sense to use the studio for headshot sessions. When I have larger companies who want a clean and contemporary background for all of their employees, I recommend the studio. It gives us plenty of variety as well as consistency. Anytime the client has a new employee who needs a headshot, they book the session with me, and we setup the time to meet at the studio. This is definitely the best option for a business who has new employees on a relatively frequent basis.
The studio I use is Delo Studios, right in the middle of downtown Jacksonville by the Duval County Courthouse. It’s a phenomenal space with amazing architectural elements throughout, and it makes for a really amazing setting for photos that look like something you’d see in a magazine. It’s great for giving a variety of images that have the same look and feel without being completely identical from employee to employee.
Headshot with a Backdrop
Sometimes, it makes more sense to use a traditional photo backdrop. If you’re doing photos specifically for your website, and your web designer wants to put the headshot of you directly over some of the graphics they’re designing, you need a traditional backdrop. We can do it with a green screen, if your designer needs the background to disappear. Or we can do it with a solid color background, if it makes sense to keep the photo more simple, so as not to be too busy for the rest of the website layout.
With this type of headshot, I can bring one or two backgrounds and lighting directly to your office and setup in a conference room. It’s very standard, and sometimes this is the best option if you just have one or two employees who need their headshots to match the rest of the team’s headshots. I’ll be honest, these are not my favorite to do, because I really love the visual elements of the studio or environmental sessions better. But they do serve a purpose, and we are well equipped to handle that.
Which option is best for me?
Well, that’s something we can talk about and see what makes the most sense! Contact me today, and I can make recommendations based on your business and your goals.