I work a lot across Herefordshire and the rest of the UK supplying commercial images to promote businesses and their services. Business owners are always very excited about capturing the essence of the business: the premises, the products, the services and close-ups of the most intricate workings of the operation - but then get decidedly less animated about the prospect of headshots and portraits! Fair enough. Few of us like having our picture taken. It’s one thing to pose with friends in front of a giant cocktail with 8 straws during Happy Hour… but it’s quite another to force an amiable yet professional smile in the direction of a complete stranger with a camera whom you only met 5 minutes ago.
Well, it really doesn’t have to be that terrifying! Let's demystify the process...
First up, before we start shooting frames, we’ll formulate some ideas about the mood of the pictures - after all, your company ethos and brand identity should echo through all of your business imagery… for example, a firm of undertakers may not want staff in their headshots to be grinning inanely like Timmy Mallett! Similarly: dimly lit, moody, black and white images reminiscent of Metallica's Ride The Lightening album may not be the way to go for a group of children's entertainers.
A picture speaks a thousand words, as they say, so a little thought at this stage really pays off later.
Portraits usually take two styles: lifestyle portraits where you are naturally lit and feature in your work surroundings… then there are the more traditional, professional, studio portraits in front of a neutral background and lit with studio lighting. I often do a mixture of these styles during a session.
After that, each shoot takes its own organic form (that might sound a bit arty-farty but it’s true), no two photoshoots take the same course yet the aim is always the same: to get you feeling comfortable and to be yourself: we're then on the road to getting some great images.
Did you know that every single one of us has an expression (or a brief point when we transition into an expression) where we come alive, exude character and light up a photo? Professional models can consistently locate this look and recreate it at will - that is one of their skills as a model... it’s my job to capture this look in your expressions during our photoshoot.
So if you're a reluctant model, have no fear... a photoshoot needn't be so terrifying after all and, who knows, you might even enjoy it!
See more about my commercial and portrait photography packages.
Images taken from part of a photoshoot with Julia Menaul of Spark Coaching and Training