The Advantages of Corporate Photography Post Production Techniques.

Post production techniques can benefit the marketing impact of your commissioned corporate photography.

Our headshot photographers undertake hundreds of commissions each year and as I get more involved in the post production side of the industry I can see how clients do not see the potential of what is on offer.

To give some examples. The first case is a company will approach us and we will agree to capture their staff and directors headshots. Within our quote we include airbrushing and retouching to selected images. After we do the shoot we send all the high res versions and the client is happy. A week later the headshots are on their website and the next time we will hear from them is when they have new starters to be photographed.

The second case is several other companies we work with and we go through the same process but after the shoot them come back with a list of images they require being retouched and asking if we can do anything to improve the overall impression of the headshots. The answer is always yes.

We are beginning to see that what the photographer can capture in camera is only half of the process. Post production gives a whole new dimension of what can be added to the original corporate headshot.

Traditionally business headshots were on a white or sometimes blue background. This was due to these being the most popular background paper rolls that were sold by Colourama. This trends continues to this day and there is no reason for this. Good quality cut outs in post production means that you can literally have any background you require. As it is now impossible to tell that a headshot has been cut out and placed on a new background this opens up great possibilities. We work with large international companies who want all their worldwide offices to have headshots with the same background. We have guidelines for foreign photographers and we then create a corporate branding in post production. Another client again with international offices was having real problems trying to capture headshots of staff in their offices across the world. Again we wrote guides for the photographers and then purchased library shots of the world capitals and very carefully created a set of professional headshots for them.

Another option to look at is that if you have a headshot you are pleased with and feel confident using then get more from it by adding backgrounds, cropping and tailoring it to work in different situations. These are some samples we put together to help clients understand what is possible in post production.

 

Corporate photography post production techniques.

These two samples have been captured in clients offices and we have subtly retouched them. The worst thing with post production is the ease with which the client or the photographer can over work the headshot. Retouching should never be noticeable on the final version. You would be able to see differences if you compared the original headshot with the retouched version but the final product should and must look natural. Our subtle retouching and airbrushing includes lessening lines and wrinkles normally around the eye area. We also remove any spots or blemishes as these are not permanent features. Scars and moles are a person’s preference wether we remove them or not. Shinny skin can be reduced and any discolouration reduced to look healthy.

 

London business headshot with office background added

At this stage we have now added an office environment background with gives the headshot a new dimension. It makes perfect sense to me that a corporate headshot should have a corporate background. Gives the person a sense of where they work. It is instant that the viewer knows this is a person at work and it is a business profile photograph. I have been creating LinkedIn headshots in London for many years now and I am still amazed at some of the profile photos I see. Snaps of company directors half up a mountain or on a sailing boat. The person is usually so small in the picture they are barely recognisable. If you get past this amateur mistake you then see they have spent a great deal of time writing content for their profile but the first thing you look at as a potential employer or client is the photo and you really need to look professional at that point.

The benefits of adding a background in post production really come into play at this point. You can have your headshot captured in a studio utilising the professional lighting which would be a difficult option if you wanted to do it on location. After this you can add a background that perfectly reflects your business sector.

 

corporate headshot with London skyline added in post production

Being based in London with most of our clients they require a City background added as this reflects their work location. I mentioned earlier about the benefits for international companies but another point to look at is that it is very easy for us to apply the London cityscape as a background but if you try and recreate this on a shoot you will have to gain access to a high building as trying to capture this type of headshot at street level is not possible due to the height of the building which create a steep angle. We have a library taken from many of the skyscrapers in the City purely for the purpose of being added as a background.These are carefully shot to allow for the person standing and blocking most of the view and gently put out of focus to replicate the shot if it was captured in camera and the use of a long portrait lens and the point of focus.

 

Corporate photography post production techniques.

Corporate branding colours can be sample from your old headshots or created and added to your companies headshots. These are also made web friendly and feathered in around hairstyles. It might be suggested that this can be done with a colour background roll and save the post production work but that is a mistake. In the past we had clients buying background rolls and sending them all over the world for different photographers to use. This was in the hope that the background and therefore the headshots would remain consistent. The main recurring problem with this is lighting varies and therefore the hue, colour and brightness of the background changed in different photographers work.

If you want the background and the your headshots to perfectly consistent the only sure way to guarantee this is to add them in post production.

You might be interested in our last post on corporate photography tips.

Please get in touch if you have any questions or additional benefits to corporate photography using post production techniques.

Tips for Corporate Headshot Photography

People tend not to like having their photo taken. I have never been able to work out why and it is a very British thing as well. Americans love to be photographed and see the benefits of a high quality headshot for marketing themselves. I thought I would jot down a few tips we have picked up over the many years of capturing corporate portraits.

 

Tips on how to get the best corporate portrait photography in London

1.  What should you wear?

People often feel they have to make an extra effort when it comes to dressing for their headshots. But be careful not to over dress and I would not suggest buying a new outfit just for the shoot. Wear clothes you feel comfortable and relaxed in and this will come across in the photographs. If you are overdressed you will feel awkward and this will show. Keep things simple and make sure the clothes are fresh and clean. Have a brush down for stray hairs etc. We can adjust things in post production but it is about how you feel during the shoot that matters. There is only one item of clothing I would mention that you might want to avoid (top tips). White shirts if worn without a jacket tend to reflect light very well. This is not a technical problem for us but can produce a form of uplighting under the chin. We tend to light our sitters at 45 degree angle so that there is a shadow cast under the chin. This makes the chin look stronger and can hide any signs of a double chin. A white shirt will weaken this shadow so if you feel this might apply to you avoid wearing one.

 

Tips on how to get the best corporate portrait photography in London

2. Do I need a make-up artist?

In the past we have worked with clients who wanted a make-up artist at the shoot and it was always a tricky balance of not going to over the top and hiding blemishes, spots etc. These days we tell clients to wear what they normally wear and we can adjust any imperfections in post production. Modern retouching is so superior to what you can hide with make-up. Also we use retouching in a subtle way so you still look the same but with any wrinkles reduced, spots removed, scars can be lessened, blood shot eyes cleared the list is endless but overall we retouch so you look like yourself on a good day.

 

Tips on how to get the best corporate portrait photography in London

3. Should I get my hair done beforehand?

Your call really. If you feel more confident and professional after a recent hair appointment then please do it. If not please bring whatever you need to get your hair looking its best to the headshot session. Sounds silly but just running a brush through it in front of the mirror works perfectly. As long as you are happy with it in front of the camera we can control wayward strands in post production.

4. With or without glasses?

If you wear them all the time and clients are used to seeing you in them then yes. If you only wear them to read then no unless they make you feel more confident. In my opinion the most important element to creating a good corporate headshot is the eyes. If you get the eyes looking engaged, confidence radiating from them you have cracked it and the rest will fall into place. The eyes give everything away though so if you are feeling uncomfortable in front of the camera it will be the eyes that convey this. The photographer should put you at ease, showing you the best way to stand, suggesting different head positions and guiding you through the process.

 

Tips on how to get the best corporate portrait photography in London

5. Should I smile?

I think this all goes back to our childhood with parents urging their children to grin ear to ear in any photo that their appeared in. I someone is a natural smiler then just go with what they feel happy to do. Others we have to nurture into a smile but in these cases I do not suggest a large broad grin because this does not come natural to everyone. We suggest a half smile which gives a warmth to the corporate headshot giving an approachable look. Their is nothing worse than a false forced smile and a photographer asking a sitter to smile makes the situation awkward if the person does not feel natural doing it. You do not have to smile in your headshot. It is down to the individuals character. People who know you will react if you are clearly out of character and likewise potential clients will want to see a true reflection of the person they want to do business with.

 

Tips on how to get the best corporate portrait photography in London

6. My friend is a photographer do you want me to tell you the tips they suggested?

Always interesting to pick up new tips but overall it is best to follow the process we have perfected over 20 years of experience. It might have been suggested that you practise different poses in the mirror or say a certain word to make you look better. These tips really do not work and only make the session staggered as it breaks the natural flow of the headshot session.

7. Is this my best side?

We shoot a full range of headshots on both sides getting you to stand at 45 degrees to the camera with your head turned directly at it. We will position you in a variety of poses giving you tips on how to stand. If they feel awkward we will change to another. Sometimes people want to stand in a certain pose or angle to hide a spot or scar. Let us know if this is the case as I mentioned these imperfections are best dealt with in post production and certainly should not mean you are standing at an odd angle in your headshot.

8. Do I have to look at the camera?

Not everyone likes the confrontation of a long lens and even less having to look natural in front of it. We often capture people looking of camera and this can work really well as if they are chatting to a friend who is positioned out of the cameras view then the sitter has something else to focus on and feels less inhibited. In cases when you need a companies headshots to follow a style for a website about us page for instance then we would have to shoot the headshot with the sitter looking to camera but there is something quite refreshing for an LinkedIn profile page to have a off camera shot. Tends to make the person look like the have been captured during their working day.

 

Tips on how to get the best corporate portrait photography in London

9. Business casual or smart?

Which best for a headshot formal or informal? This all depends on your industry and what your business sector expects to see. For instance a IT company idea of casual is jeans and a t-shirt whereas a bank would suggest casual is not wearing a tie. You will know your market sector better than we do so go with what your competitors are doing. We have several style of corporate headshot photography which we can run past you but it is a very good tip to have decided the look you prefer prior to the headshot session.

 

Tips on how to get the best corporate portrait photography in London

10. Do you send me the best headshots for LinkedIn?

We tend to send you everything we have captured minus any obvious outtakes. People naturally want to see everything so they can make a choice from the selection. Once you have selected your favourites we will retouch and edit those. We can produce black and white versions of our colour headshots and give tips on which crop works best for LinkedIn or other business social media sites. One of our new tips is to think about the background image you can upload on LinkedIn. You have gone to the expenses and spent time creating a professional headshot for your LinkedIn profile but then happy to leave the background image as the default LinkedIn graphic. We have a large selection of corporate generic imagery which we can supply as cropped to fit the LinkedIn banner background. Try and use an image that reflects your business or market sector. We have found that the most popular is a London cityscape for those working in The City and we can tailor it to your corporate headshots so it does not look like a library photo.

 

Retouched and airbrushed LinkedIn headshot

 

Finally of all these tips I would say that when you are choosing a corporate photographer in London to capture your headshot look at their portfolio carefully. I know that is an obvious tip but remember headshot photographers work for years creating styles and processes to define their portfolio so above cost and availability be sure that their style is exactly what you require. Suggesting to a photographer that they mimic or copy another photographers work might save you a few pounds but the outcome will not be their best work and therefore probably fall below your expectations.

© Corporate Photography Agency