Head shot photography

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I hate having my picture taken and I bet you do to, but a decent headshot is almost essential for a linked in profile, a dating profile and a customer facing company website, but man alive do you and your staff hate having them done. DO YOU KNOW WHY? It's because you are not doing it right.

You cannot take a headshot on a phone because the lens is too wide angle. You cannot really take a decent headshot with a compact or bridge camera either. Even an expensive DSLR in the wrong hands means you'll get rubbish results because getting a decent headshot is not actually about the gear the photographer uses it's more about people skills and knowing how to pose people to get the best look from them.

No one (almost no one) likes having their picture taken. You see double chins, too much forehead, stary eyes, and awkward grins.

No one (almost no one) likes having their picture taken

That was one problem facing a veterinary practice I recently contacted about their headshots. They were ahead of the curve though as they had staff pictures on the company website. Read staff pictures make potential customers feel welcome and existing customers feel they are part of the company experience and will be retained.

So a page introducing your staff is essential if you run a vets, dentist, doctors, insurance agent, restaurant, coffee shop counseling service, in fact any business who needs to attract new customers needs to show who is working for them. In the day and age of digital communication the personal aspect of company contact is dwindling and show you need to show your business is still people doing business with people.

So that's what the Veterinary practice recognised, but the existing headshots were taken by a man who may have known how to use a camera, but he didn't seem to know how to pose people. It is both an art and a science The science part comes from moving certain parts of the head to accentuate the features in the best way, the art part comes in persuading the subject to follow your direction. There is a big difference between taking a snap of someone and having a head shot done. That difference is me.

OUT OF OFFICE NIGHTMARE SORTED

Small companies are busy places to work. People do lots of jobs at different times and getting everyone to a studio is just not practical. Sending them in small numbers for a company in a rural location is also not practical either, so I come to you.

I decided for the vets to take the shots outside as their business deals with outdoors people. But I didn't just choose any random location. I chose a place with the sun behind my subject. This stops the model squinting and creates a nice keylight on their hair. I was lucky with the day as it was plenty bright enough so I just used a reflector to bounce light back into the shot, but I have in the past used flash. Each sitting only takes a few minutes so I was able to get through the entire staff one after the other accounting for people who start at different times of the day or members who had client appointments. So each person was away from their duties for no more than 10 minutes only. It took some organisation, but it went smoothly. As I suspected none wanted to have their picture taken, but with some banter and with me firmly in control, they all performed perfectly and the results, I think, speak for themselves.

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LINKEDIN

If you have a Linkedin profile and wonder why the response you get is far from what you expected it is probably your profile pictures. If you are a marketing manager and your linkedin profile picture is you digging at the allotment or lounging in a pair of budgie smugglers on a beach then, you are sending the wrong message.

You need to spend a bit of money and get the pictures done properly

To really get noticed you need a cool, sophisticated image showing you at your best. Suited in an office or an eye catching location. Headshots are perfect for Linkedin as the profile pictures are quite small, but that is all the more reason to have a really good image. So you need to spend a bit of money and get the pictures done properly. Just think of it this way. If you are looking for a £50K+ job wouldn't spending a couple of hundred £s be a wise investment?

LOOKING FOR THE PARTNER OF YOUR DREAMS?

If the messages you are getting on an online dating site are from people twice your age and three times as ugly, maybe you should look at your profile pictures. The one of you at a wedding holding up a glass of wine open mouthed with your ex blocked out will not inspire confidence apart from in the desperate.

The truth is very few people are genuinely ugly. But it is also a fact most people do not consider the pictures they use too well. Look at the profiles you like? They will not be drunken, fancy dress images of people in a bar. So why have you got a similar image on your profile?

If you are looking for the love of your life, you pay money to websites, but then you use poor snaps to advertise yourself. Think about the sense of that. Even one decent image of you will make you stand above the rest of the pack you are competing with be it for a job or a partner.

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO?

The first thing is to drop me a message at photo@gavinparsons.co.uk. I offer a number of packages for headshots for companies and individuals. And getting top quality headshots and profile pictures is often not as much as you think and will be money worth spending.


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