Like many companies, you may be thinking of getting everyone’s professional headshots updated. Since the pandemic, many people have changed how they look and now have outdated headshots. There are now so many more platforms to put a headshot on as well. In addition to LinkedIn and your website, professional headshots now appear on Zoom, Slack, Office 365, and many others where our clients and customers will look at our profile pictures.
Organising headshots for the whole company can be a nightmare. Whether it’s for 5 or 5000 staff, there will always be challenges. Below is our ultimate guide to organising headshots for your company.
Topics we will cover (click to take you directly to that paragraph).
How to Select the Right Photographer
Headshots are one of the trickiest areas of photography to get right. Especially in corporate headshots. Your photographer will be taking portraits of people who haven’t chosen to be photographed, be under time pressure, and typically in an unfamiliar environment. Things to look out for:
- A photographer who specialises in photographing headshots and not someone who also photographs weddings, families, etc.
- Does the photographer have a studio? This is useful as you can send new starters or anyone that misses the shoot day at the office to be photographed there instead?
- Amazing headshot photographs should make the person looking at them feel that they are connecting with them. To achieve this, the person being photographed needs to have a good connection with the photographer and feel relaxed. If you are considering using a particular photographer, make sure you have a chat with the actual photographer. What is their personality like and do you think they will bring the best out of your colleagues?
How Much do Corporate Headshots Cost?
As you search through the Internet for Corporate Headshot Photographers, you will see a wide range of prices from photographers that are just starting in the industry through to highly experienced specialists that only shoot headshots. As with any service you engage with, it is always a balance of your budget versus the photographer that you really want to work with. As a ballpark figure, A full day’s headshot photography and images can range from £500 to £2000. Don’t forget to allow for VAT where applicable and check what is included in their rate e.g. do they charge extra for travel, editing or anything else?
What Headshot Style Should I Choose?
A quick look at Google Images or Pinterest for Professional Headshots will provide you with inspiration for what looks suit you and your brand. These typically fall into 3 categories.
Solid Background Headshots
A white, grey or even black background is a common choice for many of our clients. It offers a unified look throughout the company that can be replicated easily across the organisation either at different locations or on different dates. Of course, any colour background is possible for headshots, you may even want to choose from your marketing colour palette (your photographer should be able to replace a background with your exact colour for a modest fee).
Environmental Backgrounds for Headshots
You may want to use your own office as the backdrop for your headshots. Whether in focus or blurred (the background not the subject) this can be a great look for your headshots that brings in a bit of your company’s personality.
Pro-tip on environmental headshots is to have your photographer take an image that they can use as a background for any future shoots for new starters.
Editorial style Headshots
For many creative companies, a more natural-looking portrait works very well. Think stock photography but with your colleagues as the main subjects. These images can take a bit more planning and some extra shooting time but they produce very individual results that get your company personality and branding across in a single image.
For more examples of headshot backgrounds click HERE
How Many Images Should I Have Per Person?
While one image per colleague is often all that’s required, you may want to consider at least some people having a variety of images. If your colleagues are client-facing, they may want a super smart and a more relaxed image. Anyone that speaks at conferences may want an approachable image that will go onto programmes and websites. Your C Level colleagues may want a variety for board reports, press releases, etc.
Your photographer may charge per edited image so it’s best to have an idea beforehand how many final images to want to ensure the budget isn’t blown!
Organising a Headshot Shoot at More Than One Location
If you are a single office company or have a date when everyone will be in a specific place (even for an away day at a hotel) then deciding on a date for your headshot session should be fairly straightforward. Even still, you will rarely get a date when everyone is around so opt for a date that suits most people. However, when you have people located in different offices organising headshot sessions for everyone is even more of a headache.
The key differences with multiple location shoots are:
- Unless you, as the organiser, intend to be onsite for every shoot there are logistical or practical differences between locations. For instance, some offices may have a blank wall to use as a background whilst others don’t. Dress code between offices can often vary depending on what the various teams do. However, if the images are to be displayed next to each other, it’s important to agree in advance on a dress code for everyone.
- To organise the large volume of images, it’s best to ask your photographer to split each shoot into separate galleries such as “Headshots – London Branch”, etc.
- Consider using some form of identifier so you know who everyone is. If you know everyone in your organisation then this isn’t an issue. However, with large organisations with new starters joining frequently, you may not know everyone. This is particularly an issue if, like one of our regular clients in London who has over 1000 people working from their London office and has to allocate the cost to the department that people work in. To identify everyone you can ask them to hold a piece of paper / small whiteboard with their name on it and possibly their department when the first image of them is being taken. Oh, and yes, people will ask ‘As if I have been arrested?”
The Headshot Session Itself – What to Expect
The amount of space needed to photograph headshots in your office will depend on how much equipment your photographer brings with them. At Lumosia, we need a space of about 4 meters long by 2 meters wide. The space needs to be that long as we bring with us a big light as it’s the most flattering for people and also so we can use the correct focal length. If you use an incorrect focal length then people’s faces can look distorted.
When photographing people we guide people on flattering positions to stand in and where to look. Some people inevitably find it easier than others. Therefore, the amount of time each person takes can vary. We would recommend however that you allocate 5-10 minutes per person. Make sure that you send several reminders to people.
Allocate Time Slots
Unless you have a really small team it’s best to allocate time slots. If you leave it to people’s own devices they will often ‘forget’. It’s also really difficult to make sure that we photographed everyone we were supposed to. If you give that list to the photographer they can tick people off as they go and you can see if anyone is hiding (oops I meant taking a really urgent call).
What to Wear
What clothes you advise people to wear to their headshot session really depends on the industry you are in and the culture of your organisation. For instance, someone who works in a media or creative company would be much more relaxed than someone who works in corporate finance. Try to think about how you would like to be perceived or what you would wear to a client meeting. Having said that however it is best to avoid:
– Anything with bold patterns as they will date quickly and be distracting
– Bare arms (most people don’t like their arms in photos)
– Shirts without jackets. Even if it is what you would normally wear, a creased shirt that you have been wearing all morning doesn’t look good. Ties are optional.
What About People Who Aren't Available With Everyone Else?
There will always be someone that either misses the date or starts the next day!!! Some photographers (like us) will have one or more studios where you can send the few that missed the date. Of course, if you have a few people, it can be worth organising a second date once you have enough to justify the price.
How to Select Headshots For Your Colleagues
Once you have your unedited headshots, you have the fun task of choosing the final image(s) that will be edited and then used. There are two key ways to choose images.
One person chooses for everyone
This is the simplest way to select the final headshots. You simply choose the images to be edited for each person without their input. There may, of course, be some comments about the images that have been chosen but the process will be fast and you will have the images edited and back quickly.
Your colleagues choose their own images:
Typically you will receive an online gallery from your photographer with the option to favourite one or more images. You can either send the link out to all your colleagues to choose (If, like with our system, the system asks for an email address when an image is favourited, have everyone use the same email address. This will allow you to see who has and has not selected their headshots.
A very effective method is to visit your colleagues with a laptop, iPad, etc, and get them to choose while you are with them. This can speed up the process and having someone else’s opinion can really help.
How to store and backup your headshots
Although your headshot photographer will more than likely hold onto your final images for you, it’s best to manage the files yourself. We would recommend creating two versions of the files. One for day-to-day use and one as a backup in case something is deleted, edited, etc. You may have a company system for backing up files but a simple system like Google Drive or Dropbox may be a good offsite option.
If you have any other questions about how to organise corporate headshots please ask us by calling 07810 004451 or messaging on the live chat.