Your Portrait, Your Brand - What Your Professional Photo Says About What You Do

A corporate headshot should visually signal something about what you do.  Some professionals and businesses prefer that to be subtle.  Some want it to be clear and obvious.  Here are some examples.

 Top:  Financial services, Event Tech, Writer.  Bottom:  Software Developer, Skateboarder, Chef.

Top:  Financial services, Event Tech, Writer.  Bottom:  Software Developer, Skateboarder, Chef.

Mission Impossible: Scheduling Headshot Photography For A Large Team

You want professional portraits of your large team, but there is no perfect day.  You could do it Thurs, but 3 lawyers are in court.  What about Tuesday of next week?  No good.  The CEO is meeting with a big client.

If you have a large team it's hard to find the *perfect* date.  Schedule multiple days - either consecutive or once/month for 3 months.  This also gives you a little room for retakes.  If that first day was out-of-control humid, I promise your employees (and their frizzy hair) will thank you!

The Booth at United State of Women

A few weeks ago we had the honor of attending and being asked to take photos at the first ever United State of Women conference.  Not only did we get to hear the likes of Oprah interviewing Michelle, Warren Buffett on a panel with our fellow 10,000 Small Businesses alumnae and POTUS, himself!

 Some of the faces from the day's shoot at the  United State of Women  conference.

Some of the faces from the day's shoot at the United State of Women conference.

We were busy taking photos for 12hrs straight.  It was a huge hit and wonderful honor to meet so many fabulous attendees.

Video for Business

In a recent story, Hubspot, experts in online marketing, sited the following stat about use of video:

10) 51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI. Tweet this stat! (Source)

It doesn't matter if you are Mark Zuckerberg introducing Oculus Rift or a law professional educating clients on an important legal issue important to his/her business, video can be an amazingly useful tool.  It can also help you establish your team as experts. 

Here are ways you can use it for your company:

Staff Video Bios - Help people get to know your team through video interviews.  Who are you, what's your favorite food? What area of law do you love? Why?

Video profiling Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Scholars.

Insight/Educational Video - Tell the world what you do or highlight an important issue for your clients through video. 

Video illustrating how the NYU Law Scholarship fund impacts its recipients.

1 Photo, 2 Ideas - Multi-Task With Your Corporate Headshots

Samples of different ways to use your company headshots:

Headshot for bio page and ID

Everyone needs some sort of professional photo of themselves for the company roster, LinkedIn, etc.  It's 2016, people.  You know what else your company needs staff photos for?  Security and company ID's.  Why not cover both with one shot!

Why?

  1. It's efficient.  It saves company time and money.  Plain and Simple.

  2. For those who hate to have their photo taken, you are lessening the pain.  They only have to "say cheese" once!

Think of this as an opportunity to beat your competitors at best looking company headshots AND company ID's!

How Often Should A Company Do Professional Headshots

It is key to keep your staff's headshots current and in-line with your company's brand.  The way we see it, "current" is the operative word in a big way and factors in on several levels:

1.  Does your team still look like they looked the last time you did this.  If hair was big and bangs were high last time around, it is definitely time to update.  We joke, but even subtle, small differences in hair and clothing will signal to your client how current your company's ideas and products are.

2.  Has your business changed?  Are your current portraits consistent and on brand with what your company currently does.  Is the use of light and environment telling your clients the right story about your company?

3.  Has your team changed?  This is the most obvious reason to update your headshots.  If your company went from 5 to 50 in the last 12 months or if you just added a department to handle experiential marketing (see www.theboothphotovideo.com.  wink wink), it is now time to do head shots. 

So if you are looking for #'s, the optimal range is to do new headshots every 2-5 years.  A law firm or medical practice could go as long as 5 years - strong, steady and consistent will be values that endure.  Clients look to a creative agency or design firm for new ideas to keep their businesses fresh.  So, keep those headshots fresh also - 2-3 years, maximum.

 

 

Corporate Headshots = Added Value at Trade Shows and Conferences

The Booth for Business is a service that was conceived from our original business, The Booth.  The Booth is a pop- up photo booth for special events.  We had many requests for photo booths at daytime corporate conferences.  Clients wanted to provide a different kind of service that would draw attendees to their booth and motivate social sharing about their brand.

Soon after, we convinced a client to take a leap and try the Booth for Business at their corporate event, instead of a standard event-focused photo booth.  The response was beyond positive.  A free headshot appealed to the corporate conference and trade show audience.  It was a high value item and it connected to the professional tone of the event.  

A headshot is still a fun draw and, in at least this company's opinion, a huge improvement on the a branded stress ball or other throwaway premiums.

The Power Of a Good Photographer for Corporate Headshots

It is corporate headshot day at work.  You look sharp.  You closed a deal this morning.  You are feeling like a rock star.  And then you walk into the makeshift photo studio in your company's conference room.  It's photo day.  All confidence leaves your body.

Why did the photographer say "chin up"?  What's wrong with my chin?  Am I doing it wrong?  Why is the assistant looking at me that way?  So much pressure!!!

Listen, Giselle Bundchen or David Beckham cannot take a bad photo, but we mortals can.  Want a little of their secret recipe?  Get comfortable in front of the camera.  It's a tall order, but one factor that can help you:  choose a great photographer.  

What is a great photographer?  Obviously someone who takes excellent photos is a great photographer, but that is just one quality.  You want someone that can make you feel comfortable, that will answer questions and that will make you smile (not in a "say cheese" way, but in a "I am smiling because this is actually fun" way).  You want someone who will look for your best "you" and capture that.  

For a few fun examples of awkward portraits of real estate brokers, visit our friends at Fstoppers.

 Corporate Headshots Gone Wrong

Corporate Headshots Gone Wrong

The Do's and Don'ts of a Corporate Headshot

There are very clear do's and don'ts when it comes to corporate headshot photography.  In a recent post, Yesware shared the following.  

There's lots of good advice here, but here are our favorites.

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 4.28.47 PM.png

Do:  Dress for your role.  We would take that to the next level and say dress for the role you want to be in 2 years from now.

 

 

 

Don't:  Do not, do not, do not (!!!!) wear sunglasses.  Only Karl Lagerfeld can get away with that.

To read more, click here.

Studio Portrait vs. Environmental Portrait - What The Professional Headshot Says About The Business

It's election season, so let's debate.  Should a headshot be done on a solid background or with the office setting as the background environment?  The establishment candidate might say solid, all the way.  Keep it clean, professional and let the person and the clothing offer cues about the individual's professionalism and style.

The outside-the-box candidate might say, "Wait.  Where you are, what's on your walls - these things paint a bigger picture about you and your business."  

Who wins the debate?  We say it's a draw. 

Though a solid background can signal a white collar professional or executive persona, there are ways to give it a twist making it perfect for someone in the creative services:

 Executive at an Investment Banking Firm - Looking Sharp and Super professional in a suit and tie

Executive at an Investment Banking Firm - Looking Sharp and Super professional in a suit and tie

Tech Focused Event Professional - Looking sharp and creative.  She's the kind of person that would bring fun to the job.

An environmental shot can use the space you work in to offer a suggestion or very clearly tell the world what you do.  In our opinion, this style can work across professions:

Chef Daniel Boulud at Epicerie Boulud - light and airy, dressed in a Chef's Coat

Fund manager - The curved factory windows and communal tables suggest a non-tradional workplace inside of the financial industry

executive  at a global financial services firm -taking an opportunity to integrate his company's Brand into his portrait.

The key thing in all of this is to align your portraits with your company's brand.  Think about your company's mission.  What are some of the visual features and design elements that you already use to marketing your company?  In the end, it's all about you are and the company you represent.

The Professional Headshot vs. The Selfie

That selfie your Account Executive took the other day, in her apartment, next to the window where the light was just right:  Your Facebook friends will say "gorgeous!", but your client will wonder, is this the sharp and experienced professional I just spoke to on the phone?  The photo of your legal team against a white wall in the office:  Consistent?  Yes!  Professional?  No.

There are so many reasons to incorporate professional headshots into your company's 2016 marketing plan.  Here is a starter list of 4:

1.  Makes a great first impression:  So much of the business we do is remote, online or over the phone.  Sometimes you don't meet a client until well after you have started doing business together.  The first thing they learn about your people is through a headshot and bio.  Both should reflect your professionalism and experience.

2.  Builds confidence:  A great corporate headshot sets a professional tone that carries over into a client's trust and confidence in the business. 

3.  Conveys the personality of business and individual:  What people wear, how they hold themselves, what the background is, even the crop of the photo - these are all details that say something about the business and the people who work there.  This is information that helps a client understand if your company is a good fit for their project.  A seasoned photographer can help you make the right decisions.

4.  Creates a connection:   Regardless of what you make, sell, produce, etc, you probably have competitors.  What your competitors DON'T have is your staff.  Clients want to work with people they trust and connect with and a good corporate headshot gets that relationship started on the right foot. 

When it comes to a good impression, there's no better place to start than with a great photo.  Good luck kicking off 2016 with your best face forward!!!

 

 

Why Headshots?

In 2007, The Booth launched as a pop-up photo studio for special events.  It quickly became clear that our pop-up-studio-in-the-spirit-a-photo-booth had further applications:  brand launches, music and film festivals, event marketing... and headshots!  

Our brand of creating excellent images and clear, affordable and uncomplicated packages translates beautifully into professional headshot photography.  The creative pivot into making photos that read "professional" instead of "party" is a natural evolution for our Creative Director, Ian Londin, who has 20 years of headshot photography under his belt.

Our mission, from day 1, has been to make fabulous, high-production value photography available in non-studio environments in an affordable and logistically accessible manner.  

We are excited about continuing this mission and encourage you to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.