We believe in authentic headshots and team photos. We believe you can communicate SO much through a picture if you are intentional about it and plan ahead.
There are 3 main areas we plan ahead for our headshots and team photos.
2. Photo usage
Though the location is important, we are not focusing on that aspect in this blog post. Location is dependent on so many variables (time, season, availability, indoor vs. outdoor) and should be discussed with your photographer before the day.
Today we are focusing on styling and photo usage. Once you read through this very practical blog post, download this FREE STYLING GUIDE. You can use this the next time you are taking headshots or team photos.
HOW WILL YOU USE YOUR PHOTOS?
Before styling your headshots, it is important to ask yourself these 2 questions:
1. “How will I use these photos?”
2. “Where will I use these photos?”
The type of photos and their professionalism vary depending on how they will be used. For example, a LinkedIn profile picture or website headshot should be more professional than a picture for a blog post.
Here are 10 ways our clients have used their photos:
2. Social media profile images and posts (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Etsy)
3. Business website: team page, about page, contact page
4. Personal blog
5. Digital, Print, or web portfolio
6. Professional bios, publications, social media/blog spotlights or press interviews
7. Business cards and other advertising materials (magazines, billboards, brochures, flyers)
8. Email signatures
9. Skype, YouTube, Google Plus Profiles for communication
10. Membership sites or local groups
INDIVIDUAL HEADSHOT SESSIONS
1. YOUR STYLE & INDUSTRY
Remember this is YOUR picture. This is a picture that is supposed to capture YOUR personality.
Though this is about you, industry is also important to consider. Your headshot is your first impression and enables you to attract your potential employer or next customer. If you love hot pink but are pursuing a traditional industry, wear your pink as an accessory.
If your industry is casual, don’t wear a suit but don’t wear casual Friday attire either.
If you are a florist, wear a print and style yourself creatively in terms of hair, make-up, and accessories.
If you are young and starting a career in business or marketing, consider neutral colors with an accessory that you can take off for some pictures. Give yourself some variety.
2. COLORS & PATTERNS
We like color when it comes to individual headshots. You don’t have to worry about coordinating with anyone when you are doing individual shots. But if you like to wear black, wear black... remember to let YOUR personality show.
Based on experience, there are a couple of colors we recommend avoiding. We don’t recommend bright orange or red as it creates an odd cast on the skin. We also don’t recommend yellow on most people as it does not look good with their skin and hair coloring.
We caution clients on prints and patterns. Read more about this below in the Team Photo section or read our recommendations in the FREE STYLING GUIDE.
3. FIT & POSTURE (mostly for the women)
We recommend poses and angles that will be the most flattering for your body and outfit but certain clothing styles look better than others. We recommend trying on your outfit or outfits in front of an honest friend. Get them to look at you from multiple angles. Then have them take a quick photo so you can see how you look.
Loose thick clothing (sweaters) or large sleeves can make your upper body look larger than it actually is. Tight clothing can cling too much to areas and become the focal point of the picture.
We tell all of our clients to bring a blazer, cardigan, or layering item so we can style the outfit quickly, provide a variety of photos, and quickly make an outfit more flattering.
For posture, we recommend wearing a wedge or heel. They help most women stand taller and more confident.
COMPANY HEADSHOTS & TEAM PHOTOS
When planning for company headshots and team photos, the coordinator and photographer need to communicate what the rest of the team needs to wear. As you can imagine (or maybe experienced already) not everyone in the company may know what is best to wear.
Talk with your photographer about the location/background and then decide your directions to your team members based on the 4 items below. Be descriptive and give examples to your team members.
1. BUSINESS PERSONALITY
This seems like a step to look over but it is VERY important. These photos are going to be your first impression and will communicate more than how many people do you have in your company. They are showing personality, quality, and style.
If your business is casual (polos, nice jeans, and cute casual dresses) on a day to day, then that is appropriate for your group/team photo. If you wear suits and professional dress, then you need to stick to that style.
Communicate what you expect of your team. Give an example for both men and women.
2. COLORS & PATTERNS
We always recommend picking 3 colors from the business brand. As you will see with the Prewett Insurance Group team photo, we told them to wear blues, navy, and whites. We knew we wanted to take their picture outside with greenery in the background. Thus the blue and white would compliment.
When you ask a group of people to stay within a color palette, make sure to offer 3 colors so that everyone is not in the same color. Then when you place people for the picture you won’t have clumps of only navy or only white.
There are always exceptions to rules when you are staying true to the brand and the purpose of the photos. Look at the picture of Auburn Opelika Lifestyle. We asked them to all wear black, wear sleeves (reduce the seasonal feel), and wear heels for posture. We had very specific uses for the photos and needed the colors to stay black and white.
3. PRINTS & PATTERNS
We recommend subtle prints and patterns for team photos. Prints and patterns can easily date a photo within a year. They can also make the photo too seasonal. You want a timeless photo that can be used for awhile.
We do recommend avoiding thin dark and white horizontal stripes. It creates a strange effect on the camera and distracts from the person.
WOMEN: We recommend women wear sleeves (we know not everyone agrees) for 3 reasons.
Cap, short, ¾, or long sleeves are flattering
Sleeves are considered more professional
Sleeves make the photo current for all seasons of the year
Large kimono sleeves can make the body look larger and most of our clients don’t like those shots.
MEN: Decide if you are wearing short sleeves, suit coat/blazer, long sleeve button down. You don’t want one man in a suit coat and rest in polos.
We hope this blog post is helpful. Share with your marketing/design/branding manager in your company. Download the FREE STYLING GUIDE to use before your next session. If you are local to the Auburn, Montgomery, or Birmingham areas, please contact us for your headshots and team photos.