Recently I met with a local photographer that only shoots property photos for real estate agents. He doesn’t photograph people. Our introduction was a good one because he was willing to refer agents who need head shots to me. Realtors in particular tend to use their likeness all over their marketing material. My suggestion and professional advise is that if you plan on using your photo to help market your business make sure you hire a professional.
The above mentioned photographer said that a lot of his clients ask for a “quick headshot” while he is photographing the home. “We’re here, you’ve got a camera let’s just take a few pictures.” It’s not that easy. He knows that his strength is not working with people, giving direction, trying to convey a message or feeling with the photo of a person. A headshot or executive portrait shouldn’t be an afterthought.
When considering getting a head shot or business portrait ask yourself some questions. What will I use the photo for? Do I need a different look for my website and business card? Should I wear a suit and tie or my favorite Hawaiian Shirt? (the answer to the latter is almost never) Will the images be photoshopped? Will the images look better if they are retouched? Should I bring wardrobe options so that I can get variations or multiple images?
Earlier this month Carlos called me to update his headshot. Carlos is a real estate agent with Keller Williams based out of the Beverly Hills Office. We shot several looks so that he could have different images for different applications. He’ll have a photo for his website as well as a different photo for his marketing efforts on social networking sites like facebook and linkedin. He also decided that professional retouching would be advantages. The second image shows image before and after retouching. The photo on the left is displayed as it came out of the camera. In this case a $2500 camera with a $1800 lens. Does the quality of the camera gear matter? A little bit, but the illustration is meant to show the quality and amount of work that goes into a photo to make it look professional.
Before and After Professional Retouching. Shot with Canon 5D and 70-200 F2.8IS