A Guide to Professional Headshot Photography at Your Location

If your company has decided to invest in professional headshot photography, you’ll want to know what to expect on the day of the shoot. Here’s a quick primer on what happens when Greenwell Photography comes to your business.

Professional headshot photography elevates your company’s brand, improve morale, and provide valuable content for your company’s website and social media posts. When we come to your location, we can photograph dozens of employees in a day, giving each person attention, proper lighting, and an outstanding photo.

The day of the professional headshot shoot…

What to expect on arrival

We will arrive an hour prior to the first scheduled headshot. It takes that long to unload and set up the mobile studio, and to test the equipment and setup. At the end of the day, we need another hour to tear down the gear and pack up the truck.

If you can provide a table, a chair, a stack of copy paper, a Sharpie, and some coffee, that completes our basic needs for the shoot.

What to expect during the shoot

When people arrive at their designated time, we ask them to write their name legibly on a sheet of copy paper. For the first photo, they will hold this paper up under their chin. This becomes a way for us to index the photos and identify each person.

We work quickly but resist rushing people or the process. Some people love to have their picture taken and know how to pose well. Others (honestly? most) don’t like to have their picture taken and need coaching and time to get comfortable. With more than 25 years of experience, we know how to work with all kinds of people and how to help their natural beauty and personality shine through.

We may ask for permission to apply powder to minimize shine.

When someone wears glasses, we check to see if they are reflective in the lights. If so, we work with them to resolve any glare. (Occasionally, they may need to be removed.)

We discourage a crowd of observers from gathering during headshots. It can be distracting for the subject and the photographer, and, for those who are nervous about getting their picture taken to begin with, it adds to the anxiety. A quiet, calm environment provides the best setting for photos.

We shoot 5 to 10 (or however many it takes!) photos of each person, providing direction for small changes from photo to photo.

When the schedule allows (which we highly recommend), we invite each person to preview their photos immediately after their sitting to allow them to choose their favorite on the spot. This saves you a LOT of time later, coordinating photo selection.

Before we arrive on location for professional headshots…

Choose your style

Knowing some basic information will ensure that we bring the right gear for a successful professional headshot photography shoot. What kind of backdrop do you want, and do you want the same backdrop for all employees/team members? Some options (see this page for examples of each):

  • Light gray — classic; ages well
  • Black — dramatic; draws eyes to the faces
  • Color — can tie to your brand colors (we’ll need to know what color(s) to bring!)
  • Environmental — Leafy green backgrounds, modern architecture, soft or warm interiors — we can try to capture the background as part of the photos or drop them in later.

A good plan = a good shoot day

The most successful location headshot shoots have resulted from a good partnership between us and a great on-site organizer. Some pre-shoot activities that help things run smoothly include:

  • Communicating with all team members the purpose and importance of the photographs to generate buy-in and minimize questions the day of the shoot
  • Organizing a list of people to be photographed
  • Creating a schedule, allowing about 10 minutes per person so that each team member can review the photos taken and choose their favorite on the spot. We appreciate a few breaks being built into the schedule, as well as a lunch break so that we can maintain a high level of energy for each person.
  • Reserving an appropriate space for the shoot (see below) and getting it ready
  • Distributing a tip sheet (we will provide!) to all people being photographed in advance of the shoot day and encouraging everyone to read and observe the tips
  • Providing information to us in advance about the best place for us to park and unload gear, as well as a contact phone number if we encounter any problems
  • Remaining available throughout the day to address any problems or questions that come up and to approve photos

Make room

When you choose Greenwell Photography for a headshot shoot at your location, we don’t show up with just a camera and an umbrella. We bring the studio to you! That means a lot of gear. To allow room for the four or five studio lights and distance for the proper portrait lens, a completely open space of 15 x 20 feet is needed. Ideally, the room will have plenty of electrical outlets and those outlets will be powered by at least two different circuits. If you don’t have a lot of outlets in that space, no worries…we bring a lot of extension cords.

We do not shoot using “natural light,” which does not allow the proper amount of control for consistent, professional photos. We bring studio lighting. So large windows are not needed…and, in fact, can sometimes cause problems.

The finishing touch on your professional headshots

If you want truly polished headshots, you’ll want to consider retouching, which is an optional, affordable service. We offer professional, custom retouching that goes far beyond “adjusting” and does not involve cheap filters. Andy custom retouches each photo to remove blemishes, shine, slight discoloration, wrinkles (in clothes or otherwise), or other small factors that may detract from each person’s natural beauty. Because people often ask us during their preview session if photos will be retouched, we like to know in advance if you will choose retouching for your team.

Let’s talk before your professional headshot shoot

We look forward to working with you to provide professional headshot photography. Location shoots are fun for us and your team. If you have ANY questions, contact andy@andygreenwell.com or tina@andygreenwell.com.

Andy Greenwell Photography, business headshot, business photography, commercial photography, professional photographer

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