Emeka Ikechi, Director, Vanity Studios, shares his top tips for making the most of a photography investment
Whether you are a business owner, director or manager you need some excellent images for your business website, LinkedIn profile etc. It is a good idea to arrange a professional photoshoot to achieve the look you want, but how can you get the best results?
Here are some tips to help you get the most from your investment.
Make sure you know what you want the resulting shots to look like. Are you looking for a slick, professional headshot for example? If so, think about where you’ll use it and what you want the pictures to say about you. If you’re a Finance Director, you may want to look serious and responsible, but if you run restaurants you may want a more creative look.
What we don’t recommend is practising! The point of going to a professional studio is that they have the experience to help you get the look you want and if you are too stiff with a practised pose, you are unlikely to get the best from the process.
With the kind of shots you want in mind, pick a selection of clothes. We recommend bringing several changes of clothes and ones you can mix and match to create different looks. Four “looks” is a good number to work towards.
If you are simply there for work / business shots, we still recommend you change tops to give variety and allow for more formal or casual looks depending on where the shot is being used. If you are having a mixture of shots, a crisp white shirt, for example, can go under a suit jacket or be worn casually with jeans.
With head shots particularly, try not to wear anything that is too similar to your skin tone, as you are in danger of blending into your outfit and, conversely, don’t wear anything too patterned as it’s distracting.
And underwear is important! Bring spares that you can change into if needed. That crisp white shirt won’t look right for a business shot if you arrived in a black bra and didn’t think to bring a spare! Similarly, if you are planning to wear low-slung jeans, bring underwear that won’t be poking out of the top! You get the picture (no pun intended).
Hair and makeup?
Check with the studio whether hair and makeup are part of the package. I would highly recommend that you choose a studio that includes this. And if they don’t include hair and makeup, ask them for guidance as to how you should prepare before you arrive.
If you come to a studio where these are part of the package, we advise arriving with clean hair that has no styling products in and no makeup. That way the stylists can start with a blank canvas and create the look you want. We do suggest you have makeup applied for the shoot, as the lighting is pretty strong, so you could look washed out without any. However, you can choose to look very natural or have heavy makeup or anything in between. If you’re not 100% sure what you want, the artists can advise you and work with you to get you looking just perfect!
Men should also arrive with clean, non-styled hair and, for the shoot, we do suggest at least having some powder applied because of the lighting and to mask blemishes. Some men will want more than others, again depending on who you are and what you want to achieve, but it is completely optional and the makeup artists will work with you to ensure you get the look you really want.
Glasses are far less of an issue than people tend to assume so, if you are a wearer of glasses, do bring them along. Glare is seldom an issue – remember these are professional photographers who know how to get the angle and lighting right.
For some people, glasses are very much part of their identity and others may need them but prefer how they look without, so it’s very much a personal choice. What we tend to do is take poses both with and without glasses and when the shoot is over you can choose which pictures you prefer.
Making your choice of images
At the end of the shoot, there will be an enormous number of images to choose from. Generally, studios will have a “viewer”; someone specifically assigned to go through the shots with you and help you choose the right ones. Remember what it is was you wanted in the first place and be sure you have those shots ordered – it’s crucial you leave with what you wanted in the first place. You may also find there are other shots that you really love, and these are a real bonus from your experience.
Your photoshoot should be an enjoyable experience. We offer Prosecco on arrival and the whole process is very comfortable. Good studios will have great makeup artists and hair stylists so you can relax while they get to work. The photographers are highly experienced and give a lot of direction; they will advise you on where to stand, how to sit, which angle to put your head at, where to look, etc.
If you know what you want and trust the studio team you’ll get the images you need to represent you and your business.