Location Head Shots - standing out from the crowd.
You have heard the old sayings, 'People buy people' and 'A picture speaks a thousand words', okay so these days they are more like cliches, but it doesn't mean they are wrong. Your first impressions of a person are important and we see more than we realise when we subconsciously 'read' someone's face and body language. If your 'PR' photograph is not a good natural likeness, or you have a forced pose or expression then a viewer will often see that and be less inclined to do business with you, however, if you get it right you will stand out from the crowd. Subconsciously when you look at a picture you are asking yourself, 'Does that person look trustworthy?' or 'Could I see myself working with them?' There are other factors to take into consideration too. When you look at a photo of yourself, often you think it is not a good likeness because you are seeing it as a mirrored image to what you are used to seeing (Ie your reflection in a mirror). Your brain says - 'I don't look right' and then thinks that is what everyone else sees. In actual fact, YOU are the only one who sees 'you' the way you do. This sometimes causes you to pick the wrong image for your PR shoot.
If I had a pound (excuse yet another cliche) for everyone who says ' I don't like having my photo taken', 'I am not photogenic' or the classic 'Can you get rid of some chins and wrinkles', I would be a rich man! As a photographer, it is my job to put you at ease, tease out the natural smiles and expressions and in a very short time 'evaluate' your body language and therefore create the images that make you stand out from the crowd. In a studio setting, it is harder, as you are already in a fake environment and often lit by two light sources which is, in itself un-natural (there is only one sun!). When you are alongside colleagues on a website where the images are all lit the same way, in the same pose and with a white background it is difficult to look like an individual and there is almost no 'story' in your picture.
I offer two scenarios to avoid these situations. One is an 'at the workplace' shoot where I do mini portfolios of each colleague using little or no 'on-camera' flash, blurred backgrounds and crucially of them doing what they do as a job or in the environment in which they work ('the story') OR for the individual, a location shoot in a local park, town or at home. Images are supplied as high-resolution J-pegs in a passworded gallery which can be accessed whenever needed. I can even supply a gallery of your favourite few that you can direct people to should they need a picture of you. Most people tell me that they were surprised but they actually enjoyed the shoot and the whole thing was an altogether positive experience. I recently shot a real-life, genuine snapper - Kate Lloyd - an accomplished equine photographer who was kind enough to write a few words on her experience - read her testimonial in the case study below.
Well, not quite a thousand words - but I hope that explanation helps you to understand my work process and see how important it is to find the right person to take your PR photographs.
© Andy Newbold December 2021
Case Study -Kate Lloyd - Equine Photographer
It’s hard to believe it’s only a week since we did the very enjoyable hoot on a cold foggy day in Farnham.
When I looked out first thing in the morning I thought this is not going to be a good day for a shoot, but how wrong I was. Most photographers don’t like having their own photo taken and I am definitely one of those, so hearty congratulations on making it feel easy, relaxed and such a success for the outputs, which I will definitely be using shortly on all my marketing materials.
The pictures belie the weather as the light is lovely and the fog enhances the light rather than creating a problem. Although it was cold, everything worked very well, and you made me relax quickly and enjoy finding those special little places in Farnham, with lovely ancient brick and flint walls, which are so evocative of the place. You seem to have a really magic touch, and have created a suite of images which make me look far better than I had expected.
The processing was quick, and the system of showing them is great, so easy to manage and download the ones I like best.
You asked me to let you know which are my favourites, but that's really difficult as there are so many that I like.
The black and white ones are probably my favourites as a group, but you managed o make me smile naturally and look as though I am enjoying the day - which, to my surprise - I was.
There are a lot of excellent images, and I really appreciate what you achieved in a short time, while making it easy to participate with no anxiety, and so far as I can see from the pictures you produced, very little fear!
It’s so much appreciated and was a genuinely good experience.
Kate lloyd - 28th Jan 2020.
Thank you to Kate for allowing me to share these lovely words - please go and see Kate's incredible work at: https://katelloydphotography.com/