Corporate Group Headshots
From board room to classroom, group headshots can be boring or informative, fun to do or a pain in the you know what. They can be a waste of resources or an excellent marketing tool. We have all been there with the annual classroom composite photo. Perhaps it wasn’t too meaningful at the time, but as we cross the distance from grade school to middle age, it takes on more meaning.
I want to speak mainly to the applicability of group headshots to businesses. To your existing and perspective clients, well executed headshots of your employees show them as friendly and competent, a pleasure to work with and willing to meet your client’s needs. To your existing employees, giving them the opportunity to have a quality headshot that they can use for other purposes is an appreciated employee benefit. Displaying quality headshots of existing employees can be a powerful recruiting tool. We live in a visually oriented society with people focusing on images before paying attention to words. A powerful and pleasing image trumps any expertly crafted paragraph.
So, the question becomes does the benefits of having quality corporate headshot done out weight the costs, both monetary, time, and also maybe some initial angst on the part of some employees. The professional headshot photographer’s job is to make sure that the benefits do indeed outweigh the costs, perhaps significantly. Let’s deal with these costs one at a time.
To more efficiently handle the process and thus reduce the time cost, the experience should be easy to set up and complete. The monetary cost of the project clear and agreed to by all parties well ahead of time. What is expected from the client and their staff should be clear and communicated in advance. Needless to say, the photographer and their crew should arrive and set up in a timely fashion. The scheduling of the individual sessions is best handled by the client, and times and location should be clearly and timely communicated to the employees. Expectations as to appropriate dress, grooming and makeup should also be timely communicated.
Employee expectations regarding the headshot process can vary widely, from I got this nailed to can I call in sick when the photographer is here. Some people are natural and actually enjoy having their photograph taken. The overflow of selfies on the Internet is proof of this. Others avoid the camera like the flu. The photographer has a challenge with both types. They need to get the overconfident ones to drop their game day selfie face and come across as authentic. On the other hand, the photographer needs to build up the confidence in the camera shy and help them to realize that they can have an great looking headshot.
As mentioned earlier, the success of the corporate headshot shoot is primarily the photographer’s responsibility, from making sure the final product promotes the client’s brand message to making sure the whole experience is fun as well as efficient for both the client and their employees. I admire a particular headshot colleague who excels in this area, Robert Read of Silicon Valley. Check out his work.
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