If your company needs a simple headshot of many people, photographing them on-site is probably the best option. We will set up a small temporary studio in your empty office, stock room, conference room, or the end of a hallway, and photograph each person in order. Often, when a company has their company-wide meeting in Boston, it is also common to shoot in a hotel’s conference room.
The standard for corporate headshots has risen in the last decade. Stiff, serious faces, common in the past decade, are no longer well received, especially among younger people. How best to achieve a headshot that will be received well in a fast-paced session is not an easy job and where years of experience is essential to ensure the quality outcome.
On-site vs. Studio
If you have fewer than 6 people who need to photograph, or when there is no one day when everyone is in office, you might want to consider studio sessions instead. Our studio is conveniently located in Seaport/Fort Point near South Station, individual booking is flexible, and studio sessions produce the highest quality corporate headshots.
If you are shooting a plain vanilla headshot, 6 to 8 people per session are the range when the on-site session becomes more cost-effective than the studio option. However, if you need more styled or fancier portraits, the difference becomes irrelevant, and it’s best to focus on the best results.
A combination approach often makes sense. We’ll photograph the bulk of the people in your office in one session, and you send the new hires, out-of-towners, and impossible-schedulers to the studio. In fact, many companies in Boston area have an ongoing arrangement with our studio so that their new hires are simply told to call us, and we can take the new picture in style matched to their existing library.
Typically, 10 to 20 minutes per person produces well above standard quality corporate headshots. If needed, the process can be sped up to 2 to 6 minutes per person but at a compromise in quality. The price will be based on the number of people rather than hours, so that people are not motivated to rush through many people to produce poor results. We will be guiding you on this after you decide to move forward.
The easiest backdrop to use is a neutral gray. Dark gray is standard among conservative, traditional corporations. Light gray is more common among younger, technology companies. These backdrops require some space to set up but allow you to photograph your future employees in a consistent style. The absolute minimum space to do a decent job is 8×12 feet. However, 10×20 feet or larger is much better.
If your executive headshots are primarily used for organizational charts, professional bio on print publications, or internal directory, you might want to stick with a gray backdrop for a clean-cut look when printed in small size by a document grade printer.
The story becomes complicated if you like to use a building interior, window view, or outdoor scene. The weather factor is unavoidable in New England. The natural light fluctuates every minute, and a shoot lasting for hours will have varying lighting effects. Your office may move in the future. One way to get both the consistency and the organic backdrop is to photograph against a neutral backdrop and then replace the backdrop in the post-production work. We will discuss these factors during the phone consultation.
But if you are trying to capture people with a more organic backdrop like your building interior, office scene, or outdoor scene, this can be a significant trade-off. For example, if you use a neutral gray backdrop, your future employees can visit our studio, and you can keep your set of headshot always up-to-date in the consistent style. However, if you use an organic backdrop, you may limit future flexibility. Also, the quality of natural light from the window can change fast, and if you have many people, it is hard to keep highly consistent lighting throughout the session. So, it is best to discuss the range of practical options based on your actual project outline during the telephone consultation.
After the photographs are taken, we review the images and make sure the best picture is chosen for each person. We will do this during the session, with each person before they leave. But we’ll double check that, and enhance the images with fine adjustment of the exposure, contrast, color, and other subtle effects. The finished photos are delivered online.
Optionally, the images may be retouched to clean up the skin blemishes, wrinkles, double chins, reinforcing thin hairs, etc. according to your taste (we generally recommend realistic retouches that minimize the distraction but maintain the feel of the person). This work is optional and requires additional fees per image. Please note that many photographers, especially those who claim “retouching is included” or charge a minimal fee are not doing much work, and their results have little improvement over the original or make the skin look like a plastic bag. Our retouching work is so detailed that we haven’t seen this level of work offered for corporate photography market anywhere else.
Another optional work is a background swap. If you like to use a view from your building as the backdrop consistently, now and future, this is the option to consider. The actual photo will be taken against a neutral backdrop, and the real background image will be Photoshopped in later. This process requires to make a detailed mask to separate the foreground, then blend in the scenery background, and so incurs an extra fee, per image.
Other success secrets
We would love to tell you that you don’t have to do anything, because we bring years of experience with a long list of clients. It makes all the difference, however, the reality is a bit more complicated than that.
Photography is about how to set up the subject matters in front of the camera. That is, we will be working with you to discuss the best options for space, backdrop and all that. Often, downtown offices have minimal spaces, and we often stop by your office in advance to decide on the space. Plus, the critical component is what to tell to your execs so that they are well prepared for the session, like what to wear. These are industry- and company-specific, and not one-size-fits-all. Those are one area where our experience matters the most. We’ll create a checklist and other description for you to do your part, and we’re here to answer your questions.
Inquiry and Booking
Are you just asked to arrange a corporate photographer for your company? You found the right place, and we can assist you with a wide range of projects. I hope the above information helped you to shape up the scope of your project. If you are doing a preliminary survey for your team, please feel free to share this page for that purpose. Once you have an outline of your project, we are happy to discuss options in more concrete terms, and estimate the price.
This form is the best way to contact the studio about your photography so that the studio can stay organized and keep track of our conversations. After that, please feel free to send a separate email directly to the photographer, if you have additional information, sample images or photo brief.
A few examples of on-site headshot setup in a stock room, training room, and conference rooms.