Professional Corporate and Individual Headshots in GTA
Portrait and Headshot Photography
No matter what is your profession, whether you are a freelancer, a small business owner, or work for a big corporation, eventually there will be a moment when you will be asked for your portrait for a website, a business card or a brochure. And as luck has it, it will be on a short notice, and it will be something important…
Why having done your headshot professionally?
In our internationally focused economy, where a lot of business partners never get to see each other face to face – it is important to see the person you are dealing with. It does make it more personal, also helps to build trust and, literally, “put a face to a name, or business”.
It will not be overstatement to say that your clients and business partners will make some conclusions about your portrait just based on your headshot. They may, however, unconsciously, make decision to offer you lower or higher price, or better or worse contract terms. They may select your company, or not even consider it.
From a portrait or a headshot you can see quite a lot:
- If the headshot looks professional, the company must have a budget
- Oh that person has the same background than me, or as my friend, or as someone as i dealt with before…
- If they took care to invest in headshots they are here to stay in their business
- However it may be untrue, but a well put together person, with open smile and looking right into your eyes gives us an impression of solid well organized business, that we are more likely to deal with.
Having a professional portrait done, sometimes, feels like too much of responsibility – so we keep using that picture taken by our friend on the phone, just not to commit to something more serious, in fear to reveal too much.
We should never forget that headshot is your likeness and representation at the same time.
Types of portraits
Let me walk you through the portrait types and let’s, see together what type represents your profession, art, business, or your personality the best.
Business headshot is a neutral headshot focused at representing you at your best. It may be done on isolated background, in studio, or in neutral setting, usually with some background details, slightly indicating your place of business, or work environment. It usually will go on your website and often serve as an avatar in your social media and email account.
It does help if people can recognize you across professional platforms such as Linked in and professional facebook page. For lawyers, financial services and real estate agents it is important that it also used on your card. However, it is better to use more informal version for your personal facebook, email and whatsapp avatars.
Headshots for professionals
If your clients see you often wearing a professional uniform in your line of duty – doctors, nurses, dentists, they will relate better if your professional headshot will be in uniform, just the way they will see you in the office.
Headshots and portraits for artists and craftspeople
No matter what creative walk of life you belong to – here is the place to express your creativity. Here you can add that profound artistic look that in portraits of people from most of the professions would be out of place, or showcase your art piece.
Just do not get carried away too much do not run it through the funny filters, remember your clients want to see the artist behind amazing work.
Portrait in your professional environment
Portraits like this lift the weight of responsibility off your shoulders – they show your working environment – an office building, dental office or art studio. It tells a lot about you as a person of your profession. The good news a lot of clients seem to be looking more relaxed in the portraits like this simply because there is less studio lights around and they do not feel like they are on the spot anymore.
For certain professions such as fashion stylists, bloggers, consultants, personal trainers, and again, artistic people, lifestyle is visually exciting, as it reflects the unique nature of their work. When the portrait shows your lifestyle – and the uniqueness of it it looks completely natural – with a cup of coffee, sitting in the cafe, in an art gallery, walking by the lake or in an urban setting…It makes your clients want to join you in your lifestyle.
That sense of wonder – how your daily life looks is really a powerful communication tool, why not use it to your benefit.
Black and white portrait or color?
Surprisingly I am asked that a lot. Iconic classic black and white photography made such a great impact on us, especially those classic hollywood headshots. But does it have a place as professional headshots?
Indeed, until quite recent past black and white headshots were a standard for actors. It was a respectful nod to the Hollywood and Broadway glorious past, and also with bright contrast between its highlights and lowlights it showed very well how the studio light will fall on the model’s face during photoshoot or in a movie scene. But now if you mix a number of full color or black and white images, the eye will inevitably go towards color version.
The full color version is undoubtedly way to go.The good news – it takes only a second to convert the portrait version into black and white. And you can have that version for fun too. An image is a good candidate for black and white conversion is the the wide variation in tonal range.
Portrait Background Color
What color should you choose for the background? To answer that question you have to consider the media where the image is going to be used. Is it your website, business card, brochures, and if yes, what is the planned design and color scheme?
When I hear: “Let’s pick any, you will change it in photoshop later, won’t you?” – I become extra cautious and detailed in my questions. The assumption that you can change any background color to anything you want and it will not look fake is wrong. There is slight tonal range variation that will work well, but it is about it. It will not work for direct opposites!
In my photo sessions I always include a set of portraits on white – since most of websites are white, and dark background for the headshots looks like a confined box. Have a good look at all the graphic design that will have to be used around your portrait to go with the right options for background.
I see a lot of headshots that use a simple wall as background. It is obvious that a portrait done like that is an afterthought or something that was not planned for, or a desperate measure. Professional background paper makes difference, it is simply designed to work with light better.
So if you are asked to stand in front of regular wall for a portrait – the result is not going to look professional – it is a half – measure.
We all want to look our best in our portraits and headshots. But, the more conscious we are about ourselves and more we are chasing the elusive ideal – the less the end result will look like your likeness. People simply will not be able to relate to you. It will matter less to them that you have wrinkles and minor imperfections, than the fact that you simply do not look like yourself with the polished perfection of professional retouching.
“But they use it in the magazines! The celebrities do it too” – some clients will say.
The retouching used on models is meant to counteract the grain in the magazine paper, and the models in ads are not meant to be the actual physical selves – they are representation of an ideal, or typical girl showcasing jewelry, hair color, or clothing. You are not expected to meet them in real life – and if you do, you might even will not recognize them.
When you look at a polished to perfection image of a movie star, in most cases, this image has already lost the resemblance to the person behind it. The likeness lives an independent, parallel life.
But when clients, responding to the ad of a real estate agent, or a financial advisor, finally get to meet them, they subconsciously verify – if indeed this person looks like their portrait. Although, the more polished portrait might get more people through your door, you want to build the trust as well…
A good work of the makeup artist will help to conceal little problems, while still make it look completely natural.
If you talk to a psychologist – they will be able to spend hours talking about what your pose can reveal about you. Overall the poses that suggest open and direct friendly communication work the best. The confident and open pose, a smile and friendly expression simply starts the conversation…
A great portrait pose accomplishes 2 things – highlights the best features of your face and body, does not distract attention from the face. The professional portrait is all about the face.
Common portrait mistakes
For common portrait mistakes I simply have the list ready:
Part of the face covered or supported by hand – it is very distracting for the viewer and definitely does not open up communication. If anything, it shows that the person in the portrait is either too uncomfortable, or too self involved, or simply avoiding them.
Uncomfortable, too colorful, or simply styled wrong clothing. Clothing is a big part of personal presentation – choose and coordinate it carefully, bring a few changes of clothing to the photoshoot with you. Be strategic about it.
Too complicated – too many details, too many distractions. Do not overthink – the simpler the better
Head on camera pose. This is the secret why the passport images and mugshots rarely look good. They are great for face recognition robots, but head-on pose is rarely flattering, a slight turn of the shoulders and you are much better version of yourself.
When should you do a portrait?
If you hear often, oh that is you on the picture? or you know it is at least 10 years old, although is a great portrait – then you know you need a new one.
In our day and age you will need it at some point – do not get caught off guard.
Do not delay it. It is hard to pull it off at the last moment’s notice – your roots will not be dyed, you will not have the right clothes, or simply too stressed out.
If there is a stretch of time when you feel confident, happy, successful – do it then – it will reflect in your portrait!
You do not have to have a huge budget for unique images for your own company advertising we can hire a model or you can be the star yourself. In fact, a clients prefer to see the personal story: