Godalming business portraits by Chris Mann Photography
My photography work covers a wide range of subjects, but one of the most frequent requests I get is for business portraits, aka “headshots”. Clients use these in a variety of ways – on their business cards, their website, in printed brochures, and especially on social media.
A good headshot for your LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook profiles is an essential requirement these days.
You can do a “selfie” on your phone, but that has a number of drawbacks. Firstly, a phone has a wide-angle lens, which from close range creates a very unflattering distortion. It’ll make your nose look big and your ears stick out! Secondly, phone cameras inherently have a deep depth of field. This means that if there is a cluttered background behind you it’ll be noticeable. Last but not least, you won’t always be able to put yourself in the most flattering light.
Professional headshot photography makes the difference
To solve all these problems – get a professional headshot! I use a short telephoto or “portrait” lens to shoot the photos, which creates a flattering perspective. I set up a plain background (usually white, mid grey or black according to your preference). And I set up studio flash units to light you properly.
All this can be done at your premises, using a meeting room or board room. The bigger the space you have available the better, but I’ve done headshots in some pretty small rooms!
This is exactly what I did recently for Progression Design and Russell Giles Partnership, a graphic design firm and a transport planning consultancy who share offices in Godalming. Both businesses needed new profile pictures so we scheduled a joint session to do business portraits for both sets of staff at once.
The whole operation only took an afternoon – creating portraits of sixteen individuals and a couple of group photos for good measure!
Why use a plain background for business portraits?
For this shoot we decided on a plain mid-grey background. It’s neutral, it doesn’t distract from the subject, and it’s easy for a graphic designer to work with if they want to do a “cutout” and put the person on a different background. Sometimes clients opt for black or plain white, but then the issue can be that people “disappear” into the background if they are wearing very dark or very light clothing. So a mid grey is a safe bet.
Landscape format images
You’ll notice that all these photos are shot in the landscape (horizontal) orientation, rather than the traditional “portrait” (vertical) orientation. I shoot them this way because it’s then easier to crop the image to a square, a format that’s required for many social media platforms. A vertical image cropped square usually loses too much of the person’s body.
So there you have it – here are some of the photos from the shoot! Please get in touch if you’d like to know more about my business headshot photo service.