I like to learn something from every client and session. When I got a call from Blake-Wilder for corporate headshots, I knew I’d be learning A LOT.
Will called me on a Tuesday afternoon asking if I could knock out some corporate headshots for his team. Around seven people. They needed the headshots taken quickly (that same week), and they needed the images to have a particular look. After reviewing the example image to make sure I could do it and working out a quote, we were off to the races! I would have an hour to capture three expressions (smiling, relaxed, and serious) for seven people. Not impossible, but potentially challenging.
I explained to Will what I would need to knock out the images quickly and allow his team to continue being awesome. I requested an open space about 4×8 ft and all the guys to be dressed, ready, and available. You’d be surprised how big of an ask it is that people get dressed BEFORE their sessions! Once we had a game plan in place, I started experimenting at home with the lighting set up.
Blake-Wilder wanted that classic black and white headshot that’s so popular on many LinkedIn pages. I knew I could do it, but I wanted to make sure I could show up and hit the ground running without too much time wasted on setting up and dialing everything in. Not knowing what their office would look like, I bought a 3x4ft piece of white foam board and mounted it with a lightstand and a reflector holder. This set-up would serve as the background for the headshots. Next, I experimented a bit with my lights and settled on my 32″ octabox placed close up, and high to camera left to get the look they wanted for their headshots.
The Corporate Headshots
I was so happy that I brought a background. The Blake-Wilder office is gorgeous and beautifully designed, but it was not conducive for the kind of headshots Will and his team wanted. I had to clear out their breakroom tables and chairs to get the space I needed. The room itself was lined with dark-wood cabinets and light green walls. Definitely not the look they wanted. Thanks to my trusty lightstand and white foam board, though, we were set. I asked one of the team members who was immediately ready if I could use him as my guinea pig to get my lighting right, and within three frames, it was go time.
That Friday was a blur; I don’t know the last time I knocked out 21 headshots so quickly. After 40 minutes of laughing, minor posing tweaks, a lot of previews off the back of my camera, and some sweat on my end, we were done. DUDE – what a rush. The Blake-Wilder team was thoroughly impressed that I maintained my hour quote and made the experience quick and painless. The guys had fun goofing on each other (which made the smiling shots a breeze) and liked how simple it all was.
With an empty weekend for the first time in months, I told Will he’d have a set of images to proof by that following Monday. By Tuesday evening, (I had to do a reshoot for one of the team members at my house because they wanted a slightly different look), the proofs were narrowed down to the top 7 choices, and I was off to Photoshop.
Here’s a video I created to capture the headshot editing process.
Images delivered a week later, clients ecstatic, and it was a good day. I’m very thankful I took the time to prep for this session because it made a tremendous difference. We would have been up a creek if I hadn’t thought to use my own background!