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Corporate Headshots - Guide for Professionals

The Creative Process

First and foremost, our goal is to create a headshot that gets results. Clear and simple!

As a businessperson, your headshot might be the very first impression formed by a client or customer. Be it your website, a social networking site like LinkedIn, business card or brochure, your marketing materials must stand out in the crowd to make an impression. An image that projects a professional, confident, trustworthy and approachable person can make the difference between getting the customer in the door and losing the business to a competitor.

At Michael Ford Photography, our approach to corporate headshots is to capture images that show clients as relaxed, comfortable and above all else, themselves -- as demonstrated in our corporate headshot gallery. If you are looking for something other than the traditional corporate headshot in front of a white background, and wish to stand out from your competitors, we look forward to working with you.

There's no getting around the fact that your headshot experience will be reflected in your final images. Therefore, as your creative team, we will work closely with you to produce the most flattering image that conveys your personality in an environment that is fun and relaxing. In the end, when a client, colleague or prospective customer looks at your headshot, he or she should want to meet you -- and that generally only happens when you come across as relaxed.

Before the Shoot

Let's face it -- your headshot will have lot to do with your success and that of your business. In view of this, it is in your interest to look your best for the shoot.

Whether you have little or no experience in front of the camera, you can confidently rely on our skills, experience and abilities to create the kind of environment required to provide you with a pleasurable experience.

That said, there are a number of things you can do prior to the shoot that will contribute immensely to the success of the session.

For instance, your hair should be exactly how you would want it styled for a business meeting. In addition, make sure that you make an extra effort to take care of yourself in the days before the session, which means drinking lots of water, avoiding alcohol, getting plenty of sleep, exercising, and maintaining proper nutrition. Also, allow plenty of time to get to the studio so you arrive on time and relaxed.

Together, the steps you take to prepare for your shoot will be paid back to you many times over. But don't worry about having to take on the preparation all by yourself -- Michael will always consult with you prior to the shoot and our makeup artist will contact you personally to discuss details pertaining to you and your makeup application.

What to Wear

Since you know yourself and your business better than anyone else, you will undoubtedly know the kind of clothes to bring to the shoot that will project the image you want to achieve.

However, there are some basic guidelines to be aware of.

While your creative team at Michael Ford Photography will discuss wardrobe further with you during our phone consultation, keep in mind your clothing choices should fit well, be simple and must enhance the portrait. For example, simple, solid tops in medium to darker tones, without distracting prints or logos, work best. We also suggest bringing two to three different outfits, each of which might typically be worn in a different business situation.

The most important thing is to wear clothes that make you feel both attractive and comfortable -- in other words, clothes you like. The best shots are always captured when you feel confident about how you look.

Last, but certainly not least, please make sure your clothes are stain-free and freshly ironed. We have an iron in the studio, but it will save time if everything is ready to go.

Should you need input on wardrobe choices, feel free to contact Michael prior to your shoot to discuss options.

At the Studio

When you arrive, we will begin your session by sitting down with you to look at our corporate headshot portfolio, discuss your business and personal objectives, your makeup, your clothing choices and anything else that might help achieve your goals at the studio.

In our experience, the rapport between you, the photographer and the makeup artist will have a major impact on your ability to feel comfortable, confident, and successful in your session. With that in mind, we never rush the process and always take the time to allow you to become relaxed prior to shooting.

Once we have a clear plan, our professional makeup artist will work with you to achieve your best look. Because headshots represent a specialized genre of photography, your makeup must create a natural look. To achieve this goal, we work only with professional artists who are experienced in this style and who understand the purpose of a headshot in today's competitive market. Because we work both outside and in the studio, and under various lighting and weather conditions, our makeup artists stay throughout the session for touchups.

To help create an environment in which you feel yourself, feel free to bring along your own CDs or iPod as the studio is equipped with an iPod station.

The Shooting Environment

Based on our experience, we are well aware that coming in for a headshot and having a camera pointed at you can be a stressful situation for even the most seasoned professional. With that said, at the end of the day, the most frequent comment we get from clients is that they had fun -- much to their surprise!

We believe the reason we hear that from clients is because we simply hang out spending the morning or afternoon together getting to know each other in casual conversation. We never rush the process, put you in uncomfortable situations, or make you be someone you are not. The camera becomes just a tool in the process. To make the most of your session, we work in the most relaxed way possible.

As for locations, our fully-equipped and centrally-located studio allows for photography both outdoors in natural light and inside under studio lights. Although we prefer to shoot in natural light whenever possible, our clients appreciate the value of having both options.

After the Shoot

About three business days or less after the shoot, you will receive an email containing a private link your gallery of proofs, which our clients love because they can view the images anywhere and at any time. Additionally, the link can easily be sent to your colleagues, employees, graphic designer or anyone who might be able to provide input. All images are numbered, making the process of selecting your headshot and communicating with us extremely smooth.

After spending time, money and energy getting your headshots, it will come time to build your headshot into your marketing materials and website. To complete the process and provide you with the best possible images, each of your selections is retouched, which includes eliminating blemishes and stray hairs, doing minor color alterations, slightly brightening up the eyes and teeth and evening out skin tones. It's important to note though that retouching is only performed to the degree that it enhances the image so that the final version looks like you on your very best day.

Because we shoot digitally, any of your images are available in either colour or black and white.