Be honest. When you think of corporate headshots what comes to mind? For many folks, plain backgrounds, plastered on smiles, and flat or harsh lighting may come to mind. Let’s face it, some photographers still basically crank out shots and put very little creative thought into each portrait.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Environmental headshots offer a unique ability to not only showcase your key employees and team members. But even better, they provide a glimpse behind the scenes as well. After all we are all a product of our environment. Therefore, creating portraits that tell more of a story communicate a much more powerful story about your business.
Take a recent shoot I did for Nashville homebuilders Sipple Homes, where I met with founder Brian Sipple and his wife and chief designer Alyssa Sipple, along with their chief builder team members. I was delighted that they wanted to meet at the location of one of their beautiful model homes. Immediately I know such a space would give us gorgeous interiors in which to set up our photo session.
And working there offered more than simply a great space. It offered a unique opportunity to showcase the Sipple environment as well as its talented team. And in today’s competitive marketing environment, telling a story with arresting visuals is more important than ever.
A game plan for the shoot
I was excited to use several areas of the model home to create a variety of portraits, in order to offer as many glimpses into the beautiful space as possible. To do so, I prepared ahead of time with gear and a game plan. I arrived with my Paul C. Buff Alien Bee 400, a large PLM umbrella with diffusion, and several lenses to work within the confines of the space as needed.
Environmental headshots primarily focus on the subject but place them in the context of a work environment so clients and customers can relate their business or product to the person being photographed. These type of assignments also allow for creativity not only with backgrounds, but also with lighting and mood to more fully tell the businesses’ story. Environmental headshots, therefore, are more editorial in nature and are far from the cookie-cutter headshots. As a lifelong journalist, these are my favorite type of headshot assignment!
Next time you consider updating headshots for your team, consider working together to create a branded, editorial story to go along with the portraits. Your people are your company, but there is also a bigger story to tell.