Traditional Corporate Headshots
Traditional corporate headshots are head and shoulder photos shot against a plain background.
Photographers previously used mottled backgrounds but this look is quite outmoded now and single solid colours are preferred. In particular, a bright white or off-white background is currently very popular. A white background is a great modern twist on the traditional headshot and gives a crisp, clean modern look to this sort of photography.
I regularly photograph portraits in office meeting rooms. Even in smaller rooms I can shoot over a table if necessary. Once I’ve set up I can photograph a large number of individuals in a short space of time, and I may bring my assistant to speed the flow and get through everyone in a short time.
Another advantage to this set up is that if not all employees are available I can easily return and match the original shots, giving a consistent look to the final images. Similarly, I can also return periodically to photograph new employees and again match the look and feel of the original images.
The simplest and easiest way to do this is against a white wall, and the wall can become either white or grey depending on how I light it. If no wall is available I bring in a white backdrop which is portable and very quick and easy to set up.
Here’s an example of using a white wall to create a nice neutral grey background:
A black background can look great and really isolate a subject, as this example shows:
We can bring any coloured background, but once we move away from the white/grey/black scale there is a risk of colours clashing with people’s clothes so this has to be more carefully planned.
Next up we’ll talk about contemporary headshots.