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Headshots a Head and Shoulders above Ordinary

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Headshots a Head and Shoulders above Ordinary Emma O’Brien

Your corporate profile pictures are the persona that you, and your organisation, portray to the rest of the world and once published, they live on in print or online domains forever, staring back at the reader and sending a message with every viewing. Marketing your brand and representing the perfect brand spokesperson is essential to public and media opinion of your organisation, and both media and brand profiling can only be achieved with the distribution and placement of good images. Fine art photographer, Emma O’Brien, shares the tricks of her trade when it comes to capturing corporate shots perfectly.


“The style of the photograph depends entirely on the corporate identity of the company. It’s essential to bear in mind that a funky-coloured background and high angle shot won’t work well for the managing director of a bank, but it may be ideal for the managing director of an advertising agency,” says O’Brien.


“Corporate photographs should reflect the ethos of the company, and while you may initially feel that they come across as slightly stern, posed photographs of an unsmiling director will create a powerful look which could be essential if the subject needs to look self-assured, confident and professional. Conversely, a creative agency should have photographs that reflect the core ‘creative’ values of the organisation. Posed, unsmiling portraits could be seen as a lack of imagination and creative flair, which are the two things a person working at an advertising agency should have.”


O’Brien adds: “When it comes to your corporate pictures, clothes make the man, so make sure that these are clean, professional, and accurately reflect the image that you want to portray.”


However, there are some basics that apply across the board from corporates to creatives alike. Regardless of the positioning of the organisation, headshots of staff members should be well lit, without unsightly shadows on faces. It’s also most effective to have portraits shot against a plain background so as not to distract from the person in the photograph.


“Although this should go without saying, make sure the images are in focus, high res and that you make sure that you have a variety of different pictures. Some may need to be cropped to show the head and shoulders of the person only. This is not without reason; often these images are only printed very small to accompany articles and thus should show as much of the subject’s face as possible,” says O’Brien. “However, certain publications may require full length pictures, or a picture that shows head, shoulders and hands on a table, so it’s best to have a variety of different pictures taken at your shoot.”


Headshots are an important way of creating a first impression, so they should look as good as possible. Holiday snaps or a headshot from a night out won’t reflect well on a person or an organisation.


All the pictures in this article are copyright Emma O’Brien. For more information or to book a shoot, visit, contact Emma on 076 564 4365 or find her on Facebook

Last modified on Thursday, 11 April 2013 09:53

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