Business portraits, or as they are often called, business headshots, are a big part of our business. I enjoy doing them because I meet many new people from all walks of life. Sometimes I find the short business headshot session, which took us maybe ten minutes to shoot, stretches to a half-hour because we end up talking about an aspect of their business, sports, motorcycles, or the state of the world. From medicine to the trucking industry, I end up learning a lot.
Delivery of the photo
But I am here to talk about the delivery of that business headshot so let’s get to it. After taking the portrait and retouching it, we will send it to you via email. This is the easiest and quickest way to get the file to you. There are a few other options available, like posting them to a cloud site (we use pCloud), putting them on a USB stick, or making a print, but 99.9% of the time, we email them. The other options are used more when we have several people to take photos of for an organization.
There are some negatives about emailing jpg attachments. One, they can get flagged as spam. JPG files can be used to hide malicious attachments by nefarious ne’er-do-wells. (there, have I used enough big words) and email service providers will sometimes put them into spam. Some large companies IT departments have had to whitelist my emails so that they can get through to the intended people.
When I start working with new companies, I will check to ensure that the recipient has opened the email, and if not, I will send just a simple text email or make a quick phone call to check that they have received it. Normally, once we have exchanged a few emails, things work fine.
Large file sizes
The other issue is with large file sizes. Most email providers put a 20MB limit on the size of files that can be sent. This is normally not an issue with business headshots unless I have photographed several employees and need to send more than 5 or 6 files; in that case, posting them to the cloud can help when a large group of people is photographed. In that case, it is easier for all concerned to have them in the cloud, where they can go to a link I send them and download them all at once.
Speaking of file size, our files are normally about 1MB. We will take the photo as a full-resolution JPG file but compress it to 1752X1251 with a 300DPI. (more about this later) with a 5×7 crop when we email it to you. This is large enough for anything on the web or used as a business card photo. The file will be renamed with the person’s name, and when we compress it to send, we add “comp” to the title to indicate that it has been compressed. So if I were to take my son’s photo and send it to him, the file name would be Daniel Dressel comp.jpg. We always have the full-resolution file on hand if you need a larger file size.
What do all those numbers mean?
So what do those numbers that I spouted mean? 1752×1251, for instance. A digital image is made up of pixels. Little dots. The more dots, the larger the image can be on the screen and still be sharp and clear. The more pixels, the larger the file size. I will shoot the photo with a camera that produces an image of 5184×3456 pixels in size. I will retouch it and crop it a little to a 5×7 format (the original is a 4×6 format, a little more elongated, but I feel it’s too much so and not as pleasing to the eye as the 5×7 format. It’s abortuary, and I decided long ago to send the image as a 5×7 crop. The file will then be compressed to 1752×1251, a size that works well for most anything that a business headshot will be used for and is easy to email.
The 300 DPI or dots per inch is a measurement that only matters for printing. It has to do with how many dots make up the image and has nothing to do with the file size. Think of a kitchen floor made of tiles. The floor will weigh the same and be the same size from wall to wall if it’s made up of 100 12×12 inch tiles or 200 6×6 inch tiles. It’s the same thing with a digital image. There is an idea that anything for web use should be 72DPI, but it just doesn’t matter. It matters when making prints or using that file with a business card or brochure. Then it matters, and then the accepted DPI is 300.
So there you have it, the in-depth details of the delivery of a business headshot.