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Business Portrait headshot

Snap judgments; let’s face it, we make them all the time. Judgments about what we buy and who do business with are made from subtle things well before we even meet the person. Things like the look of the company website,  advertising, and of course, the photos you use in all your marketing. If you’re trying to convey a professional image to clients, then having a great business portrait can be just one of the markers that show you are a professional. 

We have been offering professional business portraits, both in the studio and on location since we opened our photography studio in 1995 and are proud to have companies like Kaweah Delta Hospital, Visalia Medical Clinic, Prudential California Real Estate, and Visalia Chamber of Commerce among many others as clients.

Success is in the details.  

 If prospects see the photo of you and your staff out in the backyard, shrubs in the background, they may not realize what’s not quite right, but they know something is off. If you are not going to take time to make a good first impression, the client gets the idea that you may not take the time to do a good job for them. 

Plan the session. 

Think about what “look” you want in your photo?  It will depend on what you do for work.  Professionals such as doctors, lawyers, and bankers should dress in a suit and tie for men, and a business suit for women. Your prospective client will expect it, but if you have a gardening business, people will think it’s weird for you to dress in a suit and tie. People will expect a web designer to have a clean but casual look. A professional look, but not the banker’s suit and tie. In other words, dress for how your future customers will expect you to look. Speaking of the medical profession, for the business portrait, it’s best to dress in a business suit instead of the lab coat, photos in a lab coat can be a little intimidating for some people. The white coat syndrome. 

Women should wear makeup, but not too much, (check this article out for photo makeup tips), and planning your setting around a trip to the hair salon is never a bad thing.  Men should shave, or trim their beards and plan the sitting earlier in the day if your beard grows that five o clock shadow by the end of the day. If you need a hair cut plan your setting around that. 

Some guidelines: keep it simple,

No loud flowers, stripes, or wild designs that distract from you. If you put on the shirt or blouse, and you see it before you see your face it’s probably not what you want to wear for your business portrait. Solid colors or striped shirts with muted colors work well. Stay away from white, unless you have a coat to go over it. White distracts from your face; the eye goes to the white shirt first. Sleeveless is also a no-no, short sleeve shirts that show bare arms in the photo will also be a distraction.

Backgrounds

Our website has samples of the backgrounds that are available; It’s best to select a background that goes with the colors of your business card or website. If your site has warm colors, go with warm background colors such as brown, if they are cool colors, blue is a good choice. A natural black or white will work with just about anything. We can do a background replacement using just about any background you want. Have something that was taken by another studio that you need to match, we can do that also.  

Retouching included

With a business portrait being so important,  you want it to look the best it can be, and that means a little retouching. Out little tag line about taking ten years off is meant to be a bit humorous, but it’s also true. With our digital retouching, we can make you look ten years younger, and for most of us, that’s a good thing. Plus, it’s included in the price. Of course, there are some of you who look young already and are in a profession where a few years of experience is a good thing. We want heart surgeons and financial managers to look like they have some experience.  

The setting doesn’t take long,  most last about ten or fifteen minutes. We take a few shots, then take a look at them to see if we have something you like, if so, we are done. If not, we go back and take more until we have that one that is just right. After all, this is selling you and your business, you want it to look your best.

By the way, that “best” look is not always a smiling one. It all depends on the business you are in.  In real estate sales, you want to look approachable and eager to sell the client’s home,  but if you’re an attorney that specializes in accidents or devoice then you want to look tough. People want a bulldog when they go into court. But that bulldog image doesn’t work well for a therapist.  

I had taken many attorneys’ photos and wondered why they didn’t want to look approachable to the client. Then, years ago, I had the need for a divorce lawyer, and then did I realized why they wanted that stern look in their ads. I didn’t want an attorney who would say, “Oh, that’s OK, whatever you want is Ok with me” I wanted that bulldog. 

So a good Business portrait is simple, just put a  little thought into it before you’re sitting and you will show the world who you are.

More on business headshots 

Check out our business portrait page for complete information and sample backgrounds. We even have a post about the one thing that keeps most of you from booking that session; photophobia.