PRIOR PLANNING PREVENTS POOR PROFESSIONAL PORTRAITS

So you’ve decided it’s time to get a new professional portrait? Don’t neglect the planning involved to ensure you get the most of your shoot.

Investing a little bit of time into thinking about the how, what and when will give you a clearer vision of exactly what it is you want and the type of portrait you want to come away with.

We’re not talking forensically-detailed levels of planning here. Just a few things to consider and think about before you step out in front of the camera.



1. HOW will your portrait be used?


Company website? Personal website? LinkedIn? Marketing materials?


Knowing how your professional portrait is going to be used is key and the starting point of the conversation. Chances are you will want something versatile for multiple uses.


From the photographer’s perspective, this information is crucial and is something I ask all my clients from the outset because it informs decisions around composition and image orientation.

2. WHAT is your portrait communicating?


If you follow only one of these tips, make it this one.


Your professional portrait should reveal a little something about you: confidence, accessibility, warmth, determination, expertise or anything else.


Think carefully about what you want your portrait to say and how it speaks to your particular audience or ideal client.

3. WHICH style suits your brand?


You might not know it but your portrait is an intrinsic part of your own unique brand. The style of portrait you choose will influence this.


It could be as simple as opting for black and white rather than colour. Or perhaps you prefer an environmental portrait over studio-style.


Always consider how your portrait style reflects and supports your wider personal brand.

4. WHERE do you want it taken?


If you’ve decided upon a studio-style portrait then you have plenty of options as to location. It can be in your home, your office or an actual studio.


If you’re going for an environmental portrait then give some thought as to suitable locations. Do you want a classic corporate environment or somewhere that touches upon non-business aspects of your personality?


Here is some inspiration to get the ball rolling.



5. WHEN is the best time?


This one might be out of your control but if not then think about when you want to have your portrait taken. Don’t rush into it.


Going for a new hairstyle soon? Planning on shaving the beard off? Maybe you’re considering an outdoor shoot?


With a bit of planning you can make sure your new portrait is current, fresh and not going to be scuppered by the British weather!


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Now you’ve planned your shoot, have a read of my corporate portrait survival guide which gives tips on preparing for the day itself.