Here’s what people are saying about professional headshots photographer Forrest Briggs: “Forrest Briggs Photography did a wonderful job executing the headshots for our Young Executive Networking event. He and his partner took professional headshots of each Young Executive and despite having limited time with each subject, they were able to take 5-6 shots of each while capturing each individual’s emotions. We would recommend Forrest for any professional headshot or social photography session.”…Dylan Petrick, General Manager, Greenville Commerce Club.
“If only there were more stars to give to Forrest Briggs Photography for the work they done for me personally as well as a client of mine. Forrest is an absolute professional regarding his passion and it shows in each and every picture. I cannot say enough about the pictures he provided for us, it really painted the picture, look, and feel we wanted…. If you’re in need of any personal photography or looking for someone who will make your business SHINE – Call Forrest Briggs Photography!”… Scott Meadows, President, Red Spark Marketing
“Forrest was a joy to work with. His professionalism and attention to detail made for a comfortable experience. From our first meeting, I was confident that he would do an excellent job with my headshot and commercial photography needs. He has a real passion for light that shines through in his work. I look forward to using his photos for my business and social media.”…Davyd Field, President, Gravity Vortex.
Why do I need a business headshot?
Your prospective clients want to do business with someone who looks trustworthy, competent and approachable. The first opportunity you have to impress these qualities upon your customers is online via your headshot / portrait. The internet enables our target markets to vet our business in less than a second. Now that everybodys profile and webpage is in the limelight, what type of feeling do you leave in the mind of your prospects? Posting a snapshot from a fun night out on the town may be well intended, however it usually doesn’t convey the degree of professionalism required to attract customers.
Consciously or subconsciously your prospects will evaluate every element of your business portrait – your clothes, the lighting, your expression, your pose, the background, etc. In fact, even the distance between you and the camera contributes to one’s perceived trustworthiness and attractiveness (see article here). Is your photo merely average or does it eclipse that of your competitors? If you are serious about the direction you want your business to grow, invest in a quality executive headshot that exudes your personality and helps establish trust with your potential clients.
Types of headshots (aka business portrait, corporate headshot, executive headshot, etc):
While myriad poses and lighting configurations can be achieved in a business portrait session, a headshot can be reduced to two basic types – in studio and on location. The former is great to standardize photos however sometimes they don’t fully communicates your unique professionalism. Location shoots are more dynamic and engaging. They can incorporate one’s workplace environment, a specific skillset or a unique interest. While I have photographed headshots in several locations around the Upstate region, one of my more memorable ones was for a credit merchant who is also an avid outdoorsman. When asked if I could shoot his business portrait in Jones Gap State Park, I eagerly replied, “Absolutely! What time?”.
The location headshot also serves as an icebreaker as it communicates your interest, hobbies or expertise and establishes common ground between the two of you. Have you ever found yourself or someone else scrambling for smalltalk? A current business portrait that expresses your unique personality opens a doorway to maintaining conversation flow at networking events.
Be wary of business headshot photographers (or any portrait photographers for that matter) who proudly promote themselves as “natural light photographers” (this can sometimes translate into “I am a one trick pony and I don’t know how to correctly use flash”). There is nothing wrong with natural light portraits if coupled with studio lights and / or some type of modifier, however using the sun as the sole light source creates headshots that are usually either too flat (on overcast days) or too contrasty (on clear days). Both of the aforementioned can oftentimes result in “raccoon-eyes” (dark, unwanted shadows in the eyesockets due to overhead lighting). A professional headshot photographer who understands correct lighting techniques can make his client’s business portrait literally pop off the page. Without elaborating upon lighting ratios, quality and direction of light, let’s suffice it to say that there is good reason we call this profession ‘photography’, as ‘photography’ literally means drawing with light (photos = light; graph = to draw).
What to expect on the day of the shoot:
Your business headshot can be photographed in a matter of minutes. Typically the professional headshot photographer creates and tests the desired lighting conditions and knows what poses to use prior to the client’s arrival. S/he knows what look to evoke and environment to create based on the message they want to communicate, their body type, personality, job, etc. The overwhelming majority of work is conducted before you arrive at the location, this means minimal time commitment (as little as five minutes) from you so as to not interrupt your busy schedule.
After the business portrait session you should have a favorable impression in your mind. It should be an enjoyable experience. If your session starts to drag on, or your headshot photographer is in a foul mood, call attention to this, just as you would with any other service you experience.
Most (if not all) professional photographers offer retouching services (e.g. Photoshop) for your executive business portrait. The photographer’s job is to correct for any blemishes, wrinkles, crows-feet, smile lines, to whiten the teeth, minimize bags under the eyes, etc. Basically to make you look 5 to 10 years younger. Having said that, there is such a thing as too much editing. While its nice to look a few years younger in your headshot without having to invest in plastic surgery or some fad diet, making one look like a chinadoll is not desirable. Skin has imperfections and texture. If these are overcorrected, we appear mannequin-like.
Where and how to use your professional headshot:
A professional headshot (executive headshot, business headshot, business portrait, etc) is the easiest and quickest way to make a great first impression with your audience. Your target market tends to buy from people / businesses they identify with. Nowadays, it’s easy to build familiarity and rapport in the minds of your consumers before you ever meet them. You have probably noticed that Google posts people’s photos alongside their search rankings. One study concludes that an image in your search results increases click-throughs by 150%. Thus the advantages to one’s personal branding by having a professional headshot attached to each of one’s social media pages are obvious (we all want more click-throughs, right?). In addition to having your business headshot on your website, other uses for the executive headshot include:
- On your business card
- Attached to your resume
- Book covers / CD covers
- Speaking engagements
- Print magazines / online magazines
- Press releases
- On your “about us” page
- On your blog
- Annual reports
- Trade show banners
- Email signature
- Social Media profiles (LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc)
Improve your search results by creating and refining your brand!
How much should a business portrait cost?
As with most products and services, the price of the corporate headshot varies depending upon the photographer’s skill level, the services provided, the location and the complexity of the shoot. A realistic ballpark figure for this area of the country is $149 – $499, depending upon each of the above. Be wary of photographers who offer headshots / portraits for less than this amount. This can be indicative of inexperience and or lack of competence. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Bear in mind that you are not paying for a fancy camera or complex lighting as much as you are for the photographer’s creative eye, shooting style, ability to produce the results you want no matter what the conditions, customer service, experience, understanding of lighting, etc. Good photographers can create excellent portraits with even the most basic and antiquated camera. Poor / inexperienced photographers will not produce the desired images no matter how fancy / expensive their camera. Even though I strutted around wearing my Air Jordans during middle school, I never did make the basketball team.
“Forrest was a pleasure to work with! He was very professional and made me feel comfortable with the camera. I absolutely love my headshots. They are even better than I could have imagined!”… Sarah D., Greenville, SC
“He is second to none. He took my headshot photos and I couldn’t have been more pleased. He’s professional and thorough – something that makes a photo shoot go very smooth.”… Erick Arbe, AO Studios
“I used Forrest Briggs Photography for a professional Real Estate headshot and have received several compliments on his work. Forrest is very professional and does a great job! I would highly recommend his services to anyone who needs professional services or family portraits. This guy is awesome!”…Crystall O., Greenville, SC
“In the process of redesigning the website for our manufacturing business, we wanted photography that would capture the intricacy of our products yet be artistic and interesting. Forrest Briggs did an excellent job on both accounts. Through proper lighting, shading and a variety of angles he turned what could have been very mundane equipment shots into eye-catching photographs. We would recommend Forrest for manufacturing or other business photography. We look forward to working with him on additional projects.”…Janet Grey, CEO , Genie Products, Inc.
“I am amazed how Forrest Briggs can catch that moment in time that leaves people speechless. As my husband began praying with the fighters from Revolution Martial Arts, Forrest was able to freeze the most reverent moment. The men stood around my husband as he knelt to pray for safety and guidance for the fighters. Forrest did an amazing job to capture that moment and freeze it forever. The picture now hangs in our karate school and we gave each coach and fighter a copy. The picture represents how our school got started. It started with my husband, David, and the head coach, Jimmy Fowler, on their knees praying for guidance and praying that God’s will be done in our karate school. Thank you Forrest for giving us more memories!!”… Michelle Fowler, Revolution Martial Arts
“Forrest Briggs Photography is highly recommended here at Buchanan Gas. Forrest produced great photography for our new website. If you need professional photography in your home or business there is no doubt Forrest Briggs is the person to call.”…Buchanan Gas LP
“I needed some new photos for some marketing material and Forrest did a great professional job from start to finish! My new marketing material is a hit!“…Gene Donohue, Reach Your Greatness
“Working with Forrest is a pure pleasure. He far exceeded our expectations. Forrest deserves your serious attention!”… HD Auston Moving Systems
“I’ve worked with Forrest with headshots where he dedicated a lot of time and used great lighting techniques to achieve a range of professional shots. He is very adept at capturing the best environment and approach to best tell you or your company’s story via photos.”… Holly Rollins, 10-X Group
“Commercial photographer Forrest Briggs did an amazing job creating images for our website and marketing materials (such as for our 6 Arts Summer Camp for Kids). A pleasure to work with, he understands customer service and delivered results that exceeded our highest expectations. If you need outstanding results for your marketing efforts, contact Forrest. Yes, I would recommend Forrest Briggs Photography for commercial and headshot photography!”...Haru Raja, Owner, Raja Academy of Martial Arts
“I couldn’t be more happy with the photos that Forrest took of my family. He’s absolutely masterful at working with light and was able to create a mood in our shots that I haven’t seen elsewhere. I liked a few of the black and white portraits so much I got them printed and framed and gave them to my wife for our 10th anniversary. She’s in love with them and immediately hung them in our home. Forrest is also a very laid back, friendly guy and worked really well with our young kids. We’re looking forward to him taking more shots of us in the future!”… John C.
“It was a pleasure working with Forrest. I was impressed at how quickly he had the headshots processed and ready for me. Along with that, I loved how easy he is to work with and how he brings amazing concepts and a mastery of lighting to each of our photo sessions. I have now worked with him on 3 occasions and all of them were well worth it.”… Sultana R.
“My headshot session today with Forrest Briggs was a great experience. He is a such a nice and respectful guy… very down to earth. Everything was professional and I really enjoyed my portrait session with him and look forward to shooting again with him someday soon.”… Toni P.
“We had a great experience using Forrest for our baby/family photos. He was very creative and used lighting, texture, and variety during the session and professional editing in the final proofs. He was timely and accommodating throughout the process. We were able to use two photographs in our Christmas card and plan to use him again as our family grows. We would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone looking for professional photographs. Thanks!!!” Chris & Jen B, Charlotte, NC