How to Prepare Your Employees for Their Headshot Session

In today’s digital age, professional headshots are a must for businesses. They present a unified and polished image to clients, partners, and potential employees. However, not everyone is comfortable in front of a camera, and poorly prepared employees can lead to less-than-ideal photos. Here’s a comprehensive guide to preparing your employees for their headshot session, ensuring everyone looks their best and feels confident.

1. Communicate the Importance

First and foremost, communicate why professional headshots are important. Explain how these images will be used – on the company website, LinkedIn profiles, marketing materials, and internal communications. Emphasize that a professional headshot contributes to the company’s image and personal brand of each employee.

2. Choose the Right Photographer

Selecting a skilled photographer is crucial. Look for someone with experience in corporate headshots and a portfolio that matches your vision. A good photographer will not only take great photos but also make your employees feel comfortable and confident.

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3. Schedule Thoughtfully

Coordinate with your photographer to create a schedule that minimizes disruption to your business operations. Allow enough time for each session, typically 5-10 minutes per person. Stagger the sessions throughout the day or over several days to accommodate everyone’s availability. More experienced photographers will have a scheduling platform where each person can sign up for their desired time. Be sure to send out a reminder email to your employees at least 3 days and then another one 1 day before their session.

4. Provide Guidelines on Attire

Guidance on what to wear can make a significant difference in the quality of the headshots. Ask  your photographer if they can provide a checklist how to prepare and be sure to share these tips with your employees:

  • Avoid Distracting Patterns: Solid colors generally photograph better than busy patterns.
  • Dress Professionally: Encourage employees to wear attire that reflects your company’s dress code. For most, this means business or business casual clothing.
  • Complement Your Background: If you know the background color, suggest colors that complement rather than clash. Your photographer can help you decide which works best with most attire.
  • Grooming and Accessories: Simple, classic accessories work best. For those who wear makeup, recommend keeping it natural and avoiding overly bold choices. Stay away from SPF based products to prevent too much shine on the face.
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5. Grooming and Personal Care

Remind employees to pay attention to grooming. A fresh haircut, neat beard, and tidy nails can make a big difference. Encourage them to get plenty of rest the night before and to stay hydrated to look their best.

6. Confidence and Comfort

Some employees may feel nervous about being photographed. Help them feel more at ease by offering these tips:

  • Practice: Encourage them to practice smiling and posing in front of a mirror.
  • Relaxation Techniques: Share simple relaxation exercises, such as deep breathing or visualization, to help calm any pre-photo nerves.
  • Personal Items: Suggest bringing items that make them feel comfortable or confident, such as a favorite tie or piece of jewelry.
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7. Makeup and Hair

For those who wear makeup, advise them to keep it natural and fresh. Professional makeup services can be a worthwhile investment, especially for larger companies. Recommend that employees fix their hair neatly and naturally, avoiding extreme styles. Most photographers will refer you to a hair and make up person that can be there on site for last minute touch ups before they step in front of the camera.

8. On-Site Preparation

On the day of the shoot, provide a designated space for last-minute touch-ups. Most experienced photographers will bring along essentials like mirrors, hairspray, blotting tissues & lint rollers. Having these items on hand can help employees make final adjustments and feel more confident stepping in front of the camera.

Be sure to ask how much space is needed for the headshot station so that the space is cleared and ready to go for set up.  Usually a 10×10 foot minimum space works well. Be sure to check to see how much time is needed for set up before the first person is scheduled.

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9. Posing Tips

Share basic posing tips to help employees look their best:

  • Photographer: Your photographer should be experienced and capable of capturing the best expression from each individual.
  • Posture: Encourage good posture. Standing or sitting up straight conveys confidence and professionalism.

10. Set the Tone

Create a positive and relaxed environment during the shoot. Play light background music if possible, and ensure the photographer is personable and engaging. A relaxed atmosphere will help bring out the best in your employees.

11. Feedback and Selection

Once the photos are taken, involve employees in the selection process. Allow them to choose their preferred shots. This not only respects their opinion but also ensures they are happy with their representation. Most photographers that take company headshots for a living will be able to show each person their selections right away so they can choose.  This approach works well as it allows individuals to step back in front of the camera to make adjustments and capture a few more shots, ensuring they have the best selection to choose from.

12. Editing and Final Touches

Professional editing can enhance the final images, making them look polished and consistent. Ensure your photographer provides editing services that include basic retouching such as soften fine lines, eliminating fly away hairs and removing blemishes.

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13. Distribution and Use

Once the headshots are ready, distribute them appropriately. Update your company website, internal directories, and any other relevant platforms. Provide employees with digital copies for their personal use, such as on LinkedIn or other professional networking sites. Some photographers can provide private galleries for each employee along with a master file of everyone to send to the main contact such as the marketing manager. This will save loads of time and money when this is automated by the photographer and not the manager.

14. Regular Updates

Headshots should be updated regularly to ensure they remain current. Schedule new sessions every couple of years or when significant changes occur, such as a major change in company branding or a significant change in an employee’s appearance. Some companies depending on the size will have updates a few times per year to capture any new employees headshot as well.  Using the same photographer will ensure that the overall look and background remain the same so that the company’s website looks consistent.

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15. Post-Session Survey

After the headshot session, consider conducting a brief survey to gather feedback from employees. This can help you understand what went well and what could be improved for future sessions. Ask about their overall experience, the comfort level with the photographer, and satisfaction with the final images.

Conclusion

Preparing your employees for their headshot session involves thoughtful planning and clear communication. By providing guidelines on attire, grooming, and posing, and creating a comfortable atmosphere, you can ensure that everyone looks their best and feels confident. A well-organized headshot session not only results in professional images but also boosts employee morale and contributes to a cohesive corporate identity.

Remember, a great headshot is more than just a photo; it’s a representation of your brand and the people who make it successful. Taking the time to prepare properly will pay off in high-quality images that convey professionalism, confidence, and approachability.

For more information on arranging company headshots, please don’t hesitate to contact us at https://dragonflypd.com/staff-and-group-headshots/

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