Many businesses understand the marketing benefits of having professional headshots of key team members on their website. So, getting headshots for the team, or key team members is often a desire. But it can be tough to have everyone go to a studio, whether all at once or one at a time. So, mobile headshots are often an option to consider, where the photographer comes to your place of business to do the headshots in a single or few days. But if you are looking for a mobile headshot photographer in Los Angeles, or elsewhere, there is much to consider.
A professionally made headshot demonstrates a higher level of sophistication in a team. It is also proven to boost the “about us” or “team’ page’s look and memorability, as adding images always does. It helps customers that view the team page more easily connect or identify with your team, and much more. It starts with finding out the cost.
Of course, you are likely to have a budget limit. If you will need to get approval for a budget amount, you might want to get pricing first to propose for approval. With this approach, you can select the corporate headshot photographer you prefer first, based on their cost and quality.
If you get a budget forced on you ahead of getting pricing, you will then be limited to finding a photographer to suit that budget. Either approach will have limits as most organizations will not have an open-ended budget for headshots.
Several factors can affect the pricing a photographer will offer. Of course, the team size matters as doing mobile headshots for 2-3 people is far less time-consuming than for 10-11 people. But per person, a photographer is likely to charge more for smaller teams than for larger teams. Also, your location will play a role. How far does the photographer have to travel and does this increase their cost?
Also, what is included with their mobile headshot services will also drive pricing. For example, you might have one photographer that provides a great quote compared to another. Then you find out that it is because they offer no retouching or other editing of images. Or, you might find out that one photographer was only quoting for natural light and not bring their studio lighting. Finally, consider if you will want a hair and makeup stylist. Their cost is often separate. A photographer may be able to source one for you too.
When it gets down to researching photographers to do headshots at your place of business, start online. You can use Google or Bing to do basic searches for “headshots near me” or “headshots Los Angeles” and these will typically turn over a lot of results. Keep in mind certain limitations on search results. For example, if you try to sort on Google by the highest rated, you will see results where in some cases a photographer with a 4.7 rating and seven reviews is listed ahead of one with a 5.0 rating and 207 reviews. This might be because Google seems to try and sort by the mobile photographer closest to you but if you are having the mobile photographer come to you, this is pointless.
Once you have results, you can choose to browse through the pages of search or jump right into the map-based results. The map-based results are where you can more easily see reviews and other key details. So, it is more ideal. Then, you can sort by “rating” to see the photographers that have the most or highest ratings. At the bottom right, you can zoom out a bit more if you want to get broader results.
After you have read a few reviews on Google, Yelp, or other similar providers, start jumping onto their websites. You will want to see plenty of examples of their headshot work. It is beneficial to do this research from a desktop with a large monitor so you can see larger versions of the photo examples they have and really look at the details of quality in their images- sharpness, good color, good lighting, and so on. This should help you narrow down to a handful of photographers you might consider working with.
But before you just keep them on your list, you will want to inquire with them. If they do not list rates online, ask for an estimate. Ask what is included in a mobile session. Do they bring a mobile studio or just use an available wall at your workplace or natural light? Do they do any retouches? How do you get to select which ones to retouch? In what format and size are the photos provided? What is the turnaround time, and so on?
Part of preparing for headshots at your workplace will mean finding a suitable place. Keep in mind some people are shy and do not like having their picture taken. So, avoiding a busy lobby is probably a good idea. But a conference room where privacy is better is often not a viable choice.
If the photographer is bringing lighting, and you are not opting for natural light, there are optimal room considerations. Ideally, you want a room or clear area that is 12×12 feet or larger, at least 10-foot ceilings, and no windows. The closer you can get to such an ideal space, the better.
Next you might want to consider a policy on wardrobe. Some businesses have set wardrobes that employees wear, making it straightforward. However, for marketing purposes, you might want to clearly define a policy on what to wear. For example, you might dictate strictly that everyone must wear a navy-blue business coat and gray tie or scarf. Or you might be a bit less strict and say wear your favorite business suit. This is dependent on how much you want to align with any branding you have planned.
It is usually a good idea to create a schedule for the day of the shoot and share it with everyone getting headshots. For example, if you have determined with your photographer that shoots will be 15 minutes apart, then you might want to send out a schedule that lists each person’s time: Sally at 10 AM, Johnny at 10:15, Leticia at 10:30, Mark at 10:45, and so on. Share it with your photographer too so they know who is next and can mark off each person as they finish.
It is important to be clear about expectations with your team and the photographer. For your team, if you want them to all smile, make this clear. If they must all pose to the right, make this clear too. Share these requirements with your photographer too. Does the photographer need to provide a specific background color or brightness – if so, verify they have this before hiring them? Are there any team members requiring special attention, and so on?
Before the shoot starts, you should also confirm any technical requirements with your photographer. This might require coordinating with your website developer team. Do you need the headshots cropped in 1×1 or 4×5 crop factors, for example?
Part of the vetting of your photographer should also include finding out how they deliver the photos. Get details such as how long it will take? What file format options are there? How many retouches, if any at all, are included per person?
Taking on a project to get the team headshots done at your office does not have to be a daunting effort. In fact, the point of looking for mobile headshots is to simplify the process. While it is much more work for the photographer, it adds convenience to your team. You will be asking for just a few minutes of each person’s time for their session rather than a couple of hours to a half a day to go to a studio on their own. Furthermore, if you are leading the project, you can supervise it to ensure it is going as planned.
Getting mobile headshots done in Los Angeles can be daunting if proper research is not done to find the best photographer. It can require reshooting which wastes money and wastes the time of staff too.