Corporate Photography Prices. This has always been a tricky one for any corporate photographer or any type photographer, how much should you charge?
I certainly do not have the correct answer but I can review my experiences with clients and other corporate photographer prices over many years. When we used to still shot on film and deliver prints you had a product to mark up and you could add a reasonable day rate onto your invoice after you had taken into account studio costs or location travel. With the advent of digital things became a little less structured and the need for large studios reduced and digital images to not have any physical day to day costs. So where do you base your corporate photography prices on? You have your basic overheads, kit, car, studio hire etc and after those it is what kind of profit you need to further build your business and create the lifestyle you require. But the one thing controlling your profits is what clients will pay for your services. Most companies and individuals when needing corporate photography will get quotes in from at least a few photographers who like the look of their work. Prices will not be the only factor but it will be a major factor. Style of photography, communicating the service, availability and timescales all factor into their decision on who they will hire as their corporate photographer.
You can look at the market place and what other corporate photographers are charging. Some put fees and rates on their website but the majority do not. We have been asked by young photographers what they should charge. We have been contacted by other photographers under the pretence that they were a client and need to know costs for a commission. We have even had an email from another corporate photographer in London telling us that we were under charging on a commission and that we should increase our fees and to stop under cutting the market.
We think that when you sit down to set your corporate photography prices you have to decide what you need to earn survive and then you have your basic prices. After this it really comes down to wether you want to drive a new Rolls Royce or a ten year old second hand car. As with most things in business its a learning curve and offering discounts in poor economic times and making hay while the sun shines is all common sense and as your business hopefully grows you get to know what your photography clients will feel happy with.
You can follow these suggested corporate photography freelance rates but I am not sure how high or low budget corporate photography would differ and I can be sure all our clients would choose low budget please but high standard.
© Corporate Photography London.
It can often be assumed that corporate portraits and headshots need to be taken with a white background. Most clients that get in touch with us will book us to come along to their offices and ask if we can bring a background as their offices are not that modern or fitted out poorly. We often would turn at their building and notice that if we captured their corporate headshots without a background we could utilise their offices by shooting the headshots on a long lens and blurred the background by having a narrow depth of field and therefore having the background out of focus. The more we did this for clients the better you become at seeing the possibilities in the colours and shapes that are created when you capture headshots this way.
Shooting images with intentional blurring caused by having areas out of focus is called Bokeh by the Japanese and as you practise this you see how colours and shapes can be adapted by the amounts of blur and exposure you employ.
The headshot below was taken in a very plain office and we blurred the background and used the light coming from the window to create the soft graduated grey effects.
The above headshot we used the blue cladding on a office building across the street and a interesting and original background.
The above was taken at office on Victoria Street and we used the corner of the window and blurred the office blinds and allowed some blue sky to come through.
Here we used a tree lined street as the background and the green from the trees creating a dappled effect and we under exposed the background.
The above was captured in a very basic one room office but the blurred effect work really well to cover over and unsightly area of the office.
Photography © Corporate Photography London.
We posted before about adding different background to a corporate headshot in post production. I thought this would be a good point to show how popular this service has become as clients often require the office backgrounds in their headshots but for various reasons do not want to have the shoot take place in their offices. In these instances we capture the headshots at our Beech Street studio and then add a new background in post production. We give clients wide selection to see which they prefer and how the headshot works best taking into account light and colour balance.
These are a recent shoot and you can see how we have blended headshots and backgrounds to try and make the photograph look natural and also fresh and contemporary.
Out of these eight I prefer the last two corporate headshots as the backgrounds seem to compliment the client. The image 7 with the greenish tint gives the portrait a softer feel and image 8 is a stronger portrait with the backdrop bolder and with diagonal elements.
Moving on we captures some office style corporate portraits for the same client and then again added a selection of different backgrounds. To achieve this we found that the wider the portrait the harder it was to add the correct backgrounds.
Out of the four above we feel that the second image works best as a deeper and more 3D background has a beneficial effect on the corporate portrait. The other 3 styles although perfectly acceptable do not have the same quality which creates less of an interest for the viewer.
Lastly we worked on some much wider photographs for the client and with these we found that these worked with with backgrounds that have elements of perspective in them and showed more detail in them ie more realistic images of London offices and views through windows.
We feel that all four of these work and interestingly they are all very different in content but have good strong visual impact which really benefits the corporate portrait and makes it much better than a simple white background.
If you are interested please get in touch or connect on our corporate photographer London page on LinkedIn.
I have written before about the benefits of hiring a corporate photographer and would like to discuss the merits of getting a professional LinkedIn photo for your profile page.
After searching for examples of professional LinkedIn photos I came to the understanding that anyone searching the same was being given endless headshots against a white background or some tips on how to take a headshot with your phone. This made me think that once an individual or company decide to hire a professional photographer that we should look at the variety of LinkedIn headshots that can be achieved rather than just the headshot with a default white background.
Above are two great LinkedIn headshots which have been professionally taken. A decent portrait lens has been used and good soft lighting with a quality colour balance. We have applied a white web friendly background in post production which is an essential if you want your LinkedIn photo to look crisp and sharp.
Below we have added a London cityscape to give the headshot a interesting background and to show where you are based. This is produced in editing after the shoot so anyone commissions a pro LinkedIn headshot could request this option.
Continuing on the London theme some people prefer to get out of the studio or office and feel more relaxed outside for their photo. This does create a few headaches for the professional photographer as they are unable to control weather conditions but it can often result in a strong LinkedIn photo.
Often companies want the professional photographer to come to their offices. The first questions we are asked is can we bring a white background for their staff headshots. We can always do this for you but lets consider using your office as a background for the LinkedIn photos. Clients often say their office is messy or needs decorating but a professional can hide all the imperfections and use elements to benefit the headshot. Blurry backgrounds, using subtle shades and exposing tones.
Lastly lets look at my favourite still of headshot the reportage photo. Very rarely used on LinkedIn as they are a little less conventional and you need a professional photographer with the correct lens and plenty of experience in capturing this style. These are great for showing people’s personalities and where they work. Full of character and gives the LinkedIn visitor to your profile page a glimpse into your working world.
© Corporate Photography London
We are sometimes asked what the difference is between executive headshots and executive portrait photography. Put simply the executive headshot is a photograph capturing the features of the person for ease of recognition in the business world. Putting a name to a face. Executive portrait photography is a longer process where we see the person but in a more flattering and interesting way. Bringing elements of their personality, their clothes, their business environment and showing how they have succeeded in their profession.
When I first started my career as a corporate portrait photographer I mainly worked for business magazines and for design agencies who both commissioned me to shoot business portraits. These were shot on 120 and 35mm film and involved lots of professional kit and plenty of time spent on recce, setting up and with the sitter. Follow this I could also add creative contrast and lighting in the darkroom.
Sadly with the digital age and the increase of internet use printed publications started to dwindle and so did the requirement for executive portrait photography. In the early days of companies using online as a their main marketing tool we saw very little spent on corporate photography as internet speeds were low and image took time to load and slowed down websites. Over the last 10 years we have seen the rise in companies investing in their corporate photography and commissions for executive headshots are very popular with City professionals.
I must take a moment to mention a photographer who influenced me heavily when I used to shoot on film. Brian Griffin was a portrait photography and his work would feature in business magazines and I was fascinated by how he managed to get the executives to go along with his creative ideas. He must have had excellent communication skills to get his vision across. I remember reading an article on him in British Journal of Photography and he explained how he used battery power flash guns independently placed at different positions to create his images.
Copyright Brian Griffin
Copyright Brian Griffin
Copyright Brian Griffin
Moving on to what we capture these days and we find that clients require a blend of both headshot and portrait. The importance of looking professional online is paramount and although most social media business platforms only allow for a relatively small profile photo clients understand that a headshot is preferable in these circumstances but understand the need to look contemporary and to stand out from the normal passport style headshot.
Copyright © Brian Griffin where shown.
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