We host our Headshot Days once a month and people travel from all over the UK to attend. They’re great fun, we get fabulous results and the cost seems to work for everyone.
So, I thought we’d put a bit of information together for people interested in coming along. Just to explain how the whole things works, why we do a PopUp studio, how you get your images, that type of thing. But if there’s anything we’ve missed, please just ask. I take all the bookings so drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call on 07956 505 336. Just ask away. And be prepared, it’s a bit of a long blog post, sorry, but I get asked so many questions, I thought I’d put it all down here. So, deep breath, here goes…
How does it all work and why the PopUp idea?
First off, let me introduce myself to you. I’m Rachel. I run Jon Bradley Photography with Jon. Jon’s the super talented photographer (he’s been a photographer for, like, forever, and gets to do some pretty cool things). And me. Well, I’m a PR. Pre-kids & straight out of Uni, I was in my hey day running about London visiting the beauty press on all manner of lotions & potions, organising photoshoots for hair & skincare clients & putting together press events and press packs for a range of rather lovely brands. Now we combine our skills, Jon on the photography side, me on the brand, PR, marketing side of things.
We do a stack more than corporate headshots but headshots are a must for any business owner or anyone out there on Linkedin. A professional shot will get you apart from the selfies, holiday snaps and avatars that are out there. I mean, honestly, you think people would know better!
So, here’s we are, by means of an introduction!
So why a PopUp Studio?
Jon works for many fab brands, such as Dom Perignon, Moet & Chandon, MAC Cosmetics, NARS, Radley, L’Oreal. These are the brands you’ll perhaps know (and maybe love!). He also works for tech & software companies, legal and property businesses. Our clients really do range from the ’boutique’ to the international. As well as headshots, Jon shoots events, conferences, website images, products and customised stock images for PR & marketing campaigns. More of his work can be seen on the website.
When he heads off, usually to London or Reading, to photograph teams of people for their business portraits, he takes along backgrounds and lighting (and his cameras, of course). He literally pops up a studio within their work space so that teams of people can be photographed in one day. Logistically it’s easier to do it this way than to hire a studio, people can just pop out from their desks to have their headshot taken and then get back to work.
Closer to home, people started to ask if they could get their headshot taken, for their own website, for Linkedin or for their social media pages. We thought, why not pop up the studio here, in our house, and invite people to come along, once a month to get their business portrait taken? And that’s how the PopUp Studio was born. That was a couple of years ago now. PopUps were still a very new thing back then but now there’s PopUp events happening all over the place and we love them!
So, where is it and how does it work?
We pop up a white background, lighting and reflectors in a room of our house (usually the dining room). It may sound weird but it works a treat! You arrive, have a coffee (& usually a bit of cake!), a chat, the three of us (me, you and Jon) talk about what you’re trying to achieve and discuss what to wear and other outfit options. Once clients are happy we head from the kitchen into the dining room and get started. Sessions last 45 minutes and between us, we can achieve so much in that time. Please check out what other people have said about the sessions here.
Here’s where you’ll find the PopUp Studio. The address again is 244 Reading Road, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG41 5AA. Any problems getting to us, call us on 07956 505 336 or 07973 158839. (As a tip, the Winnersh sign is outside our house and Old Forest Road is virtually opposite). You can either park in our driveway or on the pavement.
What about the background, what colour is it?
It’s a clean white background – it isn’t distracting and it’s a good all rounder – flattering for all ages and skin tones. When you consider that your headshot will be seen as a thumbnail on most mediums (Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, networking sites) you need to keep the image simple and clean. White works well and also means that you can ‘cut out’ your image for use on your website.
What about props?
We’re happy to work with props so if you have a prop that helps get across your business, your personality, your values, feel free to bring it along. For some this is a tablet or a branded sign, a pair of running shoes, a trophy, you name it! Bring along any ideas you may have and we can give them a go!
How long do the sessions last?
People generally find that 45 minutes is a good time to get a collection of images. A 45 minute session is £75 but if you want to book a double session, we’re happy to do that too. Please let us know so that we can allocate the time accordingly.
What should I wear?
Okay, this is where people get themselves into a bit of a fret! Well, mainly the women if I’m honest. Yes, your picture will need to reflect you and your business. If you’re a graphic designer, you may not opt for a business suit; a lawyer may not want to wear leisurewear. You know your business, your brand and you also know your audience. So I’m sure you’ll know how to dress accordingly. Equally, you’ll want your corporate headshot to last longer than the season so classic, timeless clothing is always a good option rather than wearing something that will look dated the following year.
But do give it some thought before you come along. Don’t just chuck loads of tops in a bag and hope for the best! Think about what colours suit you (if you’re really unsure, I know some fantastic stylists who’ll be able to help you), wear something that brightens your face, rather than something that drains you. Although black may be slimming, it’s not a great colour. In fact, most people look terrible in black. So if you can, opt for another colour.
- If you want to, during the 45 minute session we can cover 3 outfit changes – the one you arrive in plus two others. If you just want one look, that’s great but we can go up to 3.
- Long sleeves are good – much more flattering. For just a head & shoulder shot, a bare armpit isn’t the best look, no matter what shape or size you are!
- Wear a jacket or cardigan – something that can be removed/put on to give another look. You could go for a more formal shot with your jacket on and then have a more relaxed, smiley image wearing a shirt/blouse.
- Patterns can look really great but try to avoid anything too distracting. We want to focus on you and your face and we don’t want anything to take the focus away. Subtle patterns and prints are fine though.
- Block colours are fantastic – less distracting but AVOID WHITE (not great with a white background). If you only feel comfortable in black wear it but opt for another colour if you can.
- For ladies, think about scarves and/or necklaces. These can often work well and give a pop of colour/pattern. There’s also the option to do a shot with and one without.
- Wear a colour and style that you feel comfortable in – you need to look relaxed in front of the camera.
- A note to the men out there, wear an ironed shirt or other top/t-shirt. A white shirt is fine if you’re wearing it with a jacket. A white shirt alone can wash people out generally. If you wear a tie for work, do wear one. We can always do one with and one without. A jacket is great to have that option and bring some shirts that can ‘stand alone’ too. The more options we have the more images you’ll get.
What about make-up?
If you normally wear make-up, wear what you would wear if you were going to an interview, a meeting or to see a client. You want to look your best but it needs to be well done, not over done! Think fresh, clean make-up with maybe a little extra blusher to add a little warmth. Avoid lip-gloss or anything with any sparkle. Matt colours are best as they don’t reflect the light and distract. If you don’t normally wear make-up, that’s fine, you don’t need to wear make-up to look great. But perhaps use some moisturiser in the morning and a touch of clear lip balm. And don’t forget your make-up bag on the day – you can always touch up your lipstick when you arrive!
Your hair needs to be clean and presentable, again as it would be for a client meeting, business pitch or interview. Just take a few extra minutes to get it looking the best you can. And if you’re roots need doing, get the appointment booked in before you head to the PopUp!
For the men out there, hair looks good if it’s clean and tidy. Have a shave the morning of the shoot (if that’s what you’d normally do) or trim your facial hair.
What about re-touching?
We love photographing people and our photos are honest and natural but flattering, all at the same time! We will do basic retouching of your portrait just to tidy things up, we will colour balance everything and make your image look tip-top and this is included in the fee. If once you receive the images, you want a little extra work on them, I’m happy to discuss this with you. Paul is our resident retoucher and he’s a whizz on Photoshop so if you are concerned with anything, do let us know and we can price some retouching accordingly (this will be charge extra). That said, we won’t go crazy in Photoshop though! To us, it’s really disconcerting to connect with people and then meet them in the flesh at a business meeting/networking event and find that they look nothing like their photograph! So, if you want to look like you’ve had botox, lipo and lifts, maybe best to look elsewhere!
What do I get after the session?
You’ll receive a collection of high-definition digital images for your use. You will get a number of different shots, crops, poses. These will be emailed over to you a few days after the shoot, along with the invoice for £75 (the 45 minute session fee).
No. You can use your images for web, print, whatever with no limit on time. If there’s any chance you can credit Jon Bradley Photography, we’d be really grateful!
Here’s some extra tips and some things to think about before you pop-in for your portrait:
- Think about the image you want to project. Are you going for the casual, relaxed & caring or authoritative, confident, powerful? Before you come along have a think about what words you’d expect people to say when they see your new portrait.
- If you’re not sure about what to wear and need a second opinion, bring some options along and we’ll give them a go. If it doesn’t work in front of the camera, we’ll have the option to try something else. Or speak to us in advance. Send up a photo of what you’re thinking of wearing and any concerns, we’ll get back to you right away.
- Accessorise. Think about your choice of tie, is it too much or not enough. Have you got some great jewellery to bring along? Or some funky scarves to add a splash of colour to your finished look?
- Don’t be put off simply because you don’t like having your photograph taken. Trust us, most people who walk through the door are dreading it, but they leave loving it. Truly. That’s one of the reasons we host the Headshot Day at our house. It’s relaxed, you can have a coffee, we have time to chat more about your plans for the session. All before you’ve even seen a background roll and a reflector. We’ll guide you into it slowly and by the end you’ll be hitting the winning shot every time.
- Be honest with us. Unlike the olden days of film, polaroid & transparencies, you can now see what we’re shooting as we’re shooting it. We won’t hide it from you, after all they’re your photographs not ours. So as we show you the images, be honest and comment on them. If there’s something you don’t like, say. It’s essential that we get it right.
- In terms of posing, really don’t worry. We know some photographers give tips on this in advance of the shoot and we can imagine you all practicing your poses in front of the bedroom mirror. It’s not necessary. We can direct you on the day, show you what we mean, show you how you look on camera. So please don’t worry. That’s the bit we can help you with and we know what we’re doing. That said, if you’ve got any tearsheets, screen grabs, examples of headshots you love, we’d love to see them, either in advance or on the day.
- Lastly smile and enjoy yourself. We promise you’ll enjoy it!
So please do get in touch with me if you’d like any more information about our PopUp Studio days or to find out when our next studio dates are. They really are great fun and we get great results too!
Call me on 07956 505 336 or drop me a line – email@example.com.