Ranson and West

Confessions of a Suffolk Photographer – Commercial Head-shots


“Headshots are 10% photography and 90% communication”

Peter Hurley New York and Los Angeles Photographer https://peterhurley.com

 Why you need to use a professional photographer?

10 Top Tips – Head Shots


1.  Even the most confident person can crumble in front of the camera.  The site of a lens glaring at you, can for some, be quite invasive and reveal our inhibitions.   When your photograph has been taken, how we are feeling at the time is revealed through our facial expressions.  A professional photographer has the skills to help you feel relaxed and comfortable giving you guidance and reassurance to achieve the best results for your profile.


2.  When we work with our clients, we want to achieve great facial and eye expressions that communicate a visual language, engages and holds the attention of the viewer.  This can take time to develop. We look at each picture taken in great detail, allowing us to give sensitive but constructive feedback. We want you to have a positive experience, so the next time you’re in front of the lens, you feel more confident and in control.

How many pictures

3.  Headshots were once the domain for just Actors, Models and the CEO. Now everyone should have a professional head shot for their Social media platforms, especially LinkedIn and Facebook.  If your job is media focused and you spend lot of time in the Press, or you want to update your profile photography, you should consider opting for a portfolio of headshots.  Spend a couple of hours with us and we can produce a number of different portraits, including full body and group shots. That way you can pick and choose as and when you need too.

Location shot or studio

4.  Having a white background is timeless and recommended for most businesses. However, without the right lighting it can be difficult to achieve. The background becomes a sludgy grey colour.  If you work in the creative industry using different colour backgrounds, complementing your brand is a nice alternative. Alternatively,  on location using Bokha or blurred background can produce a beautiful portrait image.


What lens

5.  We use a wide variety of lenses, but our favourite for headshots are the macro Canon lens for our studio work and a 70-200 telephoto lens for location shoots. We have invested thousands of pounds in professional lenses to get the best quality picture and file sizes.  Selfies are great for every day, but when representing your business, a professional head shot is a must have.  Home cameras and phone file sizes are often too small for PR companies to use as pixilation can occur as soon as you enlarge the image.


6.  Photo shop is a fantastic tool for enhancing an image. It can brighten the eyes  or improve the lighting should the weather not be on our side. Using Photoshop is a very skilled job. If not used with experience, the image can look unnatural and fake.

Natural or studio lighting

7.  Studio lighting can be controlled and you can use as many lights as you wish. With natural light, you only have one source, the sun, so we have less control.  Great results can be achieved with both light sources.  When outside on location, we tend to use natural light (with the exception of really bright days when a little flash is required).  Inside, we would opt for the studio lighting as you can still get a really lovely defused finish.

Updating my headshot

8.  Take a look at your profile photographs. Have you changed your appearance? If so, it’s time to get a new headshot. Similar to a dating sites, people can be put off if your profile doesn’t look like you. You run the risk of losing trust in you and your business.   To ensure your client recognises you when you meet for the first time, we would recommend an update every two to three years.

Bring a change of clothes

9.  If you’re going to spend money on a professional shot, get the best out of your time with the photographer. Bring a change of clothes, accessories, brush and make-up. A smart appearance shows you care about yourself and this reflects your business.  We are not suggesting to change who you are, but like it or not, people make quick judgements on your picture. It needs to accentuate your best side.  If you really want to go to town, ask your photographer to provide a hair and makeup artist.

Get your best side

10.  Get lots of different angles on your shoot. Spending a couple of hours with your photographer can generate many different looks. Updated images on your website is good for SEO.  If this sounds expensive, we have a ‘pay as you go scheme.’  Pay for the photo session and receive two or three images, then simply pay and download the remainder of your pictures as and when you need them.





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