Example of editing – indoor/studio headshot

A professional studio headshot is more than just striking a pose. It’s a collaborative process involving planning and discussion on what message you want to send, and discovery of what personality traits you want to feature.

Difference between Real Life and an Image

In a controlled environment, we can get things looking pretty good. While the initial capture sets the stage, it’s the subtle tweaks in our Fine Touch editing that truly enhance your image.

There are certain things that make up someone’s impression of you when they meet you in real life. This includes your appearance but also your tone of voice, posture & hand movements, and eye contact. When we capture you in a photograph, much of that is lost and the camera also reveals small details that would not normally be apparent.

Because we are translating a moving living person in 3D to a picture in 2D, even your appearance may look different. For example small blemishes, little asymmetries in the face, red skin, and dark eye sockets are all things that you wouldn’t notice in the real life meeting but that become glaringly apparent in a still photograph.

These are things we target in your headshot so that you look your best while still looking genuine.

Corporate Headshot

This is a small business owner looking to upgrade his branding. Like many others, he started with a photo taken by a friend who was quite good with photos. But with business growing and bigger corporate clients, he wanted something that would really stand out and reflect the quality of his brand.

Use the slider to compare the before and after images.

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The Image

Shot in the studio, we captured the perfect expression that conveyed the mix of professionalism and approachability. Looking only at the before shot on the left, it was perfectly acceptable, and this is where many headshot photographers stop. However we wanted more than “good enough.”

The Edits

He has deep eye sockets, so you’ll notice we lightened them up and immediately you have more connection with your audience.

There is a little red in the skin, which is common in light skin, especially when wearing a tie. You wouldn’t notice it in real life, but it doesn’t look good in a headshot.

Blemishes also stand out in a still photo, which you would otherwise not notice when talking face to face. We worked on the skin gently to make him look closer to real life, without going all plastic doll.

There are little changes here and there, like dark eye bags, but everything is very subtle. The result is an edited photograph that makes you look your best, and that other people think hasn’t been edited.

Special Treatment Of Glasses

Removing Glare

People who wear glasses will know how disappointing it is when a photo comes back with reflection in their glasses. Generally we can adjust the lighting and angles in order to remove any reflections. However there are times when we cannot adjust the lights perfectly – eg when we are doing mass staff headshots and we need the same lighting style for each person.

Most of the time we can reduce the glare to a minimum, but sometimes there is still a faint lightening or sometimes a green/purple shade visible. We’ve seen some photos actually used like this on company websites as “good enough”, but frankly it’s not good, is it? How do you think your employee feels when represented like that?

Unlike some photographers who charge extra, we always proactively find and fix these issues, because our standard is that you should look your best.

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Removing Shadows

There is another interesting point with glasses that many people and even photographers miss. The glasses themselves can cast a shadow on your face. It depends on the lighting setup, the type of glasses, and fit, but it’s quite common.

Look at the example below, where you can see the vertical shadow caused by the rim of the glasses which are further from the face than the rest. The top of the glasses also causes a slight darkening of the eyes overall.

We think these are rather distracting, and manually remove these shadows from every shot. Eye contact is key to connection, and you want to show your best, every time.

Other Examples Of Headshot Editing

Of course each headshot is shot for a different purpose, and the editing changes to suit.

Our aim is not to change what you look like, but rather to artistically edit out things that wouldn’t be prominent in a real face-to-face meeting. The result is that your friends and family think you’ve had a great day, not that you’ve been photoshopped.

Whether you have corporate attire, or a more relaxed casual look, our retouching gives you a little pop to your photographs, so that you connect to your viewers.

There’s no one size fits all approach. Every client photo is hand edited carefully and for the purpose of its final usage.

We provide our Fine Touch editing to all our headshots and Executive Portraits, even in staff headshots where we bring the studio to your office. We believe that every worker and staff member deserves to look their best, no matter their role or position within the company. This approach also boosts morale among staff members.

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During most of our mass staff headshots, we often hear from individuals who disliked their previous company photo by another photographer, which they had to use for years. When we create the best photo they’ve ever had at work, it visibly uplifts their spirits and they walk back to their desk with a spring in their step. Imagine the positive impact over the next few years when they feel proud of their representation on the company website.

How Much Editing on your Headshots?

We have clients request less editing for some purposes, and more editing for others. It comes down to company and personal preference.

Sometimes people have visible scars on their face. The camera usually makes it more apparent. They may choose to keep it, reduce it, or remove it completely. Some people have an acne flare up from the stress of having a photo shoot. We can take care of that as well. So discuss with us what your exact needs are.

The result is the best first impression you can give, at a style that fits your business brand.

Executive Images provides Headshot & Branding Photography at your business location or in our Coogee studio. Contact us now and let us help you make your best first impression.

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