Berbay recently blogged about how to take a professional photo, offering quick tips on how to dress, groom and pose to help you achieve a quality shot. Those are good pieces of advice to consider before taking a professional photo, but there are also many things to consider during the photo session. These factors are frequently overlooked, but can make a big difference in the outcome of your photographs.
- Clothing – Right before posing for a photo, make sure that all ties and suit jackets are straight, and that dresses or pants are not wrinkled. Even if you wear the type of clothing Berbay recommended in our previous post, a crooked tie or wrinkled pants can cancel out the positive effect. Too, when it comes to group shots, discuss everyone’s clothing beforehand so that you harmonize appropriately.
- Positioning – How are you sitting or standing? Where are your hands? Positioning is a key element of a professional photo. This is especially true in group shots: If everyone’s hands or legs are placed differently, the picture will appear uncoordinated. A professional photographer can help you arrange everyone so that they look natural.
- Hair – Knowing that you would be taking a professional photo, you probably spent more time than usual grooming your hair. But that was this morning. The camera easily picks up small flaws, so it’s important to take one last look at your hair just before the shoot begins and double-check that stray hairs aren’t sticking up, covering your face, etc. The photographer can clean up hair in the editing process, but you want to have your hair as close to picture-perfect as possible.
- Background – What’s behind you? Of course, you’re the focus of the picture, but your background affects your appearance. If you decide to use a solid color for your backdrop, you should choose a color that won’t wash out your skin tone and should also match or coordinate with the color of your outfit. If you opt for a backdrop that’s not a solid color, like a library or a staircase, check for distracting objects. For example, if you’ll be photographed in front of a bookcase, see that all the bookshelves are full; if they’re not, it skews the picture and draws the eye away from the focus – you. Also, you may love the colorful abstract picture in your conference room, but if it’s in your picture, it will capture the attention in the photo. Finally, as a rule of thumb, don’t use windows or mirrors as backgrounds because they cause glare.
- The Macro Perspective – To determine if a shot will be a quality photo, take a full step or two back and look at it as a whole. Also, look through the camera lens. Oftentimes, when you’re looking too closely at the details, you miss something obvious. That’s why we recommend you step back and get the “macro perspective” on a shot to see if anything is missing or needs to be changed.
Remember these important factors during your photo shoot (and prepare thoroughly beforehand) and you’ll come out of the experience with high-quality professional photos that positively represent you.