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Tips for a Perfect Professional Business Portrait

tips for a perfect professional business portrait

For most people, having their portraits taken is synonymous to going to the dentist. The idea of posing in front of the camera makes people feel anxious and self-conscious. In reality, though, having a quality portrait on your website and other marketing materials is a must-have these days. Hiring a professional photographer to accurately capture the essence of you and your team is paramount.

If you’re like most people, you don’t normally have your photograph taken by a professional. That’s okay! A quality professional photographer will take the time to help you feel comfortable and at ease during your photo shoot.

Here are some tips for a cringe-free business portrait photo.

Location, Location, Location!

Location plays an important role in the outcome of your photos. Doing a shoot in indoors with a solid backdrop color is common and can provide great results. If you’re looking for something a bit out of the ordinary, though, consider having the photo session in an outdoor location you love. Another option is to do the session in your office or a location that best represents your business. Being some place where you are comfortable and at ease will improve the resulting photos.

Cool and Confident

Wardrobe choice and location are important aspects of your photos, but if you’re not feeling confident when your photos are being taken, your clothes and the location can’t save you. So, put on your happy face and let’s see your true smile!

Nothing looks better than a genuine smile. Even complete strangers visiting your website will know whether or not your smile is “real.” Your personality shines through when you pose with a genuine smile for your portraits. A happy portrait also exudes confidence in your business. Ideally, your portrait photo will be uploaded on your website, on your social media profiles, and will also be used for speaking engagements. Be confident and give it your best.

Wear the right clothes

Business portraits are typically taken from the waist up. Choosing the right wardrobe to fit the theme of your photoshoot is very important.

The type of clothes you wear have a significant impact not only on the resulting images but on your confidence level as well. Every client’s goal is to look great in their photos, so make sure that you choose clothes that you feel comfortable wearing and that look good on you! Your outfit should be appropriate for your position and your business, and it should be something you like to wear. If you wear an outfit you love, that is one less thing you’ll have to worry about when it comes time to take the photos.

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Settlements around the Salton Sea

Palm Springs Salton Sea photography_G Thomas Ward_G Thomas Ward Chicago coporate photographer

I recently returned from a visit to the Palm Springs area.  After seeing the film “Plagues and Pleasures of the Salton Sea“, it was on my agenda to check out the landscape and settlements around the Salton Sea.  It was truly the highlight of the trip for me in many ways.

Ever since my college days I’ve been interested in off-beat Americana, and people whose lives are their own very unique creations.

The settlements around the Salton Sea and the people who live there, certainly live up to this description.  I didn’t bring a professional camera on this trip, only my little Nikon Coolpix P 330.  Here are a few of the images I captured in and around Bombay Beach, Slab City, Niland, and Salvation Mountain.  I really hadn’t expected the area to capture my imagination quite the way it did.

My hope is to return someday and spend more time (with more professional gear!) photographing the people and settlements of this uniquely American place.

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Reasons Every Business Needs Professional Photos

Stephen Burks furniture design dedon Chicago

Whether you’re running a mom-and-pop shop or a multi-million dollar company, you need to understand that the images you use on your website play a significant role in the success of your business. Not only do professional photos help enhance your brand, they also help in growing your business. As such, having professional photos of your products, services, and your team is an investment that should be high on your list.

In this blog post, we explore some of the reasons why you should invest in professional photos.

Wow! Factor

With so many businesses vying for the attention of customers, you want to find a way to capture the attention of your target audience. To do that, you need to go the extra mile to feature your products in an captivating and creative way.
People are visual creatures. We like looking at pretty things. Since the advent of the camera phone, the average consumer is used to being able to capture a photo of anything at anytime, even if it isn’t the best quality. That’s why quality, professional photos that grab the attention of your target audience are so important. By working with a professional photographer, you can work on a unique concept and showcase your products in a different way that separates you from the competition. Because of this, your photos will be more visually impactful and memorable.

Professional look

Think of your website as your storefront. Your website is usually the first encounter people have with your business, and you want to make a great first impression. Make it count!

When featuring your products on your site, make sure that you use high quality photos. This will raise the perception of your business and give you and your product a more trustworthy appeal. If you have low quality, grainy photos, however, people will make assumptions that your products are low quality, as well. Avoid this common misstep, and hire a professional photographer so you can showcase your business in a professional manner.

Online presence

The internet is the first place people go to when looking for certain products or services. They search online and visit websites of businesses in order to see what they have to offer.

More often than not, people only stay in a website for about 10 to 20 seconds. That’s it. That isn’t very long for you to make an impression, so do yourself and your customer a favor: provide them with exactly what they’re looking for.

We know that good content is one of the key ingredients to success, but great photos are the ones that capture the attention of people and entice them to learn more about what you have to offer and why you’re right for them. By combining these elements, you’ll be able to come up with an excellent marketing campaign that will drive more traffic to your website. Never underestimate that power of a good photo!

Contact G. Thomas Ward to secure the best corporate photos in Chicago.

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DEDON and Designer Stephen Burks Event Photography

Emily Levin BDE Event Chicago

I was contacted by Emily Levin at BDE about photographing a presentation by Designer Stephen Burks, an amazing artist who designs furniture for DEDON. The presentation was in the morning, followed by a reception and cocktail party in the evening.

I was selected by Emily based on my ability to capture engaging photos that tell the story of an event without being intrusive and for my ability to work indoors in lower light situations without using flash. Emily’s goal in hiring a photographer was to capture photos that gave the feeling that you were there…without being overly posed or harshly lit with a camera flash.

Once the clients saw my event work, they asked me if I was available to shoot more architectural-style images (with a particular goal of capturing the details) of the interior of the showroom with Stephen Burks’ furniture. I enthusiastically accepted! When they viewed the finished images, I was told, “The photos are beautiful!”

The people I teamed up with at BDE and DEDON were wonderful to work with. I made sure to get them the images that they wanted and needed. Whenever a client tells me that the photos I’ve taken for them are “beautiful,” the feeling is something akin to what an actor must feel when they receive a standing ovation. It’s nice hear the appreciation in their voices and see their faces light up when they see a particularly striking photo. I also love being able to help clients achieve their goals in marketing and PR and knowing that in some small way, I helped move their business forward.

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How to Prepare for a Headshot or Portrait Photo Session

Prepare for a Headshot or Portrait Photo Session

If you’re like most people, you probably dislike the idea of closeup photos of yourself. But as a business owner, having a professional headshot is important. Remember that you are representing your business, so you want to make sure to make a great impression.

There is more to capturing great photos than just showing up at the studio and smiling in front of the camera. There are a few things you need to do to help optimize your photo shoot and capture great photos. Here are a few to get you thinking.

Hair

Your hairstyle plays an important role in the way you look. Use hair products like gel or hairspray to tame frizz and enhance shine. Make sure, though, that you wear your hair as you would every day. Natural-looking may be better than over-done, over-sprayed and over-teased, but the best look is well-groomed and professional. If you are planning to cut your hair, do so a week before the shoot.

Makeup

Headshots are not supposed to be glamour shots. You want to look the same way as you do in real life. Your makeup should be simple, but well done. Don’t go overboard. If you wear a lot of makeup, it will not look natural. Apply makeup to enhance your facial features.

If you can afford it, hire a makeup artist to ensure that you look your best throughout your photo session.  Be cautious about having your hair and/or makeup done in a salon before a shoot.  It is better to work with the photographer’s hair and makeup artist who is experienced at preparing clients for photo sessions, which can be very different than every-day, street, or evening makeup.  Also, having a hair and makeup present during the shoot allows for changes during the photo session.

Wardrobe

Your primary goal is to capture photos that best represent you. When choosing your outfit, opt for clothing that reflects your personality. Colors look great in photos. Choose colors that will complement your skin tone and will make certain features like your eyes pop. Since you want viewers to focus on your face, avoid tops with big prints and busy patterns.  Avoid anything that adds bulk, like shoulder pads, or big scarves.

If you’re having a hard time deciding what to wear, we suggest that you bring different outfits on the day of the shoot – from shirts to sweaters to formal blouses and light jackets. Then, your photographer can help you decide which works well on camera and to see what looks good on you. What’s important is that you’re comfortable with what you’re wearing and that you feel great in it. If you feel uncomfortable, it will show in your photos.

Be yourself

While all other elements such as clothing, hair and makeup will have a huge impact on the outcome of the photos, your attitude during the shoot is actually a lot more important than your hairstyle, your lipstick shade or what you wear.

Show the camera how awesome you are! The best photos are those that reflect who you are as an individual. Bring your personality to the shoot and be your own unique self.

At G. Thomas Ward Photography in Chicago, we let our professional clients bring their headshots to the next level by including the more playful option of having their shots with Sirius Black (our studio mascot). A long time client, local commercial real estate company Telos, for example,  takes their “official” portrait, as well as these ones to show their true personalities!

About

My years of experience include shooting for a wide variety of clients both corporate and personal, including Cartier, WTTW, The Chicago Reader, Northwestern University, Hartmarx, Music of the Baroque, Red Moon Theater, Theo Ubique, Third Coast Marketing and many, many more.

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1315 W. Albion Ave.
Chicago, IL 60626

PH: 773.271.6813