DIY corporate headshots


DIY corporate headshots

Bedroom confessions of the ill-prepared. DIY corporate headshots and how I fudged it – fast.

I want to say, “Do not try this at home.” But despite all the chaos and sweat involved, the result was kind of satisfying!

To preface, I absolutely encourage professional business portrait photography.

I’ve guided clients through the process of mood board to full branded visual identity enough times to know that great photos make all the difference. But, let’s just say that you happen upon a tiny sliver of time to re-brand your business and *crap* – no new photos to help it along! Plus, you’re impatient and would need all proofs and final images in about a hour (I can hear the pro photographers chuckling).

Insert me: ill-prepared for my own project. I have no choice and my assistants are two canines with non opposable thumbs. Perfect. It’s go time!  Here is what I set up as the non-pro, dumb luck photoshoot faker:

• light colored wall in a small bedroom corner
• some natural light
• two LED lights up front, one behind
• Canon 7D on tripod, hooked to my laptop
• wireless mouse
• fan (first because I was effing stressed and overheating, later to look like a cheesy fashion model)
• mirror and comb (because sweat + fan = stringy, unsexy tangles)

DIY corporate headshots

It wasn’t pro and it wasn’t pretty, but it worked! The trick is really the light behind, pointed at the wall (balancing it on a cushion, on top of a rolled duvet, on top of a bench is optional). It fills the space so that you don’t end up with a novice shadow outline. With the camera hooked to my laptop and its out-of-the-box software, my mouse became the shutter button. I held the clicker in my right hand and awkwardly made poses while shooting like crazy to increase my odds of a decent portrait. That was smart since 75% of the photos are of me looking down and to the left to check my framing on the laptop display. Using the fan was also a happy mistake that felt so goofy, but ended up looking alright.

And less than an hour later, I had a full set of images to help with my brand update. Voila!

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I will still be booking a proper, professional photo session soon. These images are just temporary for my new site launch, but I’m pleased that it worked as well as it did! Plus the dogs were entertained and I’m sure the neighbors were, too.

Two corporate photographers you will love

I have a number of professional photographers that I recommend to clients coast to coast. Here in Calgary, I have two favorites. They understand brand styling and have created beautiful image collections perfect for the pieces Fetching Finn designs. Both book up quickly, so don’t be ill-prepared like me — call them today!

Visual Hues Photography – visualhues.com

Janet is a family and corporate photographer with a secret marketing background. Her world travels, deep curiosities of life, and empathetic heart add to the gift she has for capturing subtle and touching moments. She puts clients at ease and is never without her signature, mega smile.

Cassie’s Camera – cassiescamera.com

Cassie is a former graphic designer turned wedding photographer. Lucky for us, she also does some portraiture. She’s famous for this stunning shot of a bride and groom before a Calgary storm. Cassie is bold, badass, and crazy fun to work with.

Are you ready for new corporate headshots?

Did I inspire you to try your own DIY corporate headshots or are you leaving it solely to the professionals? Pass me your thoughts in the comments. If you have a favorite photographer, I’d love to hear about that, too!


Nikki Takahashi

Nikki is the owner, Brand Designer + Stylist at Fetching Finn Inc. She earned the Governor General's Award with honors in Multimedia Production. By 2009, she was trading in her corporate digital media career to start Fetching Finn Inc., turning freelance brand design into a full-time gig. She runs on minimal sleep, maximum amounts of ambition, solid genes, and a lot of Diet Pepsi.

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