Following on from our recently published ‘guide for professional headshots’ (check it out here), we’re taking you behind-the-scenes of a local corporate headshots shoot. We recently had the privilege of working with Exeter’s very own ecommerce experts, Swanky Agency, to capture some professional headshots of their team. Here you can find out about the prep, the shoot and how we worked with the Swanky team to produce the best possible staff portraits for their website. 

The client 

Busy helping both local and global brands to unlock their full digital potential, Swanky Agency are taking the ecommerce world by storm. Since launching in 2010, they have guided countless clients through the increasingly saturated online world, using their expertise to build beautiful websites. As one of the first three agencies in Europe to be awarded the Shopify Plus Expert accreditation, the Swanky team mean business.  

As part of their recent brand evolution, Swanky got in touch with us to produce a collection of corporate headshots for their website. 

The brief: corporate headshots

Swanky wanted simple, high-quality, white-background headshots that would complement the crisp, modern look of their website. At the same time, they wanted to convey the fun and friendly personalities of their team.  

As experts in web design and all things marketing, Swanky are more than familiar with the positive impact that professional staff portraits can have on potential customers. Not only do consistent, high-quality headshots present a professional image of a company, they also provide a personal, friendly touch. They enable consumers to see the faces behind a brand, establishing an emotional connection and facilitating a positive relationship for sales. In other words, the value of quality staff portraits is not to be underestimated. 

The shoot: on location at Swanky HQ 

photo taken by Spencer Cobby Photography of staff team from Swanky Agency

Here at Spencer Cobby Photography, we like to make things as straightforward as possible for our clients. The shoot was organised to take place at Swanky’s Exeter office. Upon arrival, we were given about an hour to set things up: flash equipment, soft boxes, umbrellas and the white paper background. A white background has a fresh, clean appearance – perfect for the style of headshots Swanky were after. This light background also directs the eye of the viewer to the subject of the photo, contrasting with warm skin tones.  

Our camera of choice for this particular shoot was the Nikon D850 with a 50ml standard lens and an 85ml portrait lens. We used Capture One software, a leading program for RAW file image editing. Capturing RAW files allows for a huge variety of editing options. These files have the full range of captured information available from your camera.  

Putting everyone at ease

corporate headshot taken by Spencer Cobby Photography of a staff member at Swanky Agency

For a portrait photoshoot to run as smoothly as possible, it’s always important for staff members to have been given plenty of notice. Ample time to get ready. Luckily the Swanky team were all well-prepared for the shoot, having been given a ‘running order’ well in advance. 

Each staff member’s shoot took around 10-15 minutes. We instructed on positioning and posture, providing tips on how to angle their face and body for the best shot. Some members of staff stood for their photos, whilst others sat on a stool or chair. It is important to try a range of poses, in order to find which positions your subjects feel most comfortable in. The best photos are taken when people are most relaxed, and this was certainly the case with the Swanky photoshoot. When people are relaxed, their smile becomes much more natural-looking. Perfect for showing off someone’s friendly and personable manner. We tried our best to put everyone at ease and engage people in conversation so that they felt comfortable having their photo taken.   

Being flexible

Not all of the Swanky team were available for the shoot, but some time was put aside to fit them in on an ad-hoc basis. We pride ourselves on catering for our clients’ unique needs and schedules, so being flexible is very important.   

It’s also important that our subjects are happy and comfortable with the photos that are taken of them. Each team member was able to select the images they felt were most flattering or representative of them. If people weren’t happy with an image, it was deleted. Again, this helps to put people at ease if they are particularly nervous about having their photo taken and published online.  

Final edits  

After the shoot, a MacBook Pro was used to highlight details in the images. To achieve crisp final portraits, the sharpness and focus of the RAW files was edited. We were particularly keen to accentuate the details of the eyes. People are often drawn to a subject’s eyes before anything else, so it’s essential to make them as bright and detailed as possible. 

Turnaround speed is very important to us when providing clients with a finished product. We always aim to edit and deliver the final images in under one working week. The finished photographs were edited and delivered to Swanky within six days. Moreover, we strive to keep in touch with clients throughout the whole project, providing regular progress updates. In this case, we liaised with Swanky’s secretary, making regular contact to keep her and the team fully informed.   

professional corporate headshot taken by Spencer Cobby Photography of a staff member at Swanky Agency

Overall, the finished shots fulfil the brief provided by Swanky Agency. These corporate headshots give potential consumers an insight into the team behind the Swanky brand. The photos present them as a professional, yet personable group of people who are ready and willing to help. The high level of detail and crisp clarity of each headshot reflects the attention to detail that Swanky are known for in their industry. And the relaxed smiles of each staff member help to engender a feeling of trust between the team and their customers.  

corporate headshot taken by Spencer Cobby Photography of the Creative Director of Swanky Agency

Looking for professional staff portraits?

Spencer Cobby Photography offers individually catered staff portrait packages to suit all kinds of businesses. So if you’re looking for some corporate headshots for your own company, get in touch! We pride ourselves on providing high-quality professional headshots to help represent your business online. The images we create are highly versatile. They can be suited to corporate use, marketing and company websites. They are also a great way to provide employees with suitable images for LinkedIn and social network profiles. To find out more about the business headshot services we offer, visit our website.