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Preparing For Your Business Portrait

You are a savvy enterprise individual that acknowledges the significance of your presence within the enterprise group. You’ve got an internet site; you might be constructing a web-based presence and growing a Web advertising and marketing and social media technique. Excellent!

Take a Great Business Portrait – Step by Step

One of the best ways to add personality to your company website and other business materials is with photos of the people within your organization. It adds a face to the name you want your clients to recognize.

To get great business portraits, you don’t need a fancy camera or expensive lighting equipment. All you need is a regular camera (either a point and shoot or an SLR) and the following seven steps.

1. Find a location

The location of the business portrait should be the first thing you figure out. First, you need plenty of light, so you don’t have to use a flash, which creates harsh and un-flattering light– not what you want. But you don’t want to take the portrait in the bright sun either. The bright sun creates harsh and clearly defined shadows that can be unflattering on your subject’s face. For a flattering picture, usually soft light is the best. Soft light creates a gentle transition from the lighter area to the shadow.

Outdoors on an overcast day is best. When the sun’s out, head for the shade and try to find a location where you can position your subject on the edge of the shadow (closest to the sun).

2. Place your subject

Now that you know where the right light is, you can place your question. When you find the location for your item, be especially aware of the background. Make sure nothing in the environment distracts from the issue (such as trees or poles that seem to come out from the top of the subject’s head). And make sure the background won’t distract from the portrait. Take your time to look around.

3. Figure out the exposure

With your subject in place, take time to figure out the proper exposure of the image. For a portrait, you are mainly concerned with the exposure of the person’s face. For an easy way to meter, fill the frame of the camera with the essential parts of the image. You might need to move or zoom in to do this. Make sure there aren’t any bright areas in the area that you are metering (for instance, if the background is gorgeous and you are in the shade, make sure none of the bright regions in the environment are in the frame.)


After you’ve metered, take note of the settings. Put your camera in manual mode and dial in those settings. Then take a test shot. Check the preview on the back of the camera to see how it looks. Is the face adequately exposed? If it isn’t correctly detected, you can dial up or down the shutter speed or the aperture to get it to the correct exposure. You will probably only need to tweak it a bit to get it just right.

4. Reality check your settings

If you’ve had the camera determine the exposure and then dialed it in, you need to take a moment to make sure these settings are realistic. The first most important thing is that you need a shutter speed that is fast enough so that you can hold the camera without camera shake. How fast is that? Well, it depends on the lens that you are using, but you usually want a shutter speed of at least 1/100, or a second or faster. Some cameras have vibration control or image stabilization technology built in, though, so you might be able to hold the camera at a slower speed. Check your camera manual to see if it has this feature and the rate it recommends. Then just make sure you are using a shutter speed faster than that.

The other factor to think about is your aperture. Usually, for a portrait, you want the face in focus while the background becomes blurry. To do this, you want to pick a full aperture. A full aperture (such as f4 or f5.6) will give you an in-focus face with an out-of-focus background. (A narrower aperture, such as f22, will have both the look and the environment in focus.) You could pick an even more full hole (if your camera has it), such as f2.8, realize that getting the face in the center will be harder. An aperture such as f4 or f5.6 is easier to work with.

Next, is the shutter speed fast enough? If not, you’ll need to change your aperture to get a faster shutter speed. Or you could increase the ISO on your camera to get a faster shutter speed. (But don’t raise the ISO too much because images at higher ISOs have a lower quality.) Check your aperture with your shutter speed–is it what you want? You might need to tweak it a few settings, and remember that getting the right exposure is often about compromises: sometimes you need to use settings that aren’t perfect to make the image work.

After you’ve decided on your settings, take another test shot. Look at it again. Is everything okay? If so, you are ready for your subject.

5. Get your theme ready

Now let your subject know that you are prepared to start. Find a comfortable position for them where they look good and natural. For a portrait, having a subject look at the camera and smile is usually best. And talk to your subject as you’re working, so they feel comfortable and natural.

6. Get in close

Since this is a portrait, the image is just about the person. The background isn’t essential. So get in close! Have the person fill the frame of the camera. You shouldn’t see much of the experience, but have the top of their head at the top of the frame and the bottom of the frame crop somewhere around the chest. Or you can get even closer, trim the top of the head, and show the face.

7. Wait for the good moments

As you are taking pictures, keep looking. Keep your eyes actively engaged and look for the right moments. Watch your coworker for the times when their smile looks genuine and natural.

Finally, make sure you take plenty of images–the more, the better. Get various expressions from your coworker. If they get tired of smiling, have them relax a bit and then laugh again. Then take more images.

A positive image for your business

Great business portraits leave clients and prospects with a positive impression. When you use these seven tips for taking your corporate pictures, you won’t need all the expensive photography equipment that professional corporate photographers use to make your company look its best!

A great example of someone using these techniques is Henry Buys Homes in Jacksonville, Florida. This is a real estate investment company and they do some amazing work with the houses they flip, check them out!

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