The most important part of any executive portrait, or any other photo shoot, whether locally here in Boston or out on location, happens long before we pick up a camera. The first step is to decide just what exactly we want that photo to do.
Once we understand the reason for the image to exist on the web site/brochure/etc, then we can begin to frame what needs to be in the picture and, just important, what doesn’t.
Defining Your Executive Portrait Goals
It starts with some simple questions:
- Who are we attempting to influence by creating the image (where is it going to be seen)?
- How do we want them to be influenced (what are some keywords that sum up their experience)?
- What do we want them to do after they see the image?
For example, for the portrait of Paul Dacier, the executive portrait was being created for a profile in InsideCounsel magazine. It would be shown to their readers, who are sophisticated, well educated, law professionals, working in a corporate environment. The picture would illustrate his strength, professionalism and legitimacy in the field. And, once the readers understood, visually, who he was, it would underline his expertise in that industry in his field.
Of course, every situation is different. Your own situation may be about a product or a service, rather than featuring yourself. And, yes, some of it may seem obvious: we need a product shot to sell more products. But, not every shot is equal. And, the details of the photoshoot are where we can make sure that the final photo is the most effective we can make it.
Do we need to shoot on a clean background for maximum flexibility or would it be better to show it in action? Executive portraits are very strong on white for many applications (bio pages, LinkedIn, proposals) but may not be as effective as a two page spread in a major magazine. (Of course, there are always exceptions!)
This simple formula gets applied to every shoot I do and gets pulled out during the shoot to keep us on track.
Try it when you are planning for your next marketing project… and then give me a call!