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Time Efficient Workflow for Corporate Headshots on Location

More often then not- when shooting corporate headshots on location,┬átime is tight. I’ve developed a workflow that allows me to take and select the best shots in a very short amount of time. Sometimes I will have as little as 5 minutes per person but it’s important that I do everything I can so I’m not fiddling with equipment, the subject is at ease and able to get a great final product.

Know what the client needs and plan the setup in advance

Corporate Headshots on Location

Testing lighting on a corporate location shoot

Planning is key- everything must be setup and working smoothly in advance of the subject stepping into the room. It’s important to know EXACTLY what look your client needs and how to achieve it(lighting, backdrop, pose etc). I always try to setup in such a way that the client has a clear path to his mark(in most cases for me the client is seated) and not tripping over wires or dodging light stands. Bring masking tape if need to both tape down wires and mark exactly where you need the subjects to be. Allow enough time to test lighting and make adjustments if needed. There is almost never time to make adjustments on the fly- so don’t plan on it!

Have a time sheet

When possible have the client prepare a time sheet of when each person will arrive for their headshots. Having a loose time sheet ensures that I know who is walking in the door next but also avoids empty periods where no one is ready to shoot or the opposite- 5 people walk in the room all at once and end up waiting around for their photo. But it’s also important to remain flexible. Inevitably someones schedule might change and it’s important to be able to adapt quickly.

Tether capture

This is a must. I never review images on the back of my camera- it’s just not a good experience for anyone. Tether capture allows you to spot mistakes and areas for improvement and fix them instantly. I typically capture directly into Lightroom during any headshot shoot whether in the studio or on location. Sometimes it makes more sense to use an iPad especially in a fast moving environmental shoot where the client might be moving to a few locations. When tethering to an iPad I have a second wifi enabled SD card that can broadcast directly to the iPad. I almost always try to have the clients select their images on site because it’s easier to compare and select them with the proper software(like Lightroom) and also it cuts down greatly on the back and both emailing and waiting after the session for each subject to make their final pick. Ultimately this allows me to deliver the retouched images much sooner.