Should staff headshots be edited? - Dan Cantero Headshots
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Most people wouldn’t think that there is much work that goes into taking the perfect headshot. You show up to the shoot, take some photos, and then you’re done, right? Wrong! There is a lot of thought that should go into taking a good headshot – from what clothes you wear to whether or not the photo should be edited. In this blog post, we will discuss whether or not staff headshots should be edited.

The idea behind having a good corporate headshot photo is to show the world who you are. Your headshot should be a clear representation of what you look like on a day-to-day basis. It should also provide the very best first impression possible.

There is a lot that going into creating a really good professional headshot photo. Things such as expression, the clothes that you wear, posing etc. One thing that is often neglected by photographers is the editing of the photo.

For most of us, when we think of editing and retouching, we think of a preset or filter that you can use on your phone. True retouching is an art form in itself.

The truth is that all photos can benefit from editing and retouching. A photograph that has been edited by a professional retoucher will look natural and clean. In fact, most of the time, you won’t even be able to tell that the photos have been retouched.

Most photographers are not experts in editing and retouching. Because of this, often it is not included in the price of the photography session while other photographers will charge you an extra fee for having your photos retouched professionally. This later approach is a dangerous one because often, clients will refuse the option to have their images edited and instead, edit the photos themselves or send them off to a fiend who owns a copy of Photoshop.

I decided long ago that I would only provide edited photos to all of my clients. So what is it that makes retouching so important? Well, the images that we capture in the studio are high definition images that capture the smallest details. This is a good thing but it also means that it captures things like stray hairs, lint on clothing, pimples, red skin, etc.

Our approach to retouching is simple. It needs to be elegant and high end. It needs to be good enough for the cover of a magazine. Some of the things that we focus on are:

  • Skin retouching – This is where we even out the colour of the skin and remove an blemishes on the skin as well as irritation. This alone make a large difference to the end result of a photograph. This is also where we get rid of things like pimples, shaving cuts, etc. Finally, we also perform some skin smoothing. This is where most photographers go wrong. Smoothing of the skin should not result in plastic looking skin. It should look fresh, clear and natural.
  • Cropping – The crop of a photograph can speak volumes. There is an art to a good crop and all depends on the type of photograph that you are working on as well as the expression and the pose of the photograph. There isn’t an automated way to do this. Each photo lends itself to a specific crop so they are all done individually.
  • Hair – Stray hairs or hairs that cut across the face can be really distracting and it can let down the quality of a good photograph. We remove hairs that should not be there while not going overboard.
  • Clothing – It is almost impossible to not have lint on clothing or wrinkles. Removing some of these is a great way to lift the value of your photograph.
  • Other things – We all have something about ourselves that we don’t like. For some it’s our nose, ears, eyes, etc. Talking to your photographer about the things that bother you about yourself is a great way to address them. Firstly, there are things that we can do when we capture the image to make it more flattering to you. Secondly, we can do amazing things with Photoshop. If there is something that bothers you, tell your photographer and they can align the editing with your requests.

In summary, should your staff headshots be edited? I believe that they should. It is a necessary part of the process to create an amazing final image. You want your staff to look their best and editing is a great way to achieve this. A good headshot photographer will always include photo editing as part of their service.

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.