ON LOCATION AND GROUP HEADSHOTS
Team headshots, on location headshots and group headshots are a CK Headshots speciality.
All of our on location headshots and portraits use the same lighting setup used in studio.
ON LOCATION HEADSHOTS AND GROUP HEADSHOTS
On location headshots and group headshots are a CK Headshots speciality. Serving the metro Atlanta area and beyond, CK Headshots Atlanta offers large and small volume location and group headshot photography at a competitive rate. From the simple solid background to the more complex environmental shot—any style, any situation, we will work with you to meet your needs. We regularly do full staff or executive shoots in office or on-location for 5, 10 sometimes even 50 or more people at a time. There are several varieties of what are called group headshots. There are small office groups of maybe 5-10 give or take a few. And then there are large volume groups. A large volume group may be 30 to 50 or in a few cases even 100 or more. The way large volume groups sessions are planned and produced is quite different from the small group. To work within budget large volume groups allow for less time per individual — often as little as 5 minutes each. We’ve done shoots onsite with as little as 2-3 minutes per person before. Below are a few facts on what to expect with each type of group session. All sessions include a free consultation, online proof gallery, and professional in-house retouching.
THE ART OF THE GROUP HEADSHOT SESSION
There’s definitely a special art to both on location and group headshot photography sessions. Only part of it is the photography itself. The other part is producing and planning a session on location or with large numbers. I have answers to basic questions and a checklist in the FAQS below. You can find a detailed article on things to consider when planning a session in our blog. With larger groups the planning and logistical details are things learned only through experience. There are technical things like what kind of space is available onsite to shoot in? Is the space large enough to make use of a longer focal length lens? And then there are scheduling questions like, how many individuals can we shoot in one day?, etc.
And then there’s the photography itself. And within the photography portion things can be broken down even further. There’s the camera and lighting and retouching, but of equal importance is how a photographer approaches each subject. For example a big part of my job is to create a relaxed, laid back, yet professional, environment for each session. I understand some folks, (most folks really) have a hard time in front of a camera. So I try to walk each individual through the process step by step. Again, there’s more about this in the FAQs below.
The photography part of it is pretty straight forward really. There are a few things a great headshot should be. A great headshot should be dynamic, honest and composed in a pleasing way. It should also be lit well with the focus on the face — more specifically on the eyes. By dynamic I mean some contradiction in angles. This is often subtle. In fact, most often, anything more than subtle can look superficial. By honest I mean the gaze into the camera looks engaged and real. The opposite would be the deer in headlights look we’re all familiar with. By composed in a pleasing way I simply mean the composition of a headshot should draw the eye to the most important element of the image — your face and eyes. The background or wardrobe should compliment your face, it should never distract from it. The lighting needs to be appropriate for whatever mood or feel the client is trying to communicate. There are ways to light things “happy” like a sitcom, and there are way to light things for a more refined professional feel. When you put all of these things together, the planning, the shooting and the directing successfully, you end up with a great headshot.
OK, so how do we get there?
A successful group headshot session comes down to a few things: First, communicate what you hope to achieve as best you can. Work with us to figure out the best plan to execute the process. Outside of the planning and scheduling there are a few simple guidelines for each individual to follow. I include all of this in the FAQs below. Hair: Fixing your hair as you normally would is perfectly acceptable. If there’s a particular do you prefer that you can’t achieve on your own I would suggest going to your typical do-artist before the session. Flyaways, small gaps or subtle shifts, etc. can be taken care of during the shoot or while post-processing. Make-up: Again, applying basic make-up as you normally would is perfectly acceptable. Remember, this is more like a documentary we’re making than a Kabuki musical. Don’t over do it! Wardrobe: First, if you’re stuck, just ask. I’m happy to answer questions about these things. But it’s not all that complicated. Simple is best. Wardrobe should typically never take the focus from the face, but at most should subtly compliment it, which is most often achieved by color. A solid top that compliments the eyes is nice. Avoid low necklines and busy patterns. Color is not bad. However, for smaller shoots with no wardrobe requirement, I would suggest bringing a more muted alternate just in case. Overthinking, over planning — putting too much thought in to hair, make-up and wardrobe, etc. is something to be avoided. Yes looking one’s best is important. But don’t put too much into it. Blemishes, most hair issues, can be fixed or adjusted on the fly, a stressed out subject, constantly worried that something has been missed, is much harder to fix.
What do I mean by take very simple direction? First — You don’t need to know how to “pose”. In fact, often, posing ends up doing more bad than good. When I say take very simple direction I mean I’ll guide you through every step of the process with simple tweaks to your natural sitting or standing posture. If you’re really experienced and prefer to “pose” yourself, that’s perfectly fine, I certainly won’t argue with you. But generally speaking, it usually goes like this: You sit or stand in what ever position feels natural and comfortable. I take a few test shots. I then offer you some posture direction — usually small tweaks that enhance your posture for camera. For example: Shift your weight forward or back; Straighten your upper body; Relax or pull back your shoulders; Turn your head more toward me; Etc. After you’ve established a feel for a good posture I work with you on expression. My goal here is to help you engage with the camera — not unlike you would do on a film set. Again, if you know how you want to do this, go for it. If I feel like we should tweak it a bit for the camera, I’ll let you know. I have a few techniques I walk clients through to achieve an engaged and fresh looking expression.
LOCATION & GROUP
CK Headshots group sessions start with a standard session fee. The per person rate adjusts depending on group size.
Please contact us if you have any questions.
STANDARD SESSION FEE
This is our per day fee to come out and set-up and deliver 1 retouched headshot.
$150.00 for each additional retouched image up to 4 individuals.
PER PERSON RATE 5-10
Rate per person for 5 – 10 individuals on location after standard session fee.
PER PERSON RATE 11-20
Rate per person for 11 – 25 individuals on location after standard session fee.
PER PERSON RATE 26-40
Rate per person for 26 – 40 individuals on location after standard session fee.
For groups larger than 40 individuals please contact for pricing.
PLEASE NOTE: 50% deposit/retainer fee required upon booking to reserve your date and time. The remaining balance is due after you approve your final retouched images.
For complex portraits requiring sets, props, heavy retouching or compositing please contact for details.
Turn Around Time: After the shoot, a gallery link to the untouched photos is emailed to you within 2-3 days for review and to make selects for retouching. The final retouched images may take up to 1 to 2 weeks to be delivered via download. Images can be rushed for an additional fee.
Rates do not include travel expenses for shoots outside of the Atlanta metro area. Any taxes, fees, etc. are calculated on your itemized invoice. Deposits are non-refundable. If you need to cancel for any reason, CK Headshots reserves the right to make rescheduling decisions on a case to case basis. Deposits and final payments can be made by check or through our on-line invoice system. After reviewing your final retouched photos, the remaining balance must be paid to receive your download link. Clients under 18 must have a parent or legal guardian present at all times.
ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY
Q: How do I plan for group headshots and on location headshots? What’s the basic process? A: First, we have a good article dealing with this in our blog. Communication is key. Let us know what you are trying to achieve and we will respond back with the necessary questions. A few details you may want to include are, the kind of look you’re going for (solid background, do you want office ambience, action shots, or a particular unique stylized feel). How many people? What’s your space like, do you have room to shoot in? And of course where and when. A lot of the answers are here in the FAQs and in our checklist below. But we are happy to address your specific needs. Second, you’ll need to schedule your team. We are happy to answer questions about time per subject, etc. Again, a lot of that is answered below. Before the shoot we suggest sharing the preparation basics on this page with your team. It’s important to let them know that this is a guided process, they don’t need to know how to pose, or sing or dance, or cry on cue. After the shoot we deliver proofs via online gallery. How you choose to make selections is up to you. We’ve found the easiest way, outside of us choosing for you, is to have a dedicated individual choose for everyone. This is especially true with large numbers of 20 or more. For smaller shoots we think it’s okay to be a little more selective.
Q: How much time is needed for an on location session? A: this varies greatly depending on the number of subjects, the style or complexity of the desired image, and logistics. By logistics I mostly mean the art undertaken by the member of your team who’s job it is to gather all of your employees efficiently. In an idea world, where everyone is scheduled perfectly, to be safe I’d set aside at least 2 hours of shoot time for 15 subjects, 2.5 hours for 20, half a day for 30, and a full day for anything more. But in practice it’s not always all that easy to schedule perfectly. We are happy to discuss and offer advice for your particular situation. Remember shoot time does not include time to set-up and break down equipment. Add 35 minutes for each.
Q: How far apart should I schedule each subject? A: There are a lot of variables that go into deciding this. If we are doing standard headshots, on a uniform background, it’s possible to schedule each subject for as little as 5 minutes. In 5 minutes we can typically capture 5 good proofs per individual (5 shots to choose from for retouching). Make sure to account for lunch and a break. Smaller shoots are more forgiving. Just remember the standard group rate is per day. And additional rates are per person.
Q: What should I expect after the shoot? A: We deliver all proofs through a password protected gallery that can be shared with other members of your team. We leave it up to the client to decide how they’d like to run the selection process. Albeit not always the most popular way according to individual subjects, the easiest way is to turn it all over to us. Some groups choose to select an individual to be in charge of the section process. Some choose to share the gallery and let each employee choose. The larger the number the less I’d recommend the latter. In our experience It’s much easier and more efficient if a single individual can make the choices.
Q: How do I prepare for a headshot? A: The first and most important thing is to remember that I’m here to guide you through the whole process. Most people tell me they don’t like having their photos taken. Including myself! I expect that, and do everything I can to make it an easy, fully guided process. Second: Communication is key. Let me know what it is you’re trying to achieve. If you see photos on-line that inspire you, send them over. If there’s a particular mood you’re going for, let me know. If you’re undecided about wardrobe, etc., run it by me. Try to get good sleep the night before the shoot. But, with exception to extreme cases, you don’t need to cancel if you don’t—most of the signs of a poor nights sleep can be edited out. Just be aware that you might need to compensate for your tiredness. But again, I will guide you through. With respect to hair and make-up the vast majority of my clients choose to do their own. If you’d like to have an artist do it for you on site, you can arrange it yourself or, we can help you arrange it at an additional fee. Here are some hair make-up and wardrobe basics: Hair: Fixing your hair as you normally would is perfectly acceptable. If there’s a particular do you prefer that you can’t achieve on your own I would suggest going to your typical do-artist before the session. Flyaways, small gaps or subtle shifts, etc. can be taken care of during the shoot or while post-processing. Make-up: Again, applying basic make-up as you normally would is perfectly acceptable. Remember, this is more like a documentary we’re making than a Kabuki musical. Don’t over do it! Wardrobe: First, if you’re stuck, just ask. I’m happy to answer questions about these things. But it’s not all that complicated. Simple is best. Wardrobe should typically never take the focus from the face, but at most should subtly compliment it, which is most often achieved by color. A solid top that compliments the eyes is nice. Avoid low necklines and busy patterns. Color is not bad. However, for smaller shoots with no wardrobe requirement, I would suggest bringing a more muted alternate just in case. Overthinking, over planning — putting too much thought in to hair, make-up and wardrobe, etc. is something to be avoided. Yes looking one’s best is important. But don’t put too much into it. Blemishes, most hair issues, can be fixed or adjusted on the fly, a stressed out subject, constantly worried that something has been missed, is much harder to fix.If you’re looking for some additional make-up basics, check out this article. For some more basic on how to prepare including hair, make-up and wardrobe tips, you can view my blog post.
Q: Do I need to pose for my headshot? A: Yes and no. How to pose for a headshot is a headshot photography related phrase often searched on google. And the answer is really not all that complicated. Simply because most of what you’ll be required to do, other than stand or sit naturally, is up to me to walk you through. And even then not all that much needs to be done. A few tweaks here and there to your natural posture is often all it takes. A good photographer is in part almost always thinking in terms of composition. It’s up to the photographer to establish the group of angles necessary to serve the end goal. So yes you have to do a little bit of what one may call posing, but no you don’t have to figure any of it out yourself. If you’re more interested in this I have a whole article about it in my blog.
Q: What makes a good headshot? What makes a good portrait? A: The easy short answer to this is a good photographer makes a good headshot or portrait. That might sound a little flippant but the point is true — you pay me to make a photo, all you really need to do is cooperate with what it takes to achieve that end goal. And honestly, it doesn’t take all that much on your part. There are a few things you can do leading up to the session that can help, e.g., try and get good sleep, etc., but I wouldn’t stress about these things too much. There’s very little that can’t be coached or corrected. You can view my tips on how to prepare to learn more about this. Outside of the collaborative process between photographer and client there are certainly a few aesthetic qualities that make a headshot or portrait most effective. Although there are differences between headshots and portraits the following applies to both. A good headshot or portrait is dynamic. Just like any other art form, a powerful photograph almost always has a dynamic quality. In headshot terms that might mean the head turned subtly one way while the shoulders are angled another. It might mean creating negative space between an arm and the body or something as simple as shifting the head one way and the eyes another. Lighting can also provide a dynamic quality. Sometimes I’ll shoot subjects straight on, almost perfectly symmetrical and let the lighting and design add in the dynamics. A good headshot or portrait is honest. There’s something I call the honest gaze. This is a feeling of genuineness portrayed by the look or gaze of the subject being photographed. This does not mean intense, or confident or anything else. It means genuine. If your look is genuine, it’s going to by nature also be confident and powerful. A genuine or honest look is usually simply you un impeded by the present circumstances of being in front of a camera. Does that mean you can’t be nervous, well no. It means you need a good photographer to read between the lines, determine your baseline and do what’s necessary to capture it.