We like growing with our clients. Whether it is a business who sends new staff for their headshot photo on the company website or a professional on the job market updating his LinkedIn profile photo, we value the relationship and trust they have on our ability to deliver believable and respectable headshots.
Ideally, we do want to take our relationship with our clients further than professional headshots. Our experience in this unforgiving genre of photography has enabled us to evolve into a family portrait photographer that endeavours to re-present each person as the best versions of their everyday self.
Some people say that there is no art in headshot photos - especially corporate ones. In the same breath, some view family portraits as taking few snaps by the beach and already define it as a portrait. Here is the definition of a portrait.
A portrait is a painting, photograph, sculpture, or other artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant. The intent is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person. For this reason, in photography a portrait is generally not a snapshot, but a composed image of a person in a still position. A portrait often shows a person looking directly at the painter or photographer, in order to most successfully engage the subject with the viewer. (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portrait)
Portraits, then, must have proper composition with the person looking at the camera (in our case) in order to engage the subject with the viewer. This is precisely what we have been doing at Identity Headshots because it is the engagement that may spur a business transaction with the viewer.
Now that we have established that headshot is actually a portrait. How does this translate to family portraits? Let's meet a family who has done both headshots (back in 2014) and a family portrait (2019). Here are their headshots done 5 years ago.
The parents were about to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary this year. Since they have had experience with us with headshots in the past, they were keen to have a family portrait with a bit of 'attitude' if you may to show that the kids have grown. Here it is below.
How is it possible that each person looked engaged and as people have told us, each looked great. Well, since we took their headshots a few years ago, we already had prior knowledge of what looks good for each member of the family, coached them individually which resulted to each one engaged with the viewer.
Family portrait sessions, like headshot sessions, are both a science and an art.
It is a science because there is a process in finding the best angle of each person on the photo. The good side of each face is showcased through sound and intentional lighting and coaching for the right expression. During the shoot, there were quite a number of discussions on what looks good per member of the family. After all, each has to be happy with their photo as the portrait images will be framed for all to see.
It is an art because there has to be a cohesion to the image. Family portraits are similar to a jigsaw puzzle such that each person has to be carefully positioned in a way that makes the person look good while contributing to the overall beauty of the image. In so doing, the family portrait feels like the complete image with much respect given to the whole as well as each part.
For this family, they chose another image that is more traditional than the first photo but equally engaging as the first. The photo is the one below.
The headshot photo and the family portrait both fall within the portrait definition - properly composed, subjects looking at the camera and more importantly, engaging the viewer. The person or the people are the heroes of the image - not the props nor the backdrop. Most of all, each person is done justice because his or her personality is highlighted and celebrated.