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5 Steps on How to Choose the Best Headshot Photographer in the Sacramento Area

So you've decided to get professional headshots for yourself or your team. Congratulations! It's an exciting, and sometimes nerve-wracking, experience. Here are some tips to help you find the right photographer for yourself or your company and ensure a great experience.

Headshots of bank employees using the branch blurred in the background in Sacramento

1. Search online and ask around for photographers that specialize in headshots

It's not uncommon for photographers to specialize in a particular type of photography and offer headshots on the side.

For example, a family photographer may do most of their work focused on families but also offer headshots. Many times they use headshots as a lead generator in hopes that some of those jobs will turn into a family photography job. Or maybe you work with primarily an architectural photographer who has a little bit of experience with headshots.

If you seek out photographers who do most of their work in headshots, likely they will have more experience and therefore are more consistent in their results ensuring you get what you want.

Even within the headshot photography industry, there are specialties. Some photographers only work with individuals. Some mostly work with offices and teams. Some mostly work at events. Some do most of their work with actors. Some offer executive portraiture styles while others are head and shoulders only. Some offer what is considered "personal branding" producing multiple types of shots per person. Some headshot photographers do all of this and that's ok, just make sure the photographer you are considering does the type of work you are looking for.

2. Look for a Sacramento headshot photographer who has a portfolio of the style you are looking for

Photographers develop styles as they gain experience. You are more likely to get what you want if you choose a photographer that has a robust portfolio of the style you like. You might prefer something casual and outdoors. Or you may be looking for a studio portrait with a backdrop. Maybe you want the inside, or outside, of your office as the backdrop.

Not sure what you want? An experienced headshot photographer can ask the right questions about you and your industry and provide recommendations including color choices based on psychology.

3. Consider photographers who are Certified

A Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) is akin to an accountant who has their CPA designation. They have passed a rigorous test and had their work reviewed by a board from the Professional Photographers of America (the largest photography association in the world).

What this gives you is a photographer that has been determined to be able to provide work at a professional level. In a world where anyone can pick up a camera and call themselves a photographer, working with a true professional can bring peace of mind, a better experience, and a better end result.

4. Can the photographer provide you an overall great experience?

Do you believe the photographer is easy to work with and will listen to your needs? Do you believe the photographer communicates well and you know what to expect? Do you think the photographer is well organized and can provide you a good experience from the beginning to the end? If you have a team of people to organize, can your photographer help you with scheduling everyone? It's not just about how well the photographer can capture you but also if they've made it easy for you to pay them if they can make it easy for you to access and use the final images, and if you enjoyed the experience overall.

5. Does the photographer provide all the services you need?

Let the photographer know how you plan to use your business portraits. This tells the photographer what file types and sizes you need. If you are only going to use it on LinkedIn as a profile picture, the type of file you need and the size is very different than if it will be printed in a magazine. Likely you will use it in multiple ways so let the photographer know in the advance to see if they can provide the type of files you need.

If you are interested in advanced editing, this is also important to find out from your photographer. Some photographers only do color and exposure corrections. Some do light editing like skin and hair smoothing. While others will do full, advanced custom editing. Ask your photographer what they provide.

Additional things to consider are if you you need a rush turn around, or if you need the files renamed by each person's first and last name so you can easily find a person's file as needed. Do you also want some group shots done with everyone physically together or digitally compiled? Is it a good opportunity to have the photographer also take some shots around your office to use on your website and My Google Business listing? Do you want hair and make up provided at the session? Do you want the photographer to choose the best portrait per person, does your marketing team want to choose from an online gallery, or do you want each team member to choose their favorites at their session? Your photographer may or may not be able to help with these things.

There is a lot to consider when choosing a headshot photographer but doing so will help ensure you made the right choice for yourself or for the company. A great headshot photographer will not only produce exceptional portraits but make it an experience you, or your team, will appreciate.


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