7 Steps on How to Get the Most Professional Headshots in the Greater Sacramento Area

You may have made the decision to get professional headshots created for yourself or your team. That's a great first step! But now you may be thinking, how do I make sure I get the most out of it for the money I will spend? Here are the steps I recommend:


How to get the most professional headshots
Headshots that match your company aspirations

1. Find a photographer that creates the style of headshots you want


Some photographers can create a breadth of different styles, and some can't or don't have enough experience in that particular style in order to consistently create what you are looking for. To be safe, find a photographer who has a portfolio of the look you want. If there is a particular example in their portfolio that you want, be sure to tell them in advance so they can be prepared to recreate it for you.


If you aren't finding a photographer who has the style you are looking for, then find the top photographers in your area and contact them. Experienced photographers, and/or those who are industry certified (they have a CPP which is similar to an accountant having a CPA certification) can recreate specific styles. Provide examples of what you are looking for.


2. Understand the pricing and what you get before you book


A professional photographer will either list their prices on their website or be able to provide you a pricing sheet. You will want to know what the entire cost to expect will be. Is there a session fee and photographs are purchased separately or is the pricing all-inclusive? Is editing included or extra? Do they give low-resolution, mid-resolution, or full-resolution digital files?


How to get the most from your professional headshots session
Your photographer can help you identify a mood and style

3. Ask the photographer for suggestions on how you can best prepare for your headshot session


Professional headshot photographers will have some information they can share with you on how to prepare. Their suggestions are based on their experience and their style. That information is worth reading.


I tell my clients to prepare well in advance. Too often people wait until the last minute and later regret it. Preparation can start a couple of weeks in advance. Check to see if you have the outfit you want to wear. If you do, does it still fit and does it need to go to the dry cleaners to be cleaned and pressed? If you don't, it's time to go shopping. Hair is also important, you may need to schedule a hair cut in advance and not right before your photography session. You may want about a week or more for it to grow in a bit.


4. Give your photographer feedback on what you like and don't like during your session


Professional photographers can provide a monitor so you can review your photographs during your session. It's a good idea to ask if your photographer offers this before you book.


Reviewing your portraits during your session is a great opportunity to tell the photographer if there is something you don't like and what you love. This helps the photographer to know what adjustments to make either while photographing you or in post-production.



5. Provide editing requests


When it comes to editing, some photographers keep it as natural as possible with only color and exposure corrections. Other photographers will do light edits to smooth skin and hair flyaways. While still, other photographers will offer full professional editing that can include advanced skin smoothing that looks natural, face and body slimming, feature enhancements, digital backdrops, and more. You'll want to know in advance of booking what your photographer offers.


After you've selected your favorite portraits from your session, be sure to let the photographer know if there are any editing adjustments you'd like before they begin editing. A photographer, who is also an expert editor, will use their artistic judgment on how to best portray you. But if there is anything you notice and would like changed, be sure to mention it. That can range from adjusting one's nose, to eyes that squint when we smile, to double chins, to clothing that is wrinkled, smoothing necks, and more.


6. File requirements


Lastly, be sure to let the photographer know how your images will be used and if you have any specific file requirements. File requirements can be confusing but your photographer should be able to understand them if provided by your company or printer. Just give the technical information to your photographer and let them take it from there.


7. Other needs


There are several other services that some photographers offer that you can ask for. That can include a rush turnaround, renaming the digital files by first or last name, group portraits done with everyone together or separately and digitally compiled, having a hair and make-up artist at the session, choosing favorite portraits at your session or in an online gallery.