It was a sunny day when I rocked on up to Milana Radojčić’s cute wee home studio to get some new headshots done.
Now before y’all are all like “woooah, that’s a bit Hollywood there, Viv”, it’s because I insist on presenting at conferences and other such things (something something representation), not so much that I’m going to sign up to some modelling agency any time soon.
Anyway, I’ve had this sort of thing done a few times before, so I thought I’d write a few words around it, for those of us newer to the industry. It might help.
Find someone you’re comfortable with – Ask around for someone you are comfortable working with. Milana is a friend of mine and her home studio is set up to put you at ease. My previous two experiences were slightly different. The first time, the photographer came to our offices and it was much more like those school photos that you all remember and hated. The second time the photographer came to our all-staff team hui in the Gold Coast, and it was in a beautiful appartment overlooking stunning coastal views. I mean, it depends on what you want, but remember if the setting isn’t quite right, you won’t end up with the right vibe.
What outfits are you going to wear? It’s important to think about what outfits you want to represent you, for your forseeable future. I can only afford to get new headshots done every few years, so it can’t be something that drastically ages. It should also not be something that is so out there that it takes away from you.
What backdrop do you want? Who doesn’t remember the terrible tacky cloud background behind photos? It was like we were all trapped in Windows 95.
Caption: Windows 95 background, Old Windows Logo on a cloud background
If you want to insist on a different backdrop from what the photographer has, make sure it enhances the colours in your outfit. Your photographer should be able to advise you on that.
What poses are you going to do? Poses?! This is the most awkward of all! There is nothing that can make you feel weird, then someone saying to you, “Hey it’s ok, just stand normally”. You suddenly become aware of every slight movement of your limbs and head. A good photographer should be able to put you at ease and get a variety of natural-looking poses which capture the essence of what you’re trying to achieve.
What do you end up with? One of the most important things before signing on the dotted line is to work out what you end up with. Some photographers have packages to make it easier… pick carefully. You want to end up with a selection, and at least some in print quality (you never know when Time Magazine wants you to send in a headshot to accompany that kickass article you wrote)
So without further ado, here are a selection of the ones I ended up with. Thanks again to Milana and her team, it was seriously one of the most relaxing photography sessions I’ve ever had. I don’t want to make this post feel all like #sponsored or anything like that, but if you are in Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland), and you are in the market for some more corporate shots, she should at least make your shortlist!