Last week I spent some time on a charity headshots photoshoot with Inspire, a local, independent charity supporting young people to build a positive future through a range of engaging personal development programmes. From helping young people to overcome mental health issues, boosting personal confidence or academic abilities, the charity is renowned for the positive outcome it has had on the lives of many young people across Suffolk.
I’ve been getting to know the individuals who work behind the scenes for the last two years and have been in awe of the work they do for the local Suffolk community. I was very proud to be asked to tell this special team’s story; people giving their all to support and change the lives of those they work with for the better.
I am often expected to work to a tight timeframe, but with Trustees and staff arriving on location for a Board meeting at 5 pm, this charity headshots photoshoot needed some serious forward planning; This is when preparation and communication are key. I Simply had to ensure that I could be quick with the camera as I would only have three to four minutes with each person, and I would need to capture their personality within a short session.
To maximise time, I undertook a recce before the board meeting. I also coordinated diaries in advance to ensure we had enough time to do proper headshots. This meant that during the shoot itself, I could focus on getting to know each person and capture their personality. Understandably, most people I meet feel at least a little nervous when they come to their headshot sessions, not knowing exactly what to expect – often the first question I am asked is ‘where do you want me?’ Being able to reassure, and put them at ease allows me to capture a bit of “them” which is my top priority when it comes to taking storytelling images.
Having as much as possible planned in advance helps me to relax and I truly believe that reflects onto the people I am photographing. After all, if I was flapping around in a last-minute panic that wouldn’t make for the most relaxing environment! Someone once said that walking into a photoshoot is like walking into a party on your own, which can be daunting for even the most extroverted people. I always try to make the process as quick and painless as possible before any natural defence mechanisms can get the better of someone. I now find that I can make very quick and accurate deductions about people’s personalities in new situations. It’s almost like a superpower and I always feel proud of what I have achieved when I’m reviewing my work back at the studio. In every headshot session my main goal is to present an image that really portrays my client and their personalities.
One of the key Inspire team members who was first to be captured in this charity headshots shoot is the charity’s Chief Executive, Terry Baxter and I think his image sums up just how warm, knowledgeable and approachable he is. For anyone who knows Terry (and I’m sure that includes many of us within the counties borders) I hope you’ll agree! When you work with Simply C Photography headshots are more than just a photograph of you. They’re about telling the story of your company, charity or organisation; their people, and their culture. This is what happens when you work with me.