By Douglas Gritz
I was first asked to come and create headshots for Denver-based Equus in the summer of 2016. I’ve been asked back three times since to create additional headshots of their staff, including this month. The most recent two headshots sessions have both been in December. This is when Equus has staff from all four of their offices in Denver for meetings. As I’ve explained in previous posts, this is a great time to get headshots for your company because it’s a chance to get headshots with a consistent look. On the websites of most companies I see, the headshots are not uniform. This is usually because different photographers are hired at different times or in different cities, or new employees come on who are asked to supply their own headshot.
Even for companies that hire the same headshot photographer for multiple appearances, results can differ between sessions. This actually has happened with me and Equus. The first two times they hired me to create headshots of their staff, I was given a medium-sized room with a brick wall in the background to work with (they liked the idea of brick as a background).
In between my second and third time (which I wrote about here), the company moved to a new location. Gone was my medium room. Instead, what was available to me was a tiny office. It did have a brick wall at least, but because it was much smaller than the previous room I worked with, it meant the background would be a lot closer to the people I was photographing, which meant the background would be sharper and the brick bigger than in the previous photos. I let them know this when I arrived. They were OK with it (no other options they said) so I moved forward with setting up.
So I was back this month for more headshots of their staff and given the same room. This and the last time have been fun because they have offices in London, the Philippines, Dallas, and Denver. So I never knew from which part of the world someone as from that would walk in next. And getting to hear a thick British accent all day was a treat (I love to imitate accents and I have to catch myself from accidentally launching into one when talking to someone with an accent!).
Below are some of the headshots we came away with from this latest session. They had a pretty stacked schedule of staff who needed headshots. Because the room I was in was so small, I had to really work hard to place my lights strategically around desks, chairs, and computers. I like to do different lighting for men than for woman. This usually entails taking my third light and placing it in the back as an edge light for men and bring it forward as a second key light for women. I realized while setting up there was no way I was going to have time to do that between subjects (I always ask if it is possible to line up all women and all men in a row to minimize this but it is rarely possible). So I had to adjust and settled on using the light set up I use for woman for both sexes. When I got a man in front of the camera, I did lower the intensity on the second key light to create a little more harder shape to the light for them (softer light is preferred for women).