Headshots are there to show your best. The camera highlights minor flaws on your skin that you would never notice when talking face to face. So it is usual practice to edit and retouch your headshot to bring it more in line with the real life impression of you.
Some headshot photographers in Sydney do not include editing and retouching in their quote. Do you need it?
These are the things a professional photographer does to your portrait to bring it from the camera to a finished state:
- Adjust light levels
- Adjust color balance
- Crop to the right dimensions
- Basic Retouching
- In depth manual retouching
- Facial sculpting
- Specific styling
But all of these steps are optional. There is no rule of how much service a headshot photographer includes, and what is an add-on.
What is normally provided?
Few people give you a file right out of camera. A restaurant analogy is a chef who cuts the raw ingredients then leaves you to combine and cook yourself. They wouldn’t last very long.
Most headshot photographers will complete at least step 1 & 2, as the end user does not have calibrated wide gamut screens to do the adjustments.
After this, it all depends on who you choose. Some will charge you an hourly or per photograph editing fee. It can quickly add up if you have 20+ staff.
What is Cropping?
Consistency is important. Due to different heights and sizes of people’s faces, cropping correctly has a huge effect on how your brand is perceived. Cropping can be done by your web developer or headshot photographer. You crop differently depending on where the headshot will be used.
What is Retouching?
Basic retouching could be an automated action batch run across all staff. It’s fast and cleans up blemishes caught by the camera, but generally results in faces that look plastic and unnatural.
Manual retouching is adapting techniques to each individual person for the best effect. One shot may take 2 or 20 minutes to complete. This is usually done for Executive Portraits, but many photographers will not spend this time and effort on mass staff headshots.
Retouching Red Skin
Correcting red skin is one of many steps in the workflow. It is an important but manual task of a headshot photographer. Many headshot photographers in Sydney do not do this, and leave you with a photograph like on the left.
After red skin reduction you get the image on the right, which looks much closer to the real person.
The top example is for a natural edit, and in the bottom the client wanted a dramatic, gritty style to their headshots. These are more pronounced examples, but it affects most Caucasian and some Asian skin types to a degree.
In both cases I think you will agree the retouched result is far better and worth a little investment.
There are other levels of retouching we perform, and it changes depending on each person’s needs. Here is another example of editing in headshot for dark eye sockets and skin blemishes.
We include Fine Touch retouching to all staff. We simply don’t see why you would want your staff to spend this effort and not look their best. Instead of lowballing on a quote that requires addons, we give you a complete quote that’s great value.
Your staff will look at their headshots daily for the next ~5 years. Do you want them to hate the photograph you provided, for the next 1826 days?
More importantly, your directors will get retouching. What message does it send when the other staff are treated differently?
A little investment could instead give them a headshot that’s so enjoyable and effortless, that all their friends compliment. What would that do to morale?
Valent Lau Photography provides Staff Headshot Photography at your business location in Sydney. Contact us now and let us help your staff look and feel their best every day.
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