I have had the privilege of working with Norm Jensen and many members of his Royal Lepage real estate team over the years. Norm’s daughter, Tammy, recently moved back to Red Deer and joined the family business. She got her feet wet in the Edmonton real estate market before moving back to Red Deer, so she came to see me at my home studio for her first head shot. We kept in touch and when she moved back to Red Deer she presented an opportunity to the entire team to have me come into the office and create a consistent look and upgrade on a number of headshots for the team.
Headshot photography, or business portraits, has long had certain rules, about vertical orientation versus horizontal, how much of the torso should be seen versus just the head space and how the images should be cropped. A lot of the standards were created based upon the camera styles of the day. Most medium format cameras produced square images, or 4×5 ratios (which is why the 8×10 print size is so common). The switch to 35 mm, or 4×6, changed the rules again as it allowed for an obvious vertical orientation to an image and not just square. Now we live in a Social Media world where the profile picture on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn has taken us back to the square format.
When photographing Norm, Tammy and the rest of the fine folks pictured here, I did use my 35 mm format digital camera and I provided them finished digital files in the vertical format. If you want to see how Tammy uses her image, you can check out her website here, but for the sake of educating future clients I have displayed the images in the new (or is it old?) square format. What I like about the square or horizontal format for business portraits is that I feel free to crop off the top of peoples heads! For years I was doing this in family and graduation portraits, and I would always joke, “I just cut the top of your head off, you don’t mind, do you? There’s nothing really going on up there, is there?” and I could usually get a fresh smile out of the client. I have always liked tighter cropped images, I feel it brings the focus onto the eyes, which is where the real story is told.
Let me know what you think, what’s your style and how can I help you create it?