Getting the most out of your photoshoot with a professional photographer.

Most entrepreneurs need photos for their websites.  Many think what they need is a head shot or simple portrait, but with a little more planning and forethought, they can get so much more out of the time they spend with a professional photographer. This is a story about some quick and easy ways we can made several years' worth of photo options from just a little extra effort in the planning stages.

Two summer looks.  Max Eicke inside with his table and chairs, and outside with his "T Table" and stackable chair. Using the theater as a backdrop was my way of telling the world where he was based,  instead of writing it in a caption.

People often ask if I do head shots, and I do, but I prefer to say I specialize in shooting 'entire websites'.   For me, a full website session takes only a little more time, and for the money you were spending anyway on a portrait session,  this gives you a much bigger bang for your buck.  
A homepage image from

Max Eicke's story is a perfect example. 
Max designs furniture. I wanted to photograph him with his work (and some of his work alone) in enough different outfits that he would have photos to send to publications for years, and in any season.

In a few hours, we shot six different outfits in different locations, covering a range of seasons and levels of formality using his furniture prominently, or in the background in almost every shot.

The key to a shoot like this is planning out out your wardrobe in advance, changing outfits for each location, and of course, having a great location to work in.  I often say your background is 50% of your image and you should use it to your advantage. 

I also like to capture a lot of product shots (without people) and product detail shots for my client to use the way a cook uses spices to season a meal: sparingly, but with impact.
Above, some of the many photos we shot for Max, and the story he wrote about the experience on his blog.

A playful closeup with one of his cubes, and a summer look down to the flip flops with his "E" desk.

Same background as above, but much closer, in a more wintery outfit.

Max has since been featured in dozens of blogs and publications (including the NY Times) and my photos have been included every time. A lot of publications don't have the money to send out a photographer to tell your story, but if you have good quality publicity ready photos, they will often print them, and pay me for the usage (Ask any photographer what makes them happy, and 'credit or links' and 'payment' will be somewhere on the list). It helps to have a range of images and focal lengths,  meaning tight shots, and wider ones showing some of your environment too.

Many publications are looking for 'lifestyle portraits' meaning not just a head shot, but a portrait that also says something about you and what you do, all in one photo.  Of course you can use these images  all over your website, blog, and social media....but it helps to hold some back as well. That way, you have 'fresh' images that have not yet been published, and you can maximize the value of that one day you spent doing your 'website photo shoot'.
Not all portraits require faces.  Not all chairs require people sitting in them.  After considering what you would 'normally' do for a portrait, you might want to think about other options just to make sure you have an interesting mix of photos.

Two years after our shoot, Max is still getting these photos published with little stories about him and his work all over the world.  Sometimes we add a new piece with a few photos here or there, but nothing that requires the complexity or expense of that first shoot.
We photographed this particular table on a different day, but it only took a few minutes and his been published dozens of times in blogs and print.