Not-So-Corporate Headshots with Virginia Harold
Every employee deserves to feel like a diva at their company. Having professional headshots taken of your team not only give your employees amazing Linkedin profile photos but also fosters a sense of investment. Investing in your employees is one of the best ways to build a strong company.
But, let’s be honest—traditional corporate headshots are a bit out of fashion. Enter photographers like Virginia Harold, whose fresh take on company photos is one of the main reasons that Decantery hired her to take ours.
Virginia is a photographer based in Saint Louis, MO, but she grew up in Hawaii. Her work reflects her love of lush, intimate scenes from her time in Hawaii, and she is also inspired by architecture and light. A major focus of Virginia’s work is weddings, but she also likes to take stunning photos of plants. In fact, she has an entire series called “Dreamy Plants,” and we agree that they’re deliciously dreamy.
Earlier this spring, Virginia treated us to a morning of laughter and photography for our headshots. We followed up with her recently to chat about the shift away from the traditional, static company photos of the past.
1) There’s been some movement away from the traditional corporate headshot – what do you think caused this shift?
A lot of our first impressions and interactions are done over the web these days, which is why I think photography has evolved and blossomed so immensely. I think people are really seeking connection with others and are looking for something human and relatable in photos.
2) What do you think is an advantage of using lifestyle/casual/true-to-life portraiture is over the traditional, stoic headshot?
A headshot is an opportunity to portray more than a clinical ID of someone–it can show personality, environment, warmth and really offer a welcoming energy. Making these photos in the workplace and subtly showing some of the environment can say a lot about the person and the company. For example, having a plant in the background of a photo might subconsciously say that this is a “green” company, if that makes sense.
3) If an office wants to prepare for non-traditional photos, is there anything they can do to prep?
Having a clean lounge-like area is the key. A couch or a comfortable chair will make for a great setting for individual and group shots. Have some fresh coffee on hand for employees.
4) Does taking non-traditional headshots come with more challenges than traditional “sit and shoot ’em” style headshots (like a stool in front of a backdrop)?
Taking non-traditional photos is definitely less formulated than the traditional shots, so it does require a lot of in-the-moment problem solving. With traditional shots, it’s pretty much the exact same every time–It does require more equipment, like bringing in a background and lights. With non-traditional shots, I’ll still bring a light source with me just in case, but if there is ample window light in the right place, I will absolutely go for that first, since it is more natural looking and easier to use.
5) What time of day do you prefer to do portraiture like this?
If we are shooting indoors, any time will do. I personally like morning shoots. Most people are feeling fresh and we can drink some coffee and start the day off in a fun way.
6) Last but not least, Snickers or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups?
Reese’s all the way!