I spend a ridiculous amount of time working on my SEO. I try hard to position my services so people can find me. As a result, I get a lot of calls asking for headshots. The trouble with headshots is that if you’re not careful, they can be so boring that you just cry. You know the ones I’m talking about.
So when I get a call from a venture capital firm that positions itself as “proud to be working with some of the most disruptive teams in the industry”, the sky opens up and the Light of Hope shines down on me. I love when people think outside the box for headshots.
Meet Heather Widman, a principal at Building Ventures. Part of a team of 4 experts who help nascent companies get funding. Their vision is to build a better world by partnering and mentoring companies that will help our planet.
As a rule, I try to listen rather than talk during the “getting to know you” call. What does their company want to say with the photos? How do they see themselves positioned in the market? How are they different than their competition? If you let people talk for a while, they’ll tell you how to take your shots – not directly or technically of course, but they’ll tell you the experience they want their audience to have when they see the work.
As a VC company, their imagery has to look professional, sophisticated, and compelling. But as a company that specializes in disruptive thinking and innovative start-ups, the headshots have to be non-traditional. They have to feel personal.
We decided to shoot in black & white – classy yet unassuming. We decided to focus in on the team members as they worked together rather than having them look at the camera and smile. I guess you could describe these as “candid headshots.”
The results is a short series of approachable and striking portraits.
Building Ventures has an office at the Boston WeWork. We leveraged their conference room for the above group portrait that became a web banner. Normally, when you’re shooting 4 people around a table, it’s visually awkward – someone has to has their back to the camera or else it looks posed. This setup lets us see everyone clearly and uses reflections and sunlight to give a sense of authenticity.
You can see the candid headshots on Building Ventures’ new site with this link.
Individual headshot photos: engaged portraits with a distinctive look.
Resource: for anyone who’s looking for a general resource, here’s an article about candid photography with good info.