Professional Headshot Photography
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Female professional business portrait
Business Portraits or Headshots
I have been running my photography business in Palo Alto and the San Francisco Bay Area for over 27 years.
I recently had a client come to my studio for a headshot session. I asked him one of my routine questions, “How did you hear about my business?” He gave me an answer that inspired me to write this post. He said, “I searched online for business portraits and realized that term is no longer used in the photography industry and the new term is Headshots, that is how I found you.”
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Male portrait for work website
Some people may not even know that the term “business portraits” even existed and how business portraits were taken and used before digital photography and the internet. Well, it was a process. After a photoshoot, photographers sent the film and ordered a set of proof photos. After about a week, the proofs were in the photographer’s hands, he or she would call the client for a choosing session to view and order which portrait(s) they would like to order. The negative is then sent back to the lab with a request for negative/print retouching. The lab would probably take about a week to 10 days to send the finished photos to the photographer. In short for the client to receive his or her business portraits would take about a month.
Male professional portrait
During the second half of the 1990s, businesses started to build websites and we started to receive requests from companies for business portraits to be used on their websites.
Since digital cameras were not widely used yet, we had to send our film to the lab for scanning. Computers were very slow then, to open a 18 MB digital photo would take about 45 minutes.
Photo enhancing software was also limited. I started digital retouching in 1993 with version 2.5 of Photoshop.
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Executive professional business portrait
Not trusting the quality of the early digital cameras, I kept photographing with my Hasselblad camera for business portraits. In the early 2000’s Canon announced the Canon D30 camera which I used to rent for business portraits, it made delivery of headshots faster. It was around 2003 when I first purchased my first digital camera, the Canon 60D, I was pleased with its results in the studio for portraits but not for wedding photography. Since then I have upgraded to many different cameras. I am very pleased with my Canon Mark IV. Now I can deliver retouched headshots to my clients at the end of their session usually within an hour.
Read our blog Headshots Before The Internet.