Pop up headshots | Flexible working means flexible photography
Pop up headshots? What are they I hear you ask. Well, they’re a response to the new ways that we go to work.
There’s been a revolution in working patterns in the past few years. And I’ve definitely noticed over the past year or so a shift in the way I work work as a consequence.
For years I’d be booked to shoot staff headshots by visiting the office or premises, setting up in a quiet corner, the boardroom or empty office, be given a rota of names and times and we’d get on with it. And for a large number of my clients, that’s still the case. But since the first Covid Lockdown in early 2020, working practices have changed. For months we all worked from home – because that was the only option – but since then more and more staff have elected to continue to do so. It’s a different story from business to business, and there’s no clear pattern of who is doing what, but it’s definitely clear that going into the office every day is no longer something that the entire workforce does. Some staff might visit once a week, others once a fortnight or monthly, while others never visit at all and everything is done remotely.
Which obviously impacts on the work that I do. So I’ve adapted how I shoot large numbers of headshots for those kinds of companies.
What is now commonplace is that I’m contacted when a company is having a conference or some other kind of get-together. It might be a training session, a quarterly meeting of a Board or sales force from around the country, or perhaps simply a meet up of all the remote staff to touch base for a day. And I’m asked to turn up, set up a pop-up photo studio and offer headshots for anything from an hour to throughout the entire duration of the event. On several occasions in the past year I’ve turned up at a hotel or conference venue, set up my gear and shot as many headshots as possible in a lunch hour (it’s actually quite a few more than you might think!). Or I’ve arrived early in the morning at a conference or training session, set up the heashot studio and come back to it at various points of the day. Staff will have been told in advance of my presence and invited to get new headshots during quiet times, breakout sessions, coffee breaks, and so on.
Because I’m used to turning up in different locations and creating a studio in whatever space is available, it’s hardly any different to how I used to work. The foyer of an airport hotel is the same as a boardroom to me – all I need is a space to set up a backdrop, lights and I’m good to go. The only real difference is that we have to work at a faster pace to fit in as many as possible; but provided staff know in advance, it works.
All these examples were from different events of this kind, shot in different cities, for different companies.
With the increased use of Whatsapp, Signal, Slack and other messaging programs, as well as platforms such as Linkedin, and other social media in general, a lot of people also find it handy to have a few up-to-date headshots to cover the different platforms.
So, just because your staff don’t visit the office anymore doesn’t mean you can’t make provision to update their profiles. It just takes a bit of planning in advance, sending out a couple of emails to warn them, and to give me plenty of notice so I can make sure I’m not already booked.