Doing corporate headshots are part of the “first impression” problems that all companies face in their marketing plans. And that can create some real pressure in making everybody look good so viewers will find some kind of physical appeal in the people making the products they buy. However, most people know that corporate headshots sometimes belie what’s beyond the frame, especially in a photo showing a CEO looking overly warmhearted. This doesn’t mean corporations don’t win people over by going this route until customers hopefully find out the picture wasn’t a lie.
What happens, though, when a CEO might have some physical characteristics they’re afraid would show them as imperfect? Perhaps they have acne or a thinning hairline that makes them afraid of having a headshot for all to study for the next decade. The same may go for all the corporate staff that could have headshots taken for display in a waiting room.
In these instances, should you use Photoshop to cover up flaws for the sake of posterity? Or is there a new philosophy developing in customers appreciating the very real as a way to bring something others can relate to?
The Dangers of Using Photoshop in Headshots
The most obvious danger in this regard is having people notice that Photoshop was used. Many companies offer this service for corporate headshots, and they do more than just do slight touchups. They sometimes completely alter faces so the eerily perfect symmetry of the face shines through. No signs of facial bumps, acne, stubble, or pockmarks will be visible under the watch of a Photoshop master. It gives the illusion that your company is full of perfect people who’ve never had chicken pocks in their life.
While this might work for some people, the world population has developed a way to see through the illusion of Photoshop. That’s because we’re all familiar with seeing ourselves in the mirror and knowing the reality of flaws. Despite some people being fortunate enough to look perfect without makeup, they sometimes become the victim of office politics for eerily looking a little too perfect.
Just as much as we can scope out CGI in movies, our sixth sense in identifying Photoshop shows how astute we’ve all become to spotting fakery. While we still may be fooled by some things on Youtube, the Photoshop we see used on models for magazines is largely derided by just about everyone. Despite magazines knowing this, they continue to try to fool us by making waistlines, arms, legs, and facial flaws reduced or eliminated.
Will we finally get away from all of this, and should your corporate headshots take a dare to go real so you capture a different type of demographic?
Going Real to Capture the Demographic You Want
Your decisions for the above may have to depend on the demographics you want. If you want to be as down to earth as possible in relation to a product you’re selling, a corporate headshot that’s done untouched might be the greatest dare you ever took. A decision to show every flaw on your face can prove to your customer base that you’re as real as real can get. For customers looking to connect to a company that’s transparent and personal, it’s a perfect way to start based on how noticeable it’s going to be.
By being boldly real, you may send shockwaves through the corporate world that may be imitated while placing Photoshop editors out to pasture. The only thing that would keep them employed is doing slight touchups nobody readily notices. But even the removal of one tiny flaw could cost you customers who see a part of their selves in your corporate photograph.