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Whenever we hear the word “photographer” its quite natural to picture a person merely holding a camera and clicking away. Sounds simple right? But here’s a little secret about professional photographers… they’re actually master multitaskers! It is this skill and experience that brings value to the photo session. It’s the true secret behind the quality of photos you’re getting!

In the 30 minutes it takes to snap a few photos for a professional headshot, here’s what’s really going on through the mind of an experienced professional photographer before and  during the photo shoot.

The Stories Studio

Before the client arrives for a photo shoot

An experienced professional photographer always seeks to understand the client’s brief, concept, or desired outcome, which helps to figure out a style that works best. Here are some questions that a photographer is likely to be thinking of while preparing the studio for the shoot:

  • Who is my client and what is his / her background?
  • What will he / she need these photos for and how can I make sure the photos meet that need?
  • How many backdrops should I prepare?
  • Is there enough natural light in this space?
  • What other light source should I have on standby?
  • What interesting prop or furniture pieces can be used to tell his / her story?
  • Will my client need to sit or stand in the photo?
  • How can I make sure the set up accommodates my client’s height and size?

Photo by Aditya Wardhana on Unsplash

During the photo shoot

From greeting clients at the studio entrance, to exchanging a few friendly words, experienced photographers are always thinking two steps ahead silently in their minds:

  • How many varieties of shots will my client need or that he / she possibly use?
  • What angle would compliment this person’s facial features, height, and body shape best?
  • How can I make my client’s outfit look great in this shot?
  • Does the backdrop complement his / her outfit and skin tone?
  • What position or pose would look most natural yet professional for this particular person?
  • What would this person be comfortable doing for a good photo?
  • How can I get my client to relax?
  • How can I capture the most natural candid expression that my client has?
  • Is he / she feeling comfortable in this setting / temperature / with me?
  • How else can I make this person feel comfortable?
  • How else can I bring out this person’s personality in photos?
  • Is there any other value I can add to my client during my short time with him / her?


Phew! That’s a lot of things to be considering! All this while ensuring that the technical aspect of the photo shoot runs smoothly so all the shots are achieved.

So the next time you’re planning to get your headshots taken by a professional, you’ll know what value you’ll be getting for your time and investment.