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Head Quarters: 60 Offbeat Headshots to Kill LinkedIn

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Who said corporate headshots have to be boring? This international data security company put me through a headshot photography marathon but heck, aren’t these offbeat headshots hilarious!?

Almost any portrait photographer, even in the fine arts niche, has done headshot photography, including me. Often commissioned by the professionals—and LinkedIn is at the top of the supply chain there—scores of executives, librarians, chefs, lawyers, journalists, administrators, bankers, software developers, analysts, real estate agents, doctors, et al  at some point seek a good-looking, trust-radiating, and business-opening portrait. These are mugshots meant for business cards and “About Us” pages. Thus, this is the most basic and clean type of commercial portraiture, presuming minimum or no creativity. (There is a wackier spin-off for actors and musicians, though.)

I’ve done a good share of those corporate headshot photography so a recent inquiry from Protegrity, a data security company, sounded routine to me… until I asked them if they have any established headshot “identity” for me to adhere to. I was directed to their “People” webpage and jumped in anticipation of something different this time. I noticed that the photos there indeed needed a good technical polish and a refresher but I could not miss that there is a moderate push to step away from the boring corporate headshots. Don’t know if it was the reflection of a an overseas corporate culture (met lots of Brits and other Europeans there) or the previous photographer’s experiment but I was aching to stay on track of the offbeat headshots. Received an approval by their PR Director and headed off to their new US headquarters in Stamford, CT.

The office doesn’t look like a corporate office, at least not the one I worked for 11 years before quitting to run my own business. It reminded me Shutterstock headquarters in the Empire State Building where I shot several weeks ago: one big open floor with no cubicles (don’t remember seeing offices but may be wrong here) and a sense of openness and interactivity. People seemed rather relaxed and informal, almost randomly scattered here and there while work-chatting. CEO’s office did not have a “big boss” desk (yet?) and was in fact a conference room with a couple of his family photos. This was the room where I ended up doing the headshot marathon, keeping CEO out and about. By the way, he appeared to be one of the nicest CEOs I’ve seen. Look for Hemingway down there.

In all, there were a little over 60 people and I worked with them for three hours. To be on the safe side, I preceded each of those offbeat headshots with a typical and safe portrait but why talk about them here? I tried too hard making people comfortable and cooperating to not feature such a fun bunch! Enjoy these playful and uncommon headshots that will surely make Protegrity stand out and add quite a human touch to such a serious venture as data security. I apologize to those few for whom this experience was a little unexpected. See, you I’ve put some others through even worse! And that “Airline lost my baggage”? True story. The gentleman flew in the day of the shoot, hence the un-office wardrobe.

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Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov is a creative director and lead photographer of Zorz Studios, Manhattan-based boutique photography studio, offering arousing and daring fashion, commercial, beauty, and wedding photography. Multiple Fearless Photographer™ award winner, named among the top 50 US wedding photographers, top 10 NY wedding photographers, winner of Adobe contests, featured by Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle et al, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week photographer, and a distinguished member of Grace Ormonde Wedding Style‘s Platinum List, he is eager to step out of his and willing clients' comfort zone to pursue original artwork with a lasting impression.

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