Can you UBER Headshot Photography??
Before the virus changed everything our world was becoming increasingly commoditised. Unicorn start-ups financed by speculative venture capitalists launched apps and websites that de-skilled traditionally complex services. London’s Black Cab Drivers, who had spent a minimum of two years leaning every street, avenue and road in Central London suddenly found themselves competing with unskilled drivers using an app on their smartphones.
De-skilling trades is nothing new. In 1865 a photographer called James Mudd imagined a clockwork camera that could be wound up and sent off to automatically take great views and snapshots.
Recently, VC backed firms have launched services that make hiring a photographer as easy as buying pizza: the Uber model of photography. On the surface this appears to be a great idea. A Unicorn start-up disrupting established businesses. After all, modern expensive cameras are packed with technology, the operator doesn’t need any skill to fire off multiple exposures.
And here the analogy with Uber is relevant. About two years ago I was in the back of an Uber taxi. We were stationary, stuck in an app-generated traffic jam as everyone was routed down the same roads. Eventually I was dropped, 20 minutes late, 400m away from my client’s location (the driver did not know London and simply dropped me where his app dictated). I have taken Black Cabs ever since and always arrive on set early.
How to identify the right professional
Professional photographers are either graduates with three years’ study under their belts or have spent a 3 – 5 years assisting (a hands-on apprenticeship). Many have both. They will belong to one of three trade associations: The British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP), The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) or The Association of Photographers (AoP).
If your headshot simply needs to be a likeness it doesn’t matter how its taken: use a photo-booth. But your professional image has a job to do, it speaks to your target market. Be that a potential employer, clients or your colleagues and managers. Properly trained photographers will ask questions you have not thought about. They challenge your assumptions to create images with narrative that engages the audience you wish to impress. It is quite impossible to pre-programme a camera with three years worth of complex political, social and aesthetic visual analysis.
So, if food quality isn’t an issue order an online pizza, if time doesn’t matter travel by Uber and if your image is unimportant, get a mug-shot.
Professional photography is highly bespoke. It is as individual as you are and simply cannot be commoditised.
Studio Grey is a portrait photography company working from Covent Garden. Our photographers are qualified members of the British Institute of Professional Photography and the Royal Photographic Society. What we offer is a tailored approach to corporate photography, we work intimately with our clients in order to figure out their wants, needs and most importantly, the message they want their images to send. We will work with you on your body language, posing and style as we deliver a shoot that is targeted toward your image needs.
Service: You are the most important person in our world. Without you we cannot hope to capture amazing portraits. Our service is designed to make you feel relaxed, comfortable and confident. Whether you are with us for 30 minutes or a full day.
Quality: Our image quality is second to none. Top quality optics, cameras, lighting and software combine to provide you with headshots that render equally beautifully on websites and billboards.
Value: Working efficiently so that we deliver the highest levels of service and product quality at a price that represents excellent value.
Our clients include: Facebook, Chanel, Kearney, Lombard Odier as well as multiple TV personalities, actors and politicians.
71-75 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9JQ
+44 (0) 207 470 8776
Please contact us regarding any of your photography needs,
either call us or leave us a message through the contact form.