When a company had to cancel their event which included headshots due to Covid-19, it was time to get creative. My contact expressed disappointment at having to wait for another year to get a set of cohesive headshots for their website. I said, “Let me see if I can find a way to create remote business portraits.”
Searching for an app
As the expression goes, “There’s an app for that!” So I began the search.
I remembered reading an article on Facetime portraits, created by JP Elario on the Skip Cohen University Blog. Further research showed this would not be quite what I would need. It did, however, move me in the right direction. I eventually found an Estonian designed app called CLOS, which allows for making remote business headshots.
Working with CLOS
According to the CLOS website, CLOS is “a global platform for everyone, everywhere, to help conduct virtual photoshoot within their communities We have developed a set of pro tools to make it easier to create high quality content for social media Remotely.”
I thought this is too good to be true. Thankfully, it was not. The app worked as promised and allowed me to create business portrait headshots from California to New York City.
The app in action
I’ll give you the short version of how I used the app. After some testing I knew we would need a camera operator to make this work. Using the CLOS app, I opened a room and invited the subject to join as a model.
The camera on the recipient’s phone was used to check the room for best lighting. One person holds the phone and maneuvers it according to my instructions. The subject is instructed in posing.
CLOS allows the photographer to change exposure and focus point on the other phone remotely. Images are saved for me to download for processing. A choice between JPEG, HEIC or RAW are available. I found that HEIC format was my best choice for size and download speed.
Following the download, a small selection of images is sent to the client.
Once they have made a choice the image is retouched, extracted and placed into a common background. This gives a cohesiveness to all the headshots as if they were taken at the same location. Additional dodging and burning was needed to help sell the idea all images were created in the same location.
After extraction and processing, final images ended up at an 8-by-10 inch 300DPI size. That offered plenty of pixels for marketing, website and public relations materials.
Mobile phone technology allowed me to provide remote business headshots to my, at the time, future client. The business was very happy they could move forward with their marketing images. As a result, I ended up with a lifetime client. I like that. What’s your Covid-19 story for working around physical distancing?
Yours in Creative Photography, Bob