Three headshot of the Bristol NIHR team with a blue motif background

Case study – Team headshots with the Clinical Research Network West of England

Sector: Healthcare Research

Background and the client  

The National Institute of Health and Care Research (NIHR) is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research.

NIHR Clinical Research Network West of England (CRN WE) facilitates research in NHS, Public Health and social care settings. Their work supports portfolio studies in 31 specialties in sites such as universities, schools, care homes, hospices, prisons and clinical settings.

Having worked with CRN West of England previously, photographing their Award Ceremony, the team asked me to help them create a set of headshots for the CRN West of England team.

The client’s brief

The NIHR has a clear visual identity, so when it came to refreshing their team headshots, it was important to align the style with their brand guidelines.

The use of logos and motifs in their communication also allows the NIHR to flag the people and places they fund,  unifying the organisation – the NIHR family.

The CRN WE team is a medium sized team based in central Bristol. They are a friendly and close knit group who provide research expertise and clinical leadership on research studies in the west of England.

The brief was to create a consistent group of headshots for 20 team members, initially capturing the headshots on a neutral grey background along with additional post production work incorporating the CRN’s corporate motif.

Our approach

The headshot session took place at the Clinical Research Network’s base in central Bristol. The photoshoot included the headshot sessions along with some informal storytelling photography capturing team presentations, group discussions and coaching sessions.

All the headshots were captured with a mobile studio, set up in a meeting room on location at the CRN West of England office. Initially the headshots were captured using a grey background with a three light studio set up. This lighting set up creates a bright and evenly lit style that’s suitable for a variety of skin tones.

Clients are also encouraged where time allows, to choose their favourite headshot during the mini session. This creates an interactive approach, providing immediate feedback and also allows for adjustments to the lighting, body position and expression during the session. One of the additional benefits of this approach is a simplified workflow with time saved for the team member managing the headshot project.

Editing and post production

Following the headshot session, first stage edits were completed on the selected favourites with the grey background, followed by a photoshop edit stage where the NIHR motif background was added. Sample images were signed off by the CRN WE project manager and then replicated for the rest of the team.

If you’re planning a team headshot day my latest guide will take you through the all the options. 

Working with Nick again was an absolute pleasure.

He is thorough in his preparations and his online processes made it easy to communicate with him our expectations before the shoot – plus he was always at the other end of the phone. On the day of the shoot, Nick’s relaxed and friendly demeanour put each of us at ease. Even though Nick was working with a limited amount of time per headshot, it felt like there was time to get the shot that we liked.

Sarah Jones, Communications and Events Officer

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