Marketing & Branding Advice

Tips for Portrait Photography During COVID

Photography During Covid

Since the onset of the pandemic and social distancing, in-person photography has been put on hold. But because meeting with clients and prospects cannot be done in-person, bio pages (with recent portrait photos) are more important than ever. Having directed a few portrait shoots recently, here are some tips for a successful shoot:

Plan Ahead

Scheduling is key. Well in advance of the shoot, I create a Google Doc with timeslots so each person can select a specific block of time that works for them. Coordinate with your photographer to determine the amount of time for each block (we typically suggest 15 minutes) and make sure everyone has selected a slot before the shoot date. I also recommend getting cellphone numbers for each person and designating one shoot coordinator in case of last-minute schedule snags (they happen).

Google Doc

Choose a Location

You don’t have to shoot in your office, consider public spaces outside as well as indoor locations (in case of inclement weather). Make sure the photographer scouts ahead of time to determine if each location will work in terms of lighting and style. Check to make sure you are allowed to shoot in the desired location (many public buildings require permission for photo shoots).

Discuss Safety Precautions

Rules for social distancing vary widely and change often, so decide what works for your firm in advance, and include that with the shoot instructions (to your firm and the photographer). During my recent shoots, I wore a mask throughout the day, as did the photographer and assistants. Those having portraits taken wore masks except when they were being photographed.

Distance When Shooting

In most cases, the photographer will be much more than 6 feet away from the subject. During recent shoots, we used a very long lens that helped soften the background as well as allow the photographer to be very far away from the subjects.

Photographer With Mask

David Shopper on location in Boston, photographing attorneys from the law firm Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein LLP. The new Zalkind brand and website will be launching in 2021. See more corporate portraiture by David Shopper at

Galleries for Review

Rather than having each person select their portrait at the time of the shoot, sending a link to a gallery of images allows everyone to review choices safely from their own computer in their own home or office.

Indoor Versus Outdoor Shoots

Indoor shoots can be done very safely. Again, structure your schedule so only one subject is in the room at a time with the photographer. Choose a large space, like a conference room, lobby, or atrium, so the photographer can be six feet or more from the subject.


For help with your next portrait shoot, feel free to call or email me, I’d be happy to provide assistance!


Vanessa’s article also appears in SMPS Boston’s Outlook, October 6, 2020.

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