Portrait photography: Tips on how to prepare for a corporate headshot

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Headshot or portrait
Image by deadwinter on Pixabay



Whatever business sphere you are employed in, a corporate portrait is essential to not only give a good image of yourself but also your company. For example, if you work in a creative sphere, your headshot could be casual and a little fun. However, if you are a lawyer, your headshot should be smart and serious. In every case, a portrait helps to humanize the business, whether professional, artistic, or casual. In the age of the “selfie,” we must still remember the importance of image in every aspect and go for a more professional approach.

Read the guide below to find out how to prepare for your corporate photoshoot, including clothing, posture, background and more.

Professional headshots

A professional headshot is usually taken in a photography studio. The photographer will use a neutral background and special lighting to pinpoint the subject, i.e. you. Depending on the image of the company itself, clothing can be smart (lawyer, financier, etc) or more casual (artist, designer). The headshot itself not only puts the employee in a good light but also the business itself.

Large companies use professional portraits to present their employees, plus the headshots are used on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc to give a good impression. Professional headshots usually require the use of a professional photographer. It is a good practice to do some research on a related website to compare business headshots and find a photographer who fits your business genre.

Professional portrait or headshot
Professional portrait or headshot – Image by WikimediaImages on Pixabay

Editorial Portrait

This type of headshot is normally taken in the place of work. Instead of having a plain background, this type of photography takes an original, more creative approach. However, it is still considered to be professional. For example, an editorial portrait of a chef would be taken in the kitchen, wearing his chef’s hat. This kind of portrait will often be seen in online articles and magazines.

Editorial headshot or portraitProfessional portrait or headshot
Professional portrait or headshot – Image by Thomas Grau on Pixabay

How to get the best look in a corporate headshot

Many people are self-conscious about certain facial features. Maybe one eye is higher than the other, or you are worried about the appearance of your ears. Never feel shy about explaining this to your photographer. They are used to this and can make a plan to capture you at the perfect angle to enhance your look.

When it comes to your smile, never try to force a smile, because you feel self-conscious. Rather relax and think about something funny while the photographer does their magic. This way a more genuine smile will resonate in the portrait.

Woman's headshot or portrait
Imagen de Anastasiya Babienko en Pixabay

What to wear for a corporate portrait

In the case of men, wear a suit in a darkish color – preferably grey or navy blue. Don’t wear a brightly colored or shiny tie – go with a classic plain color that won’t detract from your features.  Women should go with a professional suit or classic office wear. Simple, classic jewelry is ideal. There is no hard and fast rule about what to wear when having a corporate portrait taken. Basically, ensure your outfit reflects the company that you work for.

Hair and makeup

Ensure your hair is neat, although it is not recommended to cut or color your hair before the photo session, as the hair may not come across as natural.

When it comes to makeup, while some believe a make-up artist is necessary, as long as the type of makeup is light and natural, covering any imperfections like spots, this will be fine. Bear in mind you want to be easily recognized from your portrait – you want it to look like you, but you at your best.

Natural makeup for a headshot or portrait
Imagen de Alexandr Ivanov en Pixabay

Overall, remember a professional headshot should give potential clients confidence about the business. They must get the impression of a real person, ready to give them the services they require. This also works with an editorial portrait, which shows the employee doing what they do best. Most important is to ensure you feel happy, comfortable and relaxed at the photo shoot for the best possible results.