Corporate Headshot

Environmental portrait of male executive

What is a Corporate Headshot?

Everyone probably hates their passport photos – this is because they often make you look like a stupid version of yourself. With the emergence of digital media, headshots with variations in color, pattern, and texture became more popular for having good-looking images, especially for actors and business individuals. One the other hand, many are still confused between typical snapshots and corporate headshots – what’s the difference?

What exactly is a corporate headshot? Unlike selfies and traditional portraits, these are images that are often produced digitally and used for marketing purposes in social media and business portals. Businessmen, who represent a company, often hire photographers to get images for annual investment reports and showcase themselves in the best possible way. This also serves as an avenue where business individuals can show how reputable they are in their respective industries

Corporate headshots are commonly used for:

  • LinkedIn or Business-related social media pages
  • Company annual reports
  • Corporate brochures and catalogues
  • Press releases and company announcements
  • Print media
  • Company websites
  • Advertising materials
  • Resumes

Images from corporate headshots are designed to stand out. Composition, lighting, makeup, clothing, facial expressions, and even accessories should go in line with what you want to express as an individual who represents a brand or business. A good photographer should be able to select the appropriate elements for your corporate headshot. This is the reason why preparations should be done before shoots – if your photographer doesn’t have any idea about the images that you want to have, you’re going to end up with headshots that do not effectively represent you and your business.

How Do You Prepare for a Headshot?

Finding a good photographer is just a part of the equation in getting a great headshot. Before the shoot, preparations should be done so you and your photographer can overcome challenges that most people encounter in a corporate shoot. Your clothing for example, is one of the most important elements in a great headshot, whether it’s for promoting a brand, or auditioning for a TV or movie role – your outfit matters.

  • Get your hair style right. If you’re planning to get a haircut, do it a week before the shoot. This way, you’ll have some time to get comfortable on how it looks and feels.
  • Hire a professional make-up artist. While photographers can apply subtle optimizations to make you look better in an image, they don’t do magic with terrible looking subjects. Make-up artists understand how people will look on camera and it’s their job to make you look great!
  • Communicate with your photographer. Some photographers set up meetings, and others are only available through calls before the shoot. Either way, you should try to talk with your photographer especially if it’s your first shoot. Ask questions, and know more about the things that are going to take place once you enter the studio.
  • Good photographers are able to make clients relaxed and comfortable in a shoot. If it’s your first time, try to enjoy the experience instead of worrying a lot about the images every time the photographer hits the shutter. Get a good night rest – this will help you relax more and look fresh in your photos.

Most photographers who specialize in corporate headshots will require you to bring clothes in the set. To help you choose the best clothes for the shoot, ask yourself this question – How do I define myself, my brand, and my business? Answering this question will help you a lot in choosing the right clothes for your headshot. If you’re still clueless with the clothes you’re going to wear, send a snapshot of yourself to your photographer and ask what kind of clothes work well with your features.

What Makes a Good Corporate Headshot?

The use of photographic elements varies from one photographer to another. Still, they follow specific guidelines as to what defines a “good “corporate headshot. This often includes the effective use of lighting, background, patterns and textures, which complement how you want your audience to view the business or brand you represent.

  • Photos with uncomfortable subjects make audiences feel uncomfortable. If you’re happy in the photo, your audiences will feel the same way too. Good corporate headshots often have subjects in a relaxed and happy mood. Unless you’re sending a serious message in the image – your facial expression should be the same.
  • Aside from the clothes you wear, the background used in your headshot also plays an important role in sending messages to audiences. If you represent a company that sells fruits, having a background composed of fruits is a great idea. With this in mind, you have to make sure that the background you choose isn’t very distracting.
  • The composition and orientation used in a good corporate headshot should be useful for marketing purposes. Whether it’s the rule of thirds, or leading lines, the composition should be able to support the message that you’re trying to say in the image.
  • Photography is an art of capturing light in different spectrums and intensities. Images created in all kinds of photography are considered as “good” when they create a mood through the effective use of light manipulation. This is also applied in a good corporate headshot – subjects should be composed with a good combination of highlights and shadows.

Contrary to what most people believe, headshots are not easy. In fact, most photographers believe that it’s one of the most difficult forms of photography, since images of this kind should be able to market a person effectively. If you live in Singapore, you must have known that there are lots of photographers here who offer client-oriented services. On the other hand, the ones who offer corporate photography are just a few.

Getting a Decent Corporate Headshot for Your Business

So, you just opened up an online business and you can’t find a decent photo for a corporate brochure press release purposes. If you still can’t afford to hire a photographer for a corporate headshot, here are some tips you can use to get decent photos for your business.

  • The top of your shoulders and your entire head should be in the frame.
  • Use the rule of thirds when taking a headshot.
  • Look at the camera directly.
  • Diffuse light to remove skin blemishes.
  • Use another source of light that’s angled on top of your head.
  • If you’re going to use a DSLR, try to focus on your eyes.
  • Do not use wide angled lenses – they are prone to image distortion.
  • Have a relaxed or happy facial expression.
  • Take pictures beside a window if you don’t have an off-cam flash.
Studio Male executive portrait

If you’re looking for a photographer for a corporate headshot, remember this – you get what you pay for!  While some of the aspects of getting a good image can be achieved by following a few rules in photography, light manipulation and post-processing are some of the things that experienced photographers do best. Also, you have to know that all images taken in a corporate headshot legally belong to the photographer you hired. The copyright for these images can be bought at an additional cost.

We hope that this guide answered your questions about corporate headshots. If you have some more questions regarding this topic, don’t hesitate to reach us in our contact page. For more guides and practical tips in photography, you can check out to our blog here 

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The Big Shot

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