When it comes to getting a great business portrait we suggest you put a bit of thought into what it is you want from your headshot. It’s worth thinking ahead to the end result and then working backwards.
Do your research, plan and ask questions. Here are 5 tips to help make sure your business headshot is amazing.
1. Book a photographer who specialises in corporate headshots
You need a photographer who understands about branding, about business and about what your headshot is trying to say. A photographer who specialises in kids or pets might be able to get a great portrait but that’s not the same as being able to encapsulate your personal brand through a great business headshot. So look around before making a decision.
2. Think about where and how you want to use your corporate headshot
This is really important as ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t always apply to corporate portraits. They can be used across so many platforms and say so many things. Think about what and where you want to use your images.
- Do you need a new profile portrait for LinkedIn? In which case you might want to keep it clean, simple and above all professional. A simple white background is often the best option for LinkedIn profile photos.
- Are you looking at getting a collection of images to use across a range of platforms? If so, think about how you would like them to look. Fun and friendly or more serious and formal? There’s no right way to look – it’s totally up to you and dependent on your brand message.
- Do you want ‘studio style’ portraits with a clean, white background or do you want to use your location or office space as the backdrop? The natural location option can be great for websites and blogs. But make sure that your photographer has portable lighting as natural light on the day might not be the best option.
Do your images need to be colour, black & white or both? It’s up to you but generally colour is the accepted style for corporate headshots. Black and white can seem dated. That said, if you need the shot for a book cover or an AGM presentation you may need it in black & white. The reality is most photographers now shoot digitally and so all images tend to be shot in colour. However, some photographers might charge you for black & white conversions so do check.
Also think about portrait and landscape images. You might need a portrait crop for Linkedin and a landscape shot for your website. Or you may want square for Instagram. Have this conversation with your photographer. It’s easy to do a selection of both and your photographer should be thinking in terms of the end result but it’s worth a quick chat.
Consider if you need some ‘negative space’ to one side of you image for copy/text. Think about all these options and discuss them with your photographer before the shoot.
3. Before you book your photographer make sure you’re clear on the number of images you’ll receive and how can you can use them
Some photographers are happy to offer you as many images as they take in your session time (minus blinks and dupes of course!). Others may have a limit on the number included in the fee. Make sure you are clear on what you will receive from the outset. You may want to choose a photographer who will offer you a range of images so that you can use them across all platforms.
Also make sure you check usage. If you want to use them for social media advertising campaigns, printed material and website, make sure you have a discussion about this. You don’t want to find that there are extra costs involved for extra images, black & white conversation or additional usage. So make sure your photographer is clear about what’s included in the fee.
4. Think about your hair, make-up and clothing well in advance
A professional, corporate photographer should have access to some great make-up and hair teams. If you think you’ll need professional make-up, ask for it. Corporate make-up is different from ‘make-over’ make-up so check out the make-up artist too to check that you like what they do. Hair, this is a tricky one. You don’t want to look too done but you need your hair look its natural best. Hair is one of the hardest things to retouch so if you need to have your roots done before the shoot, get them done. Men, make sure your hair is neat and tidy. If you need a trim beforehand, get one! And clothing, well there’s so much to think about here. If you run your own business, you may have brand colours you want to work with. Speak to your photographer about clothing, they should be able to offer you good advice on this. And make sure you have the option to bring a number of outfits along to the shoot. A back-up outfit can be a life saver!
5. Don’t be afraid to research images you like and send them to your photographer
Do a search for ‘corporate headshots’ on Pinterest; look at the profile photos of your connections on LinkedIn; look at websites you like and see what style of images they are using. Screengrab them, build up your own Pinterest board, bookmark links. Your photographer should be interested in seeing what it is you like so share these images with them. It’s often hard to describe the image you are imagining in your head. Find a way to show your photographer. Or look at your photographer’s website for examples of their work, highlighting the shots that appeal to you.
Need some more help when it comes to thinking about your corporate headshot, sign up for our FREE Download Corporate Headshots: A Business Essential