Corporate Headshots for Effective Personal Branding
The Importance of Corporate Headshots
Having a corporate headshot in today’s world really is invaluable, for both the business world and today’s booming digital world. With everything and anything being promoted and readily available online, visuals can stand out amongst the sea of data which is constantly filling up our screens. Business is ruled by online marketing and with so much competition out there, branding (whether personal or corporate) is now more crucial than it’s ever been.
Whether it’s for your company, product or yourself, branding and professional image can play an important role in the difference between getting hired, doing business or even selling your product. Incorporating a quality headshot into your branding will help to present a professional image, shows that you’re up to date, and can also provide you professional material which you can use everywhere online (website, LinkedIn, social media profiles, blogs etc), as well as giving you or your business an edge on your competition.
Having a selfie or a holiday snap as your business headshot just won’t cut it when it comes to representing yourself for a job application or in the corporate world. Today we are also expected to build a social media presence in our professional field and a quality headshot will give you an advantage when building this up. Having a professional portrait will also show that you understand and care about the value of image in business.
There are plenty of reasons to have good photography and campaigns representing you and your business but let’s start with the one every individual needs... a corporate headshot! Headshot photography can really help illustrate the right image for you in your chosen field. To help you understand the value of this and to help get you started, we’ve put this in-depth guide together to help you with some headshot tips and guide you through the process of getting the best professional portrait.
The Positive Impact of a Professional Portrait
Professional photography benefits your personal branding! Having a professional portrait is an investment into your personal branding and career path. It may be a bit costly but it’s well worth the investment. It can give you the edge over a competitor, especially when applying for a job with many other applicants.
The main impact of a corporate headshot, whether it’s for the team section on your corporate website or for your personal use, is that it provides a professional appearance and shows that you care about personal image and the power of visual elements. There are so many ways you can use your professional photo, so you’ll certainly get your money’s worth. Read on to find out exactly how you can use your professional photo.
How Can You Use Your Professional Photo?
Investing in professional headshots for personal or corporate use has a whole host of benefits. Not only can the images be used for job applications and to update your portfolio and CV, but the images can also be used across your website, blogs, LinkedIn, and social media profiles. If professionally taken, the shots can also be used on things like business cards and your company picture.
The Importance of a Good Photographer
To create the perfect corporate headshot means having the right headshot photographer to help you feel confident and relaxed whether it’s in the studio or on location, and to get the results you’ll be most happy with. A specialist photographer will help guide you through the whole process of your photography session and provide expert advice on features such as outfit choice, headshot poses, lighting, location, and background options. A good photographer will ensure that your session is tailored to your requirements.
What Makes a Great Business Headshot?
There’s having a professional headshot and then there’s having a great professional headshot which will help make your personal or business branding stand out from the competition. Visual branding can carry immense power, and the same goes for your corporate headshots and therefore worth investing the quality in.
Many people now have a business portrait so making yours stand out from the crowd is important. This doesn’t mean that you yourself have to stand out or look unique, it’s more about the quality of the photo and the effort that is put into the creative process.
Whether the images are for your staff or for your own personal use, having a great business headshot requires researching into headshot poses, the headshot background, location, as well as the type of light might can be used.
There’s more to just standing in front of the camera and smiling – there’s actually quite a bit more to it! There’s different position poses to consider such as standing, sitting, or an action shot, as well as thinking about your facial expressions, and what your arm and hand placement is like.
In order to get a great business headshot, you need to come across as both relaxed and confident. To help with this, you can rehearse some facial expressions beforehand as well as practice chin awareness and breathing exercises. The benefit to hiring a headshot photographer is that they’ll be able to guide you through the whole process and will know what poses are working and not working.
Your headshot background can influence the clients you want to book, or the future employers you’re trying to attract. The most common type of background is a plain coloured background, especially white. A white background is tried and true, looks great for anyone and really is timeless. As well as plain backgrounds, you could also think about a brick wall background, natural setting, or even your company setting such as an office space, or a city landscape if your office has a good view!
A studio setting is typically the most common for business portraits, however there are many other locations which you could consider. The main reason that a location shoot might be preferred over a studio setting is to emphasise the nature of a business or service you’re providing, as your photo can influence the clients or employers you want to attract or book.
If you’re not very technical, this is one more for your photographer, however you should still carry out some research as to what type of lighting you might prefer to have. Some of the most common lighting styles for portraits include; Butterfly lighting, Loop lighting, Rembrandt lighting, and Split lighting.
How Can I Prepare for a Corporate Headshot?
Once you’ve booked a professional photographer, they will help guide you on how to prepare for your headshots, however it’s still important to carry out your own research beforehand to ensure that you make the most of your professional shoot session and get the best results which you’ll be the most happy with.
Some of the key preparations you can carry out before getting a corporate headshot includes – how to choose a corporate headshot photographer, some research into which type of headshot you want, outfit details, hair and makeup details, as well as how to smile in a photo. You can find all this information below in more detail!
How to Get Ready for a Photoshoot
If you invest in the right headshot photographer, they will help to make you feel comfortable, relaxed and confident which will come across in your business portraits. Getting ready for a shoot all comes down to receiving professional guidance and carrying out the right preparation beforehand. It’s also important to not underestimate the smaller details as they can often end up being the biggest flaws in your portrait photography. Some finer details might include piercings, an un-ironed shirt, unwashed hair, too much makeup for example.
How to Choose a Corporate Headshot Photographer
When it comes to choosing a corporate headshot photographer for your portraits, it’s important to carry out your research into how reliable the photographer is and how good their customer reviews are, their pricing packages, as well as having a look at some examples of business headshots they’ve photographed before if possible. You should also make sure to have a conversation beforehand (either a visit in person or over the phone) to make sure both yourself and the photographer are clear on what you want to get out of the photography experience and to discuss the type of headshot photography you’re looking for.
Different Types of Headshots
There are different types of headshots, and choosing your style really is a personal preference and might also be influenced by the industry you’re working in or looking to work in. Whether you’re looking to update your profile picture, your management headshots, staff photos, or even your freelance photos, you will want to consider the type of business portrait.
When it comes to your business headshot, there are various factors which affect your style such as whether you want a studio image or an image on location. The main other factor which you’ll want to consider is whether you want traditional headshots or modern headshots. Traditional headshots are usually created in the studio in front of a formal background, whereas modern headshots are usually shot outside or in a different business environment, as well as using angles, lighting and more movement.
Business Headshots Women
When it comes to business headshots women, you really can’t go wrong with the more natural and realistic approach. Yes lots of makeup, lots of hair spray and a new business outfit can make you look smart and feel important but it’s not always the best way to go, especially if that’s far from your everyday look.
Not sure where to start when prepping for your shoot? Hopefully you would have done a bit of research beforehand, however as long as you take a selection of outfits for the day which your photographer can choose from, then you’ll be able to make the most out of your session and no reason for not getting the perfect images.
Choosing the right clothes to show you at your best is always hard, however your photographer should be able to advise you on this beforehand. Certain outfits and colours will work (and not work) in different lighting, with different backgrounds, and what type of style of shots you’re going for.
As a general rule though, some key things to think about include; which colour suits you best, whether you want a traditional or more modern look, and whether you want to wear any layers. It’s always a good idea to avoid low cut tops and bare arms as well, as this can be quite distracting.
Top tip: Don’t be afraid to bring a change of outfits along with you to allow your photographer to decide what works best for you!
Hair for Headshots
Think of your headshot photography as a passport picture but a much more professional version - finding a balance between keeping it realistic but also dressing the part. When it comes to hair for headshots, you want to keep things quite minimal but smart, although it might depend on what industry you’re in.
The ultimate goal of your headshot is to meet the people who are viewing your photo, whether it’s a future employer or a future client, so you should look like yourself to ensure that the person viewing your photo will recognise you in person. If you’re unsure of the style of hair to choose, you can’t go wrong with opting for how you normally wear it but a bit more polished and styled.
Makeup for Professional Headshots
Similar to your hair, you’ll want to keep your makeup realistic and how you’d normally choose wear it. Unlike Actor headshots or a Makeover photoshoot where your makeup will be more exaggerated, you should keep your makeup professional and not too distracting. A good place to start is having clean, healthy and well moisturised skin.
Business Headshots Men
Headshots men - A good business portrait communicates who you are and what you do. Therefore dressing as you would normally in your job role or work environment is recommended, as well as acting natural and relaxed to exude confidence.
The most common details to consider for when prepping for your shoot is your outfit choices and how you’re going to style your hair. As long as you take a choice of outfits for the day though, you should be covered.
In terms of your outfits, you can have a think about whether you want to opt for a standard business look of a suit jacket, dress shirt and tie, or more of a casual business look. In most cases, the biggest question asked is whether tie or no tie for your professional image?
Especially if it’s your first time that you’ve opted for a pro photoshoot, it can be difficult deciding on your headshot outfits to best represent yourself or your company. Similar to the advice for women, you’ll need to have a think about which colours suit you best – even just having a flick through your past photos on Facebook can help to decide this. Lighting and background options can have an effect on your outfit choices though, so don’t be afraid to bring a change of outfits along with you on the day to let your photographer guide you!
Hair for Headshots
When it comes to your hair for headshots, be careful not to go too OTT with the products as the more natural the better. We suggest avoiding any products that give a matte look, as these can make your hair look dull and lifeless in pictures. Instead, opt for hair products that enhance shine such as hair sprays, gels, and other products to make your hair look healthy.
How Often Should I Update My Professional Headshot?
Although it’s great to have a professional photo over an amateur one such as a selfie, it’s also incredibly important to keep your image up to date to ensure that you give a realistic impression of yourself. It can depend on the type of industry you’re working in or looking to work in, but you should ideally look to update your headshot on an annual basis, or at least every few years.
Outlined below are some good tips on when you should consider updating your professional headshot which include periodically, after a career change, after moving, or if you’ve changed your style or appearance. Avoid having an image from 10+ years ago and check out our advice below.
This is particularly relevant if you use LinkedIn regularly and if you like your LinkedIn profile to reflect your latest career updates and changes. You don’t need to update your portrait if you’ve changed job in the same industry, however it’s recommended to change your headshots if you change career path. For example, you’ll want your portrait to reflect the type of work and clients you’re looking for and therefore your portrait from your hairdressing days will need to be different from your new days as a real estate agent, just as an example.
You might want to consider updating your business headshots after moving house, especially if you work freelance or have your own company. This is because moving to a new area means new potential clients. Your headshot background or even your headshot poses can influence the clients you want to book. Location is key when shooting your portrait, and therefore if you’ve moved into the city for example you might want to reflect this in your photos.
Update Your Style
It’s suggested to change your corporate headshots after you’ve updated your style, particularly if it’s quite a drastic change in your appearance. With today’s accessibility on social media and everyone having a digital presence, means that a client can get to know you before they even meet you. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure that you’re recognisable to your clients and should reflect any major changes such as a new haircut or style, or weight changes for example in your imagery.
As the years go by, you might not necessarily notice much change in your appearance as they can often feel subtle changes, however others might see those subtle changes as bigger changes in your appearance. Therefore, keeping your headshot photography fresh and relevant on an annual basis (or at least every two years) will benefit both your own portfolio, as well as helping clients, customers and colleagues keep up with your changes.