Corporate Headshot

Environmental portrait of male executive

What is a Corporate Headshot?

Whether you’re between jobs or just starting out at the office, getting your Corporate Headshot done is an event in itself. Your hair has to look neat, the clothes you wear needs to be professional but no, you can’t look too stiff, you want to look friendly. This will probably be your LinkedIn profile’s display picture for the next ten years. Of course, you’ve got to get it right.

These close-up images, usually taken from your shoulders up, usually have the subject looking directly at the camera. Corporate Headshots are used on company websites, social media pages and business portals. It allows similar industry professionals to recognise you, putting you in the best light possible for potential clients and hiring managers checking out your LinkedIn page. Basically, your Corporate Headshot makes the first impression.


Corporate Headshots are commonly used for:

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


Every single detail, even down to your accessories, plays a huge part in making your Corporate Headshot stand out especially when you’re representing a brand or a business.


How do I prepare for a Corporate Headshot?

A picture paints a thousand words. Cliché as that may sound, if a photographer shoots an unprepared subject, there’re only so many words that one picture can say! Get down on these tips to get you groomed and ready for that winning shot:


  • Style your hair neatly. You don’t want any hair to be covering your eyes or getting into your face. If you’re planning on getting a haircut, do it a week before the shoot so you’re comfortable with your new do.
  • Hire a professional makeup artist for your shoot. Your everyday office look just won’t do. A professional knows how studio lighting works, and will be able to doll you up for the camera to capture your best angles and features. If you can’t afford one, YouTube has some great tutorials for you to learn how to do your own studio makeup. (Guys, this applies to you too!)
  • Choose the right clothes. Bring a few outfits with different colour schemes that best portray you, your brand and your business. This gives your photographer a good range of colours to work with.
  • Accessorise tastefully. Keep it simple with your jewellery, and try to only wear 1-2 pieces. For men, if you’re sporting an ear piercing, unless it’s part of your brand image, it’s better to leave it at home.
  • Communicate with your photographer. Make sure to schedule a meeting with them prior to the shoot to discuss your needs, so he/she can prepare the right elements for you. If it’s your first time doing a Corporate Headshot, ask questions about the flow of events so you’re clear on what to do.
  • Get a good night’s rest. You know the drill. No matter how much skincare or makeup you put on, if you’re sleep-deprived, it shows up on your face. A well-rested body makes you more relaxed and keeps you looking fresh.


How do I pose for a Corporate Headshot?

  • It’s all about the angles! Everyone has a side they favour while taking photos. Prior to the shoot, identify the “more attractive” side of your face, and use it your advantage. Practice your poses in the mirror and remember; you never want to be facing the camera directly.
  • Look at the camera. Keeping your angles in mind, a Corporate Headshot always has the subject looking into the camera.
  • Beware of the your chin! Sometimes, even the position of the camera can make it look like you have a double chin, even if you don’t. This neat trick from suggests for you to imagine you’re holding an orange underneath your chin. This way, it creates space between your chin and neck. Goodbye double chin!
  • Shoulders back, chest out. If you find yourself slouching, sit up! When you have good posture, it shows that you’re a confident professional who means business.
  • Sometimes, when people have a camera in front of them, they have a natural instinct to smile. Can you imagine yourself smiling all the way throughout a 30-minute shoot? Your cheeks will be hurting! Give your photographer time to adjust his/her camera settings and when they’re ready to shoot, they’ll let you know, and you can flash that winning smile.


What makes a good Corporate Headshot?

Now that we’ve got your personal preparations covered, let’s talk photography and studio elements. We’ll try not to get too boring here, but these are just basic guidelines all photographers go by.


  • Relaxed and happy subjects. Feel the way you want your audience to feel when looking at your headshot. However, if you’re sending a more serious message with the image, your facial expression should be the same.
  • An appropriate background. They don’t necessarily have to be plain white, but make sure it matches your clothing and your brand. E.g. If you sell fruit, a background with fruits would be appropriate. Just make sure it doesn’t steal the attention away from you!
  • Good composition and orientation. Whether it’s the rule of thirds or leading lines, the composition and orientation of the Corporate Headshot should support the message you’re trying to bring across, whether it’s for a press release or your company’s website.
  • Proper lighting. When used properly, lighting plays a huge role in the overall mood of the picture, effectively communicating your brand’s message and tone.


Contrary to popular belief, Corporate Headshots aren’t that easy to produce. In fact, most photographers believe it’s one of the most difficult forms of photography! These images have to effectively market a person, brand or business, which is quite a huge responsibility.


What’s the difference between a Corporate Headshot and a Corporate Portrait?

Your photographer may have asked if you wanted to get a Corporate Headshot or a Corporate Portrait done. It’s easy to be confused since they both bear similarities in that they’re both business portraits, but here’s how you can tell them apart.

As we’ve established, your Corporate Headshot makes the first impression. These images are a professional representation of you and your brand, and normally tightly cropped from the shoulders up, while the subject is looking directly at the camera. These are usually for company websites and LinkedIn pages.

As for Corporate Portraits, they have a little more artistic quality and invites the viewer into your world, giving them a taste of what your personality is like. It’s not as tightly-cropped as a Corporate Headshot, and can include different compositions, such as mid-shots and full-body shots. Creative treatment can be applied to a Corporate Portrait, and is usually less formal than a Corporate Headshot. These can be used for press kits, corporate brochures/catalogues or even magazines if you’re being featured in one!

Some great examples of artistic treatment include use of dramatic or mood lighting, using different props and outfits, and an interesting background. In comparison, a Corporate Headshot is usually done in the studio with a neutral background, where the subject is well-lit and dressed formally, without any props.

While a Corporate Headshot only has one subject, a Corporate Portrait can take either one person or everyone in your company, depending on its purpose. Company Corporate Portraits are usually commissioned by a company’s marketing or public relations departments, so they probably have the most creative control over the shoot. This makes sure the portraits best represent the brand and the company.

If you’ve read up to here and realise that you’re actually looking for a Corporate Portrait instead of a Corporate Headshot, click here to find out more.


Shooting your own Corporate Headshot

If you’re a fresh grad or starting your own business and can’t afford to hire a professional photographer for your Corporate Headshot, make use of these tips to get the perfect shot for your resume/business –


  • The top of your shoulders and your entire head should be in the frame.
  • Use the Rule of Thirds, a photography guideline where the composition of an image is divided equally into nine parts, horizontally and vertically. Placing the subject within the intersection of these dividing lines and or along one of those lines will make the picture look more interesting and energetic.
  • Diffuse light to remove skin blemishes
  • Use another source of light that’s angled on top of your head.
  • If you’re using a DSLR, try to focus on the eyes.
  • No wide angle lenses! They’re prone to image distortion.
  • Have a relaxed/happy facial expression.
  • Take pictures beside/facing a window if you don’t have an off-camera flash.

Now, you’re ready to take that Corporate Headshot!


While Corporate Headshots taken from home are great when you’re in a fix, nothing beats headshots done by a professional photographer. If you’re looking for one, give us a call or drop us an email to see how we can meet your needs. For more photography tips, check out our blog.


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