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Your Company's Facelift - Top Tips for Corporate Headshots

When an image speaks volumes, a well-executed corporate headshot is key. I'm Austen Hunter, a seasoned Pensacola photographer, and in this comprehensive guide, you'll navigate through the critical role of corporate headshots, preparations for a successful shoot, and creative utilization of these images. This read equips you with extensive knowledge and actionable advice, turning corporate headshots into a potent tool for your business's brand identity.

Key Takeaways:

  • Corporate headshots serve as a powerful tool in projecting a company's brand image and fostering team morale.

  • Optimal preparation for a corporate photoshoot involves careful outfit selection, grooming, posing guidance, and ensuring employee comfort.

  • Genuine facial expressions and body language in corporate headshots can create an approachable and professional image.

  • Consistent and subtle editing of corporate headshots enhances their quality and uniformity, contributing to a strong and cohesive brand identity.

corporate headshot tips for planning a company headshot session  man headshot

Table of Contents:

What are Corporate Headshots?

Corporate headshots are professional photographs featuring an individual, typically framed from the shoulders up. They are usually taken against a neutral backdrop, with the subject dressed in appropriate business attire. More than just photos, they are a visual representation of an individual's professionalism and personality. Designed to be high-quality, they must align with the company's branding guidelines. Their use is versatile, including placement on business cards, company directories, resumes, and corporate websites.

Importance of Corporate Headshots in the Business World

Corporate headshots are important elements in the professional sphere, reflecting both individual authenticity and a company's dedication to maintaining a refined image. They are a testament to a business's commitment to professionalism, serving as a visual introduction to potential clients or customers.

Trust is the cornerstone of successful business relationships, and a well-crafted corporate headshot plays a part in fostering that trust. Research from Princeton University shows that judgments about trustworthiness form within a mere tenth of a second when seeing a face. This rapid assessment underscores the significance of a good corporate headshot—it aids in humanizing a company and its representatives, aiding in the development of brand trust and fostering positive connections with its audience.

The Benefits of Corporate Headshots

1. Establishing a Professional Image for the Company and Its Employees

Corporate headshots are an essential element in establishing a professional image for a company and its employees. When clients or customers visit a company's website or social media profiles, they want to see that the business is credible and trustworthy.

A high-quality corporate headshot helps to convey this message by presenting an image of professionalism and reliability. In addition, corporate headshots present employees as experts in their field, which can enhance the credibility of the entire organization.

It sends a message that the company takes pride in its employees and wants to showcase them as knowledgeable professionals. This instant demonstration of expertise through professional photography can make all the difference when it comes to earning trust with potential clients.

2. Building Trust and Credibility with Clients and Customers

The significance of corporate headshots extends far beyond a simple photo session. These professional images are instrumental in creating and promoting a polished image for both your company and its employees. When people interact with your online presence, whether it be your website or social media platforms, they are on the lookout for indicators of credibility and trustworthiness.

An impressive corporate headshot does just that. It reflects an aura of professionalism, reliability, and expertise, reinforcing the company's image and elevating the perceived competence of its team members. The subtext is clear - the business values its employees and takes pride in presenting them as skilled professionals. This implicit expression of competency and dedication can significantly bolster the confidence potential clients have in your business.

3. Enhancing Online Presence and Social Media Profiles

Corporate headshots play an essential role in enhancing a company's online presence by providing visuals for websites, social media profiles, and other digital marketing channels. The interest in seeing who is behind a business is ever-growing and visual content is crucial in making your business stand out.

People are more likely to engage with a website or social media profile when they see staff members they can relate to, increasing the chances of generating leads. A great place to put your headshot is on LinkedIn. Corporate headshots also enhance social media profiles by creating consistency throughout all team members' pages, which plays a vital role in presenting an image of reliability and professional continuity.

4. Improving Employee Morale and Confidence

High-quality corporate headshots can have a significant impact on employee morale and confidence. When employees see themselves portrayed professionally with care put into their photo shoot experience, it can increase their self-esteem while improving their sense of belonging within the company. This sense of camaraderie between employees has been found to increase productivity that ultimately benefits the organization as well as each individual.

Table: The Benefits of Corporate Headshots



​Professional Image Establishment

Conveys professionalism, expertise, and company pride.

​Building Trust & Credibility

Enhances company's credibility in the eyes of clients.

Enhancing Online Presence

Provides visuals for websites and social media, boosting engagement.

Improving Employee Morale

Boosts self-esteem and sense of belonging among employees.

The process of having professional photography taken has proven to be motivational for many employees who believe that it validates their hard work at the company - displaying this through quality photography puts value on both them as an employee while also showcasing the organization's investment in its staff members. High-quality corporate headshots provide numerous benefits for both companies and employees alike: building trust with clients/customers through establishing professionalism; creating brand identity by providing consistency throughout promotional materials; enhancing online presence by engaging audiences with visually appealing content; boosting employee morale by validating their value within the organization as well increasing employee motivation through showcasing investment from employers.

corporate headshot tips for planning a company headshot session photographer on location studio

Planning for Corporate Headshots

Choosing a Photographer or Photography Studio

The first step in planning for corporate headshots is choosing the right photographer or photography studio. It's important to select a professional who has experience with corporate headshots, as this type of photography requires a certain level of skill and expertise.

When searching for a photographer or studio, ask to see samples of their work and read reviews from past clients. Look for someone who can provide high-quality images that capture your company's brand and image.

Deciding on Location, Background, and Lighting

Once you've chosen a photographer or studio, it's time to decide on the location, background, and lighting for your corporate headshots. The location of your headshot should be professional and reflect your company's brand. This could be at your office or another location that's relevant to your business.

The background of your headshot should also be consistent across all photos to create a cohesive look. When it comes to lighting, it's important to choose the right type of light that flatters your employees' features.

Natural light is great if you're taking photos outside or near windows with plenty of natural light streaming through them. However, if you're taking photos indoors where there isn't enough natural light available, consider using artificial lighting such as softboxes or strobes.

Selecting Appropriate Attire and Grooming Tips

The outfit selection for corporate headshots plays a significant role in the final result. It contributes to the professional image of the individual and the overall brand of the company. Here are some tips for choosing suitable attire for corporate headshots:

  • Keep It Professional: Choose professional attire that reflects the company culture and dress code. A formal business suit might be appropriate for a corporate law firm, while a business casual outfit might work better for a tech startup.

  • Consider the Color: The color of the outfit can have an impact on the photo. Solid colors often work best, avoiding overly bright colors or busy patterns that could distract from the individual's face. However, the choice of color should also complement the individual's skin tone.

  • Fit Matters: Clothing that fits well will make a difference in the headshot. Clothes that are too tight can be unflattering, while those that are too loose may appear unprofessional. It's always a good idea to have the outfit tailored to fit well.

  • Layer Your Clothing: Adding layers such as a jacket or a blazer can add depth and texture to the photo. However, ensure the layers are neat and well-pressed to maintain a polished look.

  • Neckline Selection: For women, the right neckline can change the feel of the photo. V-necks can be very flattering because they elongate the neck, while turtlenecks may work for a more intellectual look. However, avoid very low necklines as they can be distracting.

Grooming is an essential aspect of preparing for a corporate headshot as well. Grooming tips for men's headshots include that facial hair should be neatly trimmed, and for women, makeup should be clean and natural. All individuals should have their hair neatly styled, teeth brushed, and remember to bring a touch-up kit for last-minute fixes right before the photo session.

Preparing Employees for the Photoshoot

Proper preparation for the headshot session can make the difference between a successful corporate photoshoot and a mediocre one. The aim is to make each employee comfortable and confident in front of the camera. Here's how to prepare your team:

  • Provide Clear Instructions: Let your employees know what to expect during the photoshoot. Tell them the location, date, and time, and explain the process. You could also provide them with a list of dos and don'ts such as which colors to avoid, what kind of makeup to wear, etc.

  • Pose and Expression Guidance: Help employees understand how to present themselves in front of the camera. Share basic headshot posing tips like standing up straight, keeping the chin slightly down, and looking directly at the camera. Let them know that their facial expression should be warm, friendly and approachable, which can be achieved with a natural smile or a serious yet soft gaze.

  • Reassure and Offer Feedback: Ensure your team knows that it's okay to take their time and make sure they're comfortable before the photographer starts shooting. Encourage them to communicate with the photographer if they have any concerns. Provide feedback and encouragement throughout the shoot to help boost their confidence.

  • Encourage Relaxation Techniques: It's normal to feel a bit anxious in front of the camera, so share relaxation techniques. These could include deep breathing exercises, taking short breaks, or even a quick shake-off of nerves before stepping into the spotlight.

  • Facilitate a Pre-Shoot Meeting with Photographer: If possible, arrange for a pre-shoot meeting or call between the photographer and the team. This allows the photographer to explain their process, answer any photoshoot questions, and get to know the team a bit before the photoshoot.

Proper preparation can set the stage for a smooth and successful photoshoot, resulting in professional corporate headshots that your team will be proud of. It also ensures that the images will truly represent the personality and professionalism of your team, which can greatly contribute to your company's branding efforts.

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Corporate Headshot Tips for Poses and Expressions

Standing vs Sitting Poses

When planning your corporate headshots, consider whether a standing or sitting pose best aligns with your company's image. While standing poses often project an image of authority and professionalism, sitting poses can exude an air of accessibility and warmth.

For standing poses, ensure employees are upright with their shoulders drawn back to maintain a posture that exudes confidence. If opting for sitting poses, check that the chair height allows for comfortable arm positioning, whether on their laps or resting on their legs. Keep props in mind, too - a desk or table can add to the shot, but it's important not to let them dominate the picture.

Natural vs Forced Expressions

Forced or artificial expressions can detract from the authenticity of the corporate headshots. Promote genuine expressions by engaging employees in casual conversation before shooting. Delve into work topics, personal interests, or their passions.

Clear communication is key during the photoshoot regarding the desired expressions. If a smile better aligns with the company's image, relay this in a way that ensures employees don't feel pressured or uncomfortable.

Eye Contact with the Camera

Eye contact in corporate headshots is vital, as it conveys confidence, accessibility, and invites trust. Ensure your photographer can engage well with your team, so they are comfortable enough to maintain eye contact with the lens, thus creating a welcoming image.

"The right pose, a genuine smile, and a professional backdrop are the trinity of a compelling corporate headshot." - Austen Hunter

Body Language Tips

Body language in headshots can subtly communicate an employee's professionalism and character. Advise employees to adopt confident postures, such as standing tall with shoulders back or sitting in a relaxed manner. Hand movements can also enhance a photo, creating a more friendly and relatable image - this could be as simple as resting a hand on a hip or lightly gripping the armrest of a chair.

By keeping these guidelines in mind, you can ensure your corporate headshots convey the right impression to potential clients or customers, and align perfectly with your company's professional identity.

Editing Corporate Headshots

Retouching techniques to enhance photos without overdoing it

Retouching is a fundamental aspect of perfecting corporate headshots. It's the final brushstroke that makes a good photo great, but it's important to approach it judiciously. Overdoing retouching can render images unnatural, potentially doing more harm than good to your company's image.

The trick lies in subtly enhancing features without over-processing. Consider techniques like skin smoothing, which removes imperfections and softens wrinkles without compromising the individual's unique facial attributes. Teeth whitening is another practical technique that helps to brighten smiles and elevate overall facial expressions.

Equally essential is ensuring consistency in retouching across all employee headshots. Uniformity in image treatment contributes to a coherent brand identity and communicates your company's professionalism.

Consistency in editing style across all employee headshots

When planning corporate headshots, consistency should remain a priority. Varying editing styles can lead to inconsistencies in perceived professionalism among your team, potentially causing confusion for clients or customers.

Achieving editing uniformity requires setting specific parameters with your photographer. The lighting, background, and camera settings should remain consistent for each employee's photoshoot. Clear guidelines on the degree of retouching to be applied during post-processing are also vital.

Consider developing an image library of consistently edited employee images. This readily available resource ensures that all images adhere to the same style and can be promptly utilized across different platforms like company websites or social media channels.

In conclusion, thoughtful editing techniques are a fundamental step towards crafting impeccable corporate headshots that align with your company's professional image and brand identity. Striking a balance in retouching and maintaining consistency in style across all headshots is crucial. By bearing these principles in mind, you can expect to yield professional corporate headshots that enhance your company's reputation and foster trust with clients and employees.

corporate headshot tips for planning a company headshot session creative woman headshot

Creative Uses of Corporate Headshots

Corporate headshots can serve more purposes beyond traditional uses such as business cards and company websites. One creative use is to include them in email signatures. Adding a professional headshot to the end of an email signature can create a personalized touch when communicating with clients or colleagues.

Additionally, including headshots on presentations or proposals can make them more visually appealing and memorable. Another creative use for corporate headshots is to feature them on social media platforms.

LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are great places for employees to showcase their professional photos. This not only creates a consistent brand identity but also allows potential clients or employers to put a face to the name.

Corporate headshots can be used for recruitment purposes. Including employee photos on job postings or company career pages can give applicants insight into the company culture and diversity among staff members.

The Psychology behind Facial Expressions in Corporate Headshots

Facial expressions are instrumental in corporate headshots as they are potent conveyors of emotion, transcending the limitations of words. They are key players in portraying a person's professional image, making the connection between the viewer and the subject more tangible and real.

The subtle tilt of the head, the spark in the eyes, or the stance of the body can significantly impact the perception of a photo. It is essential for both photographers and subjects to comprehend the impact of these nuances and select an expression best fitting their professional context, their role, and their intended audience.

For instance, a lawyer might opt for an expression exuding confidence and determination, with a straight head angle and a measured gaze, projecting expertise and trustworthiness. Conversely, an educator might prefer a warm smile and slightly tilted head to portray a more approachable, friendly image, emphasizing empathy and understanding.

The key is to ensure authenticity in these expressions. During a corporate headshot session, it's vital for subjects to feel at ease with their photographer, facilitating the capture of genuine expressions rather than forced ones. Natural expressions have the power to make corporate headshots not only more visually appealing but also more effective in establishing a connection with the viewer.

The Impact of Diversity in Corporate Headshot Representation

Diversity is becoming increasingly important in all aspects of society including business practices like corporate photography. A diverse representation of employees through their headshot images can portray a welcoming and inclusive company culture.

It sends the message that all employees are valued regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, or age. It's important for companies to consider who is being represented in their headshot photography and how it reflects the diversity of their workplace.

For example, including diverse individuals with different body types, skin tones and hair styles can show a company’s commitment to creating an inclusive environment. Corporate headshots are not just about capturing physical appearance but also showcasing a company's values and culture through creative uses like email signatures and social media profiles.

The psychology behind facial expressions in corporate headshots is also crucial in portraying approachability, confidence or authority depending on the context. Representing diversity through corporate headshots is important because it shows a company’s commitment to creating an inclusive environment that values all employees equally.

Frequently Asked Questions about Corporate Headshots

Q: How can a corporate headshot enhance my online presence?

A: Corporate headshots provide authentic visuals for your websites and social media, making your business more relatable and engaging to visitors.

Q: What is the importance of outfit selection for corporate headshots?

Q: How do corporate headshots affect employee morale?

Final Thoughts

High-quality corporate headshots are more than just photos; they're a critical investment in your brand's image and the morale of your team. With careful planning, natural posing, and skilled editing, these headshots can authentically represent your company, fostering trust among clients and colleagues. They also offer a creative way to enhance your online presence. If you are planning to get corporate headshots done, Austen Hunter Photography can capture the essence of your brand and the spirit of your team. Elevate your brand's visual narrative by booking your corporate headshots with Austen Hunter today.



Austen Hunter Photography is a photographer based in Pensacola, Florida who specializes in family beach photography, military portrait photography and professional headshot in a bold and clean style. Austen Hunter has been locally recognized and internationally published . He uses a variety of both natural light and off-camera flash to capture images. People usually book Austen for outdoor portrait sessions or sessions conducted at his home studio.

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Chelsea, Headshot Client

"Wonderful experience! Wanted an updated headshot and Austen and Sarah were amazing. The studio was clean and incredibly nice, Sarah even provided blotting pads to help with shininess I had during photo shoot. 10/10 recommend to anyone wanting to get a photo taken! Thank you again!"


Tammy, Headshot Client

"We are so glad that we found Austen. He did a wonderful job providing us with quality headshot photographs. He made us feel comfortable and gave us good suggestions for posing. We look forward to working with him again in the future!"


Daryl, Beach Client

"Austen and his team were amazing! They were able to capture exactly what we wanted for our engagement pictures and also provided us a tent to change clothes. I would highly recommend him and I would definitely use him again."

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