Corporate portraits are essential in portraying a good image of your company. It’s important to think about the message you are trying to convey and dress to match. For example, a law firm might opt for wearing a suit and looking more serious, whereas a creative business owner might prefer something more casual and fun with their headshot. Portraits help to humanise your business, whether it’s editorial or professional. Here’s a guide for how to prepare for corporate photo shoots; what to wear, your posture and other elements that will help give the best impression possible.
Two types of portraits
There are two different types of corporate headshots which are distinctly different from each other; editorial portraits and professional portraits.
1. Editorial Portrait
Editorial headshots are usually taken within the place of work. This is an original and creative approach, more interesting than a plain background, but is still considered professional. For example, a chef might have their editorial portrait taken in the kitchen, wearing a chef’s hat. This type of headshot is often found in magazines and online.
2. Professional Portrait
Professional headshots are usually done in the photography studio with a neutral background and special lighting so that the pure focus is on the subject. In terms of framing, the subject’s shoulders and top of the bust are usually visible. Office-wear can be smart or casual depending on the company and the image it wants to portray.
Professional portraits are often used by large companies to present their employees, but it is also used on social media sites, such as Linkedin and Twitter, and on CVs as a profile picture. Getting the right balance in a headshot is difficult, below are the main points to master in order to take a successful headshot that gets a positive response!
Important things to consider when having Corporate Headshots taken:
1. Your look
It’s important to think about what your best side is. Some people are self-conscious of certain facial features. Portrait photographers are used to hearing this, so don’t feel embarassed to tell them that, for example, one of your eyes is bigger than the other. In this case, the photographer could angle you to one side so that the perspective makes both eyes look the same size.
2. Your smile
Most people know whether they smile with their teeth or not. Even for professional headshots, smiling both with and without your teeth work, so smile whichever way you feel most comfortable. A forced smile isn’t good and might even make you seem disingenuous. You should be able to recognise a ‘real’ smile through a person’s eyes. Top tip: think of someone or something that makes your laugh, this will both relax you and give you a great, genuine smile!
3. What to wear
For the men… Pick your favourite suit in a preferably dark colour, such as grey or navy blue. Bold patterns and colours, as well as shiny ties, detract from the face and can look unprofessional. If you don’t wear a tie, it’s best to wear a sweatshirt or jacket or some kind of other layer to break it up and stop it looking like a floating head!
And for the women… Choose a professional suit or a classic office-wear outfit. Don’t pick any bold or distracting patterns, however little pops of colour here and there can be alright. Try not to wear stark white unless it’s underneath a jacket or cardigan etc, white tends to make people look washed out. Avoid short sleeves if possible; this can look unprofessional and also detracts from the face. For jewellery, anything subtle and classic is a yes, but anything blingy or flashy is a no. We don’t want to notice your jewellery before your face!
There isn’t a strict rule for ‘what to wear’, so long as your outfit reflects your company. In start ups, for example, a much more “relaxed” style has been adapted. Jeans, t-shirts and trainers are allowed, the idea behind it being that you come to work dressed how you would in everyday life.
4. Your posture
Body language is the key to looking confident. Keep your back straight and don’t hunch your shoulders, think about the posture a ballet dancer has but don’t over do it or you’ll look too rigid. Don’t put your hands in your pockets or cross your arms, this is closed body language and will immediately make you seem unapproachable. Think about your company’s main values or morals and tell the photographer so they can try to help you portray them through your body language.
Don’t dye or cut your hair right before the shoot, this rule is especially imperative for men. Some shades of freshly dyed hair can look too vibrant and usually dull down about 1-2 weeks later.
Lots of people ask whether hiring a make-up artist is a good idea. It is, of course, completely up to you. You want your portrait to be easily recognisable and you don’t want the make-up to overpower the portrait. Furthermore, the camera will pick up clumps of mascara or dark lipstick, so bare in mind how heavy you go on that. A good rule of thumb is to think about what sort of make-up you would wear to a nice dinner out, where the steak costs $30 but not $70.
Corporate Headshots give potential customers confidence when seeking information about your business. It reassures clients that there is a real person behind the services you provide. To give the right, and a positive, impression, choose an outfit and posture that reflects your company’s values. Other than that, all you need is a happy and relaxed attitude to the photo shoot!
To go further check out the TOP 5 advantages to use corporate headshots