Should you go for a studio or environmental portrait for business?

07 Jun 2019 by Pauline Gabrielli

You only get one initial image to put yourself out there in the corporate world, and that means you’re going to want it to be as close to perfect as possible. Obviously, we’ll leave what you wear and how you make yourself look in the shot up to you, but details like the setting and background are not to be forgotten.

Do you go for a leafy, outdoors surroundings to make you seem relaxed and outgoing, or a studio canvas to seem focused and professional? Does the photo match the brand image you’re trying to portray? Hopefully, this short guide should answer some questions on how to create the most effective corporate headshot.

I) Studio portrait

First of all, it’s worth mentioning that studio portraits have a lot of flexibility. They don’t have to be black-and-white, or with you sitting in front of a beige canvas, or even looking particularly serious. What studio is really about is precision - putting the photo in a controlled environment where you can then really work on specific details. Let’s take a look at the specifics:

Studio isolates you from any surroundings.

This is fairly underrated. If there’s too much going on in the background of your headshot, you begin to have a frame that just looks cluttered and messy. You don’t want your business to look messy!

When you can choose what exactly is behind you, you can control everything from color matching to texture. It puts more control in the hands of the photographer, and ultimately, you! If you’re aiming for an industry where precision and professionalism are key, then framing this kind of image is quite important.

meero studio portrait

© Meero

It also means you can control the lighting. Natural light is always nice, but sometimes it can go wrong. Badly wrong. If you try to shoot outside on an overcast day, you can end up looking grey and shadowy, as if you’re in mourning. That’s probably not really the vibe you’re trying to give. Also, it will end up obscuring your face! If you’re in control of the light with a professional corporate photographer using an electronic flash, none of these mishaps has to happen.

This minimizes costs by making sure you don’t have to wait for the right conditions or redo a shot, and certainly cuts down on wait times.

It’s also more private and intimate, while still flexible.

Another pro of isolating the subject like this using a studio is that you become the sole focus of the shot. Your face gets to be the star of the whole frame. That means your eye contact is stronger with the viewer, and body language gets to have much more of an impact. Show potential clients or employers you’re confident but open, establish a kind of authority with your stance - in essence, show a potential employer you can work a room without actually being in the room.

Also, being in a studio doesn’t mean it’s a mugshot! You can really play into different angles and distances with the extra control the photographer has over the situation. In particular, you can choose between close-ups and medium shots of more of the body. Since you’re in control of light, it also makes it easier to get more creative with positioning and posture. Studio shots are still used by young, dynamic companies, like our own Meero.

II) Environmental portraits: in or outside

A more modern approach to corporate photography, this shot can take place outside or inside. In general, being captured outdoors or at work is the best way to show a more creative and relaxed side to your personality, and is used more often by creatives: chefs, musicians, freelancers, etc. Although it’s a more complicated process, requiring you to choose a good location, the right conditions outside, and maybe some post-production editing, it looks more natural and implies you’re more inclined to original, innovative thinking.

Outside: casual, relaxed and has natural light

The outdoors also makes it more clear you know how to balance work and life. You’re not in the office all the time, you have a healthy life outside of work, and are a multi-faceted individual. That’s ultimately a large part of what will appeal to new employers and customers: you as a person. It’s this kind of presentation that really shows more complexity, while still being a clearly professional shot.

meero environmental portrait

© Meero

You’ll already know that natural light is the number one thing for photographers, painters, and other artists to capture a scene in all its beauty. Natural light makes you look healthy, fixing a balance between too much shadow and too much shine, not putting any unusual lighting emphasis on any part of the face and allowing your natural good looks to really come into focus.

Inside: tell a story and channel more creative energy

Placing the shot of yourself outside of a planned studio - during your free time, at home, or during a free moment at work - really gives the feel of thinking outside the box. You like to relax and get ideas from everyday life; you’re not too office-heavy and like to channel your personal creativity into your daily work.

environmental portrait meero

© Meero

It allows for a much more colorful and natural feel to the photo. You’ll probably feel more at ease outside of a staged, small studio environment, giving the appearance of being captured ‘naturally’. This really gives a sincerity to your image, as if you always look that good even caught off-guard. If you want to show your creative side, outside is the way to go.

This approach also plays into a person’s natural attributes in a different way - by carefully arranging surroundings you can really show much more about yourself than you would with a standard studio shot. If you work in design, for example, you could be captured in a workshop, or with particularly nice interiors; the detail can be the background itself and this can be applied to practically any industry. This is particularly helpful to really get your image out there at first glance. The old saying ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ really makes sense applied here.

But remember, at the end of the day, it’s about the quality of the photographer.

III) Meero, the solution to all your corporate photography needs

Meero has the ability to organize either of these corporate photoshoots with 3 simple clicks.

Whether you choose a studio headshot or an environmental portrait, Meero can send a professional photographer straight to your office or a chosen location, set up a canvas or other equipment, and then have all your professional shots done in a few hours. We’re an international company, so no traveling to a studio is required!

Our three offers comprise:
Professional: Our professional portraits represent people in their work environment. We use natural lighting only and find a location in the office or around the workplace.

Premium: Our premium portraits showcase a very corporate look with their seamless background and the artificial lighting that takes portraiture to another level.

Personalized: Any special demand? Artificial lighting outdoors? Any ideas to make your portrait looks unique? We will take everything into account to reply to your demand. (includes custom background paper colors)

We then handle all the editing and formatting and send our photos back to you in 24 hours! All content is yours to keep and kept as long as you like on our platform in high definition.

We also provide innovative new alternatives like corporate video, which give you the opportunity to promote your image and capture key moments for your company.

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