Corporate Headshots – Missed Opportunity? The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

August 22, 2016

Think about your current corporate portrait for a moment. If a picture paints a thousand words, what does your portrait say about you?

If you have shot a “selfie” of yourself in your car, at a party or at a beach, is this really suitable for say Linkedin, your corporate web site or any other business related media? What if your image makes you look bored, untidy, old, unwell, nervous, arrogant etc.? I guess these are “images” of yourself you’d rather not display – yet I see many such images on corporate sites – or worse (perhaps) no image at all. You’d probably agree all these people are missing out on the opportunity to start with a great first impression. In fact, many are probably actively creating a bad first impression. "Corporate Portraits", Headshots, studio lightingLow Cost Headshot Style - Studio formatComposite of some headshots completed in low cost style for a leading international corporation at their Sydney CBD office - Corporate Portraits. Good portraits don't need to cost a fortune!

Perhaps your corporate portrait is rather more important than you first thought.

Everyone is a photographer these days. We all carry a camera with us in our phone. So one way to stand out from the crowd is to have a have a very good corporate portrait which has been created thoughtfully and is well produced. It doesn’t need to be professional, so if you have the skills and equipment you can do it yourself but you will probably benefit from a few good tips.

  • Think it out from the perspective of the viewer. What do you want them to “read” from your image? Confidence, intelligence, commanding, friendly/approachable, neat/organised etc. Pick out YOUR key points then work out how to display them visually.
  • In context with the above point consider; clothing, grooming (including make-up & jewellery), posture, expression, choice of a colour palette.
  • Consider the background/location.  You want the background to add to the scene but not to be too busy or distracting.
  • Consider lighting. How a face is lit can make a huge difference to the presentation of the person e.g. soft beauty lighting through to hard-edged, deep shadowed black & white. There are many options.
  • Your choice of lens and camera angle can also be used to create moods and impressions. e.g. a low camera angle, can help make a person seem more commanding. A wide angle (e.g. phone camera) is generally not flattering and best avoided. A "normal" lens to slight telephoto is genrally considered the better choice.

Dental Care worker and equipmentDentist, dental technician in her work environmentA more thoughtful and creative style. Focus is on the person but the image tells the viewer a lot more about the person and what they do - modern equipment and a person who is kind and caring Obviously a talented professional photographer is going to be the best bet for a lot of people and costs are probably a lot less than you think. It is worth making enquiries but please be sure to do your due diligence. Check out the photographer’s background and experience and ask to see samples of their work. Make sure they have a formal business structure and appropriate insurance. A safe selection method is to select from a professional accredited with the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP). They do the due diligence for you and they include a “Search For A Professional” function on their web site. Or, if you live in Sydney, you can just call me…

You can find more Tips in my PDF (follow the link)