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How To Shoot Corporate Headshot Photography
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How To Shoot Corporate Headshot Photography

As mentioned before, business headshots are one of the most important forms of photography for your career as an artist and photographer. They’re also one of the hardest because they require you to be in great shape, dress properly (no sweats), and pose convincingly with a pleasant expression.

Many photographers who work exclusively for brands don’t have much experience taking professional corporate portraits, so this can be quite intimidating. Luckily, it is possible to learn how! In this article, I will go into more detail about some basic concepts when it comes to taking professional workplace photos including: types of lights, backgrounds, and props. I will then give you several tips on how to shoot your own professional headshot photographs at no cost or very little money.

Plan your lighting setup

  A good corporate headshot photographer will have several different light sources in their collection. These lights can be natural sun light, studio lights, or off-the-shelf photoshoot lamps. Most professional headshot photographers have at least one main source of light that they use to illuminate the subject. This light is usually an LED light column or panel that is placed directly behind the person being photographed. The intensity and color temperature of this backlight comes down very heavily on how well the photo “lends” itself to the look you want for the subject. By having a strong light, the photograph does as well! Corporate portrait photography often requires additional sources of light such as flash cards or large bounce cards. These add some extra oomph to the image while still letting the pose shine through.

Choose a good outfit

how to shoot corporate headshot photography Choosing your wardrobe is an important part of corporate headshot photography. What you wear says a lot about who you are as a person, and how you want people to perceive you! You do not have to go all-out and expensively extravagant, but looking put together and having matching accessories will help set off your beautiful photo. Good brands that are known for their quality clothing are always recommended when investing in new outfits. Companies such as Gap or Banana Republic are great sources for casual business shirts and jeans. For more formal looks, recommendations include Brooks Brothers, Ben Sherman, or Ecco Factory. All of these sites offer wonderful products that can be costed down a little bit if you are looking to improve your office portrait skills! Make sure to match up colors carefully, and stay within budget! Luckily, we have some tips here for you to consider.

Bring props to use as filler

how to shoot corporate headshot photography Another way to include some background in a corporate headshot is using some type of object or prop that can be used for coverage. These types of portraits are also referred to as “figure-ground” photographs, because your model becomes the focal point against something else. Using an empty wall as a backdrop, for example, makes for a very nice portrait. Or you could put away those toys and use something more professional like a table or chair instead! Whatever you choose, make sure it looks good with the rest of the pictures and that it doesn’t distract from the main subject.

Bring a friend

how to shoot corporate headshot photography As mentioned before, having a partner help is very helpful when shooting headshots. This person can stay outside or in-room while you work through different scenarios. Having a second set of eyes helps ensure nothing gets overlooked. Plus, it’s fun to collaborate! And since most employers have limited time for formal interviews, being able to quickly get some individual portraits made is important. My favorite way to do this is by using a structured pose. A structured pose is one where the photographer has a clear understanding of what they want the subject to do. For example, sitting with their feet under them and arms resting on top of the leg is a common structure that works well. Photographers then use these basic structures as a springboard to create more complex pictures.

Plan your photo shoot

how to shoot corporate headshot photography When planning for corporate headshots, there are several things you will want to make sure you have done! You should already know what clothes and hairstyle look good on you, so making those changes is the first step. Next up is doing some research about your company and its products/services. This includes looking at their website, talking with colleagues and other stakeholders in the business, and maybe even reading one of their magazines or listening to an internal radio broadcast to get more details about them. Once you’ve gathered enough information, it’s time to pick a location that fits your budget and schedule. If this looks like it could take hours to complete then you probably shouldn’t pay too much money for these portraits! Many professional headshot photographers offer early-morning or late-afternoon sessions to accommodate work schedules.

Connect with a photographer friend

how to shoot corporate headshot photography As mentioned before, having someone who is professional in his or her craft to help you take headshots is a wonderful thing! Luckily for us, there are many great photographers out there just waiting to collaborate and create new images with other creative people. Some will even offer their services as a business headshot photograper for companies. While they may charge a small fee to do so, it can be worth it if you are looking to launch your career or grow your career quickly. By collaborating with another artist, you both gain from each other’s strengths and knowledge. This way you don’t have to worry about trying to teach the person what you know, but rather learn something new from them! And of course, this person gets valuable exposure for their work too because anyone can upload an image onto social media sites like Instagram and Facebook.

Bring a portfolio

how to shoot corporate headshot photography Photo by George Milton on Pexels After you have done some research, gathered your equipment, and determined what level of head shot photography you want to pursue, it is time to start gathering your supplies and finalizing your plan! Before heading out to take professional head shots, you will need to make sure that you are well prepared with everything that you will need for the session. This includes bringing your camera, computer, and smartphone so that you do not have to worry about anything being able to edit or share photos later. You should also be familiar with how your settings look like so that you do not have to spend extra time adjusting them while taking pictures. Having this all ready will help you achieve beautiful results quickly! After getting all of these things, then it’s time to pick a location! Finding a good setting can really enhance the overall beauty of your photographs and add some flavor to your brand.

Plan your photo shoot location

how to shoot corporate headshot photography When deciding where to do your corporate headshots, make sure you have enough time to scout the locations before setting up for the photography session. You don’t want to waste time waiting for the sun to go down or for people to arrive at the office if there is no natural light available! It is best to choose somewhere that feels comfortable for you as the photographer, and for the person being photographed. Try looking out windows, using reflective surfaces such as whiteboards, having empty walls, or even lighting curtains or shades in an adjacent room to create interesting shadows. Be careful not to overexpose too much of the face though, otherwise it will be very bright! And remember, most employers allow casual dress so feel free to look more fashionable than business formal.

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