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Everything on Corporate Headshots | Dressing, Pricing, Poses and Tips

For a corporate headshot, you need a few simple yet important things in place. Learn all about them as well as ways to do this in the most easy and cost-efficient way!

Are you seeking to build your professional portfolio with the best corporate headshots possible? Are you still confused about the technicalities behind capturing professional headshots that stand out? Look no further. Accompany us as we take you through a roadmap that will definitely help you in nailing that first impression.

Discover the fine balance between simplicity and assertiveness, and learn how a well-crafted headshot can speak louder than words. You not only get to comprehend the technical aspects associated with lighting and background but also get to dive into some really cool tricks for leveling up your professional headshots. 

Trying to get the perfect corporate headshots isn’t rocket science but there’s always a technical way to approach them. Rest assured, from ideas on styling to boosting your confidence, our guide is here to help you with anything and everything you need to know about getting the ideal headshots for all your professional endeavors. 

What are Corporate Headshots?

“So much fuss around creating the perfect corporate headshots! Aren’t they just portraits of yourself wearing formal clothes?” Yes, they are. But again, No, they are not. Let me explain.

Corporate headshots are definitely pictures of yourself, captured in a portrait mode. However, the sole focus of these headshots is to talk about the demeanor that you have the potential to bring to your professional setting. That Facebook display picture of you enjoying ice cream, used as your LinkedIn display picture isn’t the best way to fetch you professional connections. 

For any kind of headshots, getting your face and shoulders photographed in a portrait mode isn’t the only goal. Headshots are particularly shot with a purpose. A good corporate headshot is supposed to make you look simple, assertive, and confident.

A book is always judged by its cover. Sad, but true. After all, first impressions matter. In the era of the digital world, headshots are nothing but your ultimate way of building that impression. When you browse through any company’s website, don’t you check their team members? You sure read through their bios but isn’t their picture doing the talk? 

In the simplest of words, a corporate headshot is a semi-close-up photo of your face and shoulders that acts as a visual representation of your professional identity. Use them as your LinkedIn profile picture, put them on your business cards, or place them on your resume. All in all, corporate headshots are your first chance to do professional branding for yourself on any professional platform. 

Are Corporate Headshots important?

Yes. 110% Yes. 

To understand the importance of corporate headshots, take a look at the two pictures shown below.

A woman posing for a headshot with focus on her makeup and hair

Both of these are amazing headshots. No second thoughts about that. Both the women look confident and prove to be great subjects for a professional photographer. The picture on the left naturally takes your focus on the beautiful blonde hair. For the second picture, you are more drawn to how the eyes and the lips have been artistically done to enhance the facial features. 

Now, take a step back and imagine yourself as the employer. Would you, as an employer, hire someone for a professional role based on these headshots put up on their resumes? The answer is a straightforward ‘No’. While both the headshots speak volumes of the photography skills, they significantly fail to bring out the professional attitude of their subjects.

You are automatically distracted by different fragments of the headshots, be it the hair or the lips. These headshots could actually stand an impressive chance of getting you to audition for acting roles or modeling. But, if we are considering the role of a project manager in any firm, I am afraid to tell you that these headshots are likely going to get rejected in the first place itself. 

Corporate headshots are not just glamorous indulgence. They are absolutely necessary for you to build your personal branding on any professional platform. You could be a seasoned executive or a freshman out of college hopping onto the job hunt.

Your headshots are going to portray your identity even before you have the chance to talk about your capabilities and achievements as a professional.  However, one must always remember that all great corporate headshots are great headshots. But, not all great headshots are great corporate headshots. 

What do I wear for Corporate Headshots?

The first of many confusions for anyone having their corporate headshots clicked, is choosing the attire. Rightly so. After all, your dressing style sets the tone of how you are going to be assessed. The attire directly affects the outcome of your corporate headshots.

A formal attire is a no-brainer. Having said that, it is equally imperative to understand the industry you are going to position your professional headshots for. Remember, dressing styles are subjective to industrial sectors, your comfort zone, and also the place you are shooting at. Wearing them right can give birth to pretty amazing corporate headshots. Read along to learn more about styling tips. 

  • Basic is the Best for corporate headshots.

  • Try to pick the color for your attire in contrast to your background. A white shirt is an old classic choice against a colored wall. At the same time, white against white could dampen the look of the image.

  • Play with the tonalities and hues. This means you could go for mix-and-match options. A light yellow top matched with a blue blazer against a light-colored wall will give you outstanding headshots. 

  • If you want to wear that lipstick that makes you feel confident, go for it. However, remember to tone it down with your make-up. For corporate headshots, the more does not always mean the merrier. 

  • It is advisable to avoid bright colors unless you belong to industries that demand them.

  • Say an immediate no to wrinkled shirts and pants. Your clothes must be clean and well-pressed, thereby reflecting effort.

  • For specific professions, sticking to the industrial dress code is the best option. For example, if you are an attorney, it is best to click your corporate headshots with your practicing lawyer gown.

  • With the focus being primarily on your face and shoulders, avoid unnecessary accessories. That crystal necklace peeking out of your shit’s collar is a big ‘No’. Earrings that are taking away attention have to be canceled. If at all you want to wear them, go for short silver studs. 

  • If you’d like to be clicked with your glasses on, make sure they are free from visible scratches or spots from your fingermarks. 

  • If you have the means, try having multiple options. Five shirts and two backgrounds can give you multiple outcomes. Experiment with all combinations possible. You’ll be happily surprised with what worked for you. 

A dark suit in contrast to a white wall = A perfect corporate headshot!

Truth be told, men find the hassle easier because of less fuss around dressing styles and attire and while we might not be able to solve it, we could, for sure help you with tried-and-tested guides. If you are still interested in diving deeper into learning more about the best fits for corporate headshots as a man, try this guide to easily navigate the nuances better. As a woman,  these tips might work greatly in your favor. But if you are struggling with dressing styles and what might enhance your corporate headshots, here’s your quick guide to check out.

Over-accessorizing for a corporate headshot isn't ideal

How do I pose for Corporate Headshots?

Minimalism is the answer. Think about what you’d want to convey with your professional headshots. Keeping your arms crossed and head straight might make you look over authoritative. On the other hand, smiling ear-to-ear is likely to give the impression that you are not serious enough. The key here is to keep a balance. As the first step, you need to be really relaxed. A lot of photographers end up clicking professional headshots that look robotic or grumpy. As a hiring manager, will you shortlist someone who looks pissed off at the first glance itself? NO. 

Expressions and pose play an important role in your corporate headshot

Looking directly at the camera can generate confident headshots but if it’s making you feel and look weird, try moving your face (and shoulders) slightly away from the camera. Only a little. Pair it with a genuine smile. No grinning. This way, the professional demeanor is kept intact while also keeping it friendly and natural.

A man posing slightly tilted at a comfortable angle for a professional headshot

If you are looking to learn more about professional headshots, [Insert Link on professional headshots] will guide you with ease. While if you are on the lookout to learn about the tips and tricks on how you could DIY headshots, we have you fully covered with [Insert link on how to get perfect headshots with AI]. 

What backdrops are best for Corporate Headshots?

If you want to play it safe in indoor professional headshots photography, neutral backgrounds are your best bet. A solid-colored wall helps to keep the focus on your face which is also the ultimate aim for headshots photography.

💡A great trick is to find a wall that is in contrast with your blazer or attire.

Dark-colored walls against a white attire or the alternative equivalent is a great way to go ahead. However, it is strictly advisable to avoid positioning yourself against floral wallpapers, walls covered with polaroids, quotes, or any art pieces.

Your corporate headshots are going to be about you reflecting a professional attitude. Too much happening on the walls will easily drift attention and lose the effect of the effort you put into styling yourself perfectly. But, if you don’t happen to have any other option, go ahead and click your corporate headshots against the mandala wall.

We are here to fix your issues and help you with the best corporate headshots. Once you have the headshots ready, head onto our magic solution for your undesired backgrounds to be removed. You could apply the same technique if you had opted for outdoor shoots. 

The easiest ways to get your professional headshot without going through the hassle of a professional photoshoot

How should I prepare for Corporate Headshots?

Before attempting to have headshots clicked, you must have already gone through a lot of other samples on the Internet. However, we are taking the onus to remind you that corporate headshots are likely to be subjective depending on your respective professional ventures. We highly recommend you to check this guide in order for you to settle for an ideal vision based on the industry/ sector you are working in.

After you have narrowed down on your vision, feel free to scroll through some well-defined corporate headshots shot by photographer Varun Patel and convey the same to your photographer in advance. Clear communication beforehand will help the photographer to understand and prepare for actualizing your vision of the ideal professional headshots. While all of these are definitely going to help you in preparing the look before your final day, don’t forget to remind yourself that corporate headshots are going to be reflective of yourself and your professional image.

A professional headshot that you are fascinated with on the Internet might look bland when you try it. And, it is absolutely fine. Do not over-stress yourself with the outcome. Make sure you have got enough rest before heading for the shoot. Keep yourself well hydrated. Try to schedule your shoots in the first half of the day to avoid any kind of exhaustion that might show up on your face. 

If the thought of preparing so much is already causing you a headache, we have a solution, again! And no, we aren’t recommending Saridon. Head on to Insta Headshots and let AI handle the chaos for you. Now, you can conveniently DIY headshots tailored for you from your selfies to. That too, within 90 minutes. Minus the stress of all the preparations. 

Professional headshots made easy on InstaHeadshots platform

What if I’m not photogenic or hate getting my photo taken?

Trust me, we understand. Getting photographed with the goal of capturing the most ideal professional headshots can sometimes get on your nerves. Not everyone is as confident as Donald Trump. *smirk* Nor is everyone born to be subjects at photography sessions. Especially, when the focus is on attaining a planned vision. Awkwardness and uneasiness might easily creep in. The ultimate advice is to RELAX. As cliche as it might sound, relaxing while getting your corporate headshots shot isn’t just about letting go of effort. You have to stop overthinking of the outcome and enjoy the process of getting your headshots clicked.

If you feel you aren’t the most camera friendly person, talk it out with your photographer. Give him the chance to know his subject better. This way, he might be able to devise better strategies for you to pose. An equation, built on comfort and trust between you and the photographer will positively help you in facing the camera. The outcome: more natural corporate headshots!  If you are getting consumed with awkwardness, you might find these tips extremely helpful.  

And if you don’t want to navigate the hustle of a photographer, a set-up, and positive self-talk on feeling confident, you could still get excellent corporate headshots. How? Through Insta Headshots. All you have to do is upload selfies as directed on the platform and go about your day. The platform’s powerful AI will generate and deliver some amazing professional headshots to your mail address in less than 2 hours.  

How much do Corporate Headshots cost?

To get your corporate headshots clicked, figuring out costs could be easily one of the trickiest parts. Why do I say so? Mostly because you are likely to get scammed if you're not careful enough. 

Rates are subjective to the region you are hiring from or are currently located in. The photographer’s experience also comes into account. Charges tend to elevate during peak business season. Other parameters like backdrops, location of shoots (indoor/ outdoor), timing of the sessions, change in costumes, number of looks, retouching, etc. also make up for the varying rates. 

Corporate Headshots photography is generally offered in packages. Analyze your requirements and choose your packages wisely. For any base package, the shoot spans over 30-90 minutes on an average. And, you get to have a predetermined number of retouched headshots. Approximately, these packages range from 250 USD to 2500 USD. (Premium packages could easily take this upper limit to an extraordinary high.) For every additional image that you might require other than the fixed number, you’ll need to shell out extra 50 USD - 100 USD per image. While you could also get headshots clicked at as low as 25 USD per photo, the quality remains to be questionable and I bet you wouldn’t want to negotiate on the quality of your professional headshots. 

Flytographer platform showcasing different packages for a professional headshot photoshoot

If you want an alternative that saves you both your finances and time, choose Insta Headshots without giving a second thought. You pay a mere 39 USD for the basic plan for 100 HD headshots that come across more than 50 styles. Isn’t it impressive?

InstaHeadshots has transparent and cost-efficient packages for your professional headshots

How do I choose the right photographer?

Getting your corporate headshots clicked by a friend’s friend who shoots weddings might not be the most effective idea. Of course, this could save you some bucks. But, will this photographer be able to bring out the best of your professional demeanor through the corporate headshots he has clicked for you? Not really. 

To help you evaluate before finalizing your headshots photographer, we are here with some suggestions. 

  • Reviewing Portfolio: Make sure you have checked the photographer’s work in the same domain. Ideally, the corporate headshots or professional headshots that your photographer must have clicked for other clients or business firms. Do these headshots align with your vision? Do these headshots excite you about being captured in a similar style?

  • Reviewing Testimonials: Once you are assured that the photographer has the potential, diligently  go through all the reviews, testimonials and comments of previous clients on the photographer’s website. Contact the clients personally, if possible. You wouldn’t want to take chances on investments like these.

  • Short-listing photographers: The first two steps have necessarily narrowed your search to a handful of them. Try to short-list 3 headshots photographers that you feel aligned with from their previous work.

  • Scheduling appointments:  Fix appointments with the headshots photographers that you have shortlisted. Preferably in-person. If not possible, virtual works as well. Clearly communicate your requirements, share your ideas, and ask questions during these consultations. You’ll organically get to know who understands your vision better, clarifies your queries, and makes you most comfortable. 

  • Discussing finances transparently: Headshots photographers are likely to offer their services based on packages/ sessions or other parameters. You must ask for full transparency in disclosing and locking in a particular package based on your requirements. 

💡Bonus Tip: Do not go for someone who talks a lot about their skills but is hesitant to show samples or lacks understanding of your vision. 

What role do lighting and technical details play in headshots?

Lighting is one of the key elements that can make or break your images. If your space has ample natural light, go ahead. If not, you might need lights. No, not the fluorescent or vibrant colored lights. Ring lights placed close to your face(but not too close) and your upper body are just enough. Outdoor shoots can be a bit tricky for corporate headshots. Even if you opt for it, remember to shoot your headshots in broad daylight and against a background where there’s not much happening, a.k.a, a neutral background that contrasts with your outfit. 

Important parameters to consider before deciding on the technical aspects: image quality, resolution, low-light performance, autofocus capabilities, and ergonomics. A lot of times, many skilled photographers like to shoot using the one-light technique. An excellent way to go for the ones who know what they are doing. The end results largely depend on the number of lights used. The differences could be very trivial and yet quite impactful. 

DSLRs continue to be used in headshots photography. However, headshots photographers are now widely using mirrorless cameras, medium format cameras, and high-end compact cameras. Whatever the choice, cameras must be placed within a distance of two to three feet from your face. Always choose to use cameras that offer full-frame high-resolution images (Great if 50 megapixels or more). This will give you the flexibility to crop your headshots later without compromising on the quality of the image.

The availability and intensity of lights will actually determine the ISO needed but considering that you have taken care of the light, a well-performing low ISO is absolutely the right choice. The camera lens must be preferably zoomed out. You don’t have to earn the technical jargon for your corporate headshots.

It is absolutely the job of your headshots photographer but keeping an eye on the same just helps in better understanding what you are trying to achieve. David Bergman summarizes how different lights change and visibly impact the end results of your headshots. Learn more about gear and lighting from the Ask David series.

Man standing with a camera for a headshot photoshoot

Should I edit my corporate headshots post-shoot?

If you are getting your corporate headshots clicked by a professional headshots photographer, the headshots that you are going to be delivered are most likely to be already re-touched. It is also advisable to discuss the same with your photographer beforehand.

Headshots clicked need a little bit of editing to enhance your features and the overall quality of the whole image. If you have already invested in packages, do not take the onus on yourself to edit your headshots. This is not just a random photo that you would want to experiment with putting filters on. Your LinkedIn display picture is supposed to be professional. Simple, Assertive, and Confident. Remember? Let your hired photographer handle the editing for you. Make sure you have already communicated your preferences regarding the edit so that the retouched corporate headshots match your expectations. Remind your headshots photographer to not over-edit and ask him to include your feedback during the editing session.

A side-by-side comparison of a corporate photoshoot that is edited and unedited

How should I use my corporate headshots for maximum impact on platforms?

LinkedIn is the new Facebook. Aren’t we all scrolling LinkedIn just like we were scrolling Facebook, a decade ago? Your display picture is supposed to build your first impression. The impression is not only targeted at your potential employer but your professional network circle.

Whether it is on LinkedIn, JobCase, X, or LunchMeet, your profile picture is going to speak volumes about your professional personality. Your corporate headshots put up as your dp are only going to add credibility and authenticity to your personal image on these platforms. With professional headshots, you are naturally going to be considered more serious than your counterpart who has a regular picture put up instead. 

Do not only limit your corporate headshots on professional sites. Use the corporate headshots on your resume. And see how they escalate the appeal of your resume on any given day. Put them on your digital cards, and place them on your company’s website.

If you happen to be a solopreneur or entrepreneur, corporate headshots on your official website and promotional avenues will act like a logo. People are going to identify your firm with your picture. And let them remember you with an excellent one! Self-employed or working under a manager, use them along with your email signatures

Remind yourself why you chose to have your corporate headshots in the first place itself. After shelling out a hefty amount and investing so much time, you must have achieved a good number of your ideal corporate headshots! Without sticking to a particular few, try leveraging them on all the professional platforms that you are currently in or were hesitant to be active on until now. Also, nobody is stopping you from using these corporate headshots on your other social media apps as well.

What are the common mistakes to avoid in corporate headshots?

I believe we have shed sufficient light on what is to be done. But, we must simultaneously focus on what needs to be avoided.

  • Trying too hard: The cue is to understand your vision and go with the flow. Trying too hard to look confident, forcing a smile, and pretending to be managerial might end up ruining your corporate headshots.

  • Micro-managing: After you have carefully selected your headshots photographer and communicated your vision clearly, let him do his work and keep away from nit-picking and nagging him at every step. An irritated photographer might not do his best job. And you wouldn’t want to have average professional headshots after investing your hard-earned money and precious time.

  • Over-editing: Editing is meant to enhance and not deplete the quality of your corporate headshots. Over-edited headshots could backfire on your purpose. 

When should I update my corporate headshots?

On average, try to update your corporate headshots every 2-3 years. Or more specifically, when you are looking to pivot into a new role or have been thinking about changing jobs. This does not apply if you are changing jobs every new season. For a newbie, updating your corporate headshots on all your professional platforms right from the start of your career is a good way to put forth your value in the current job market. Consider updating your corporate headshots when you have been promoted to a new position, preferably a leadership one.

Alternatively, if you have gone through a significant visible change like weight loss or a more artificial one like getting your haircut that compliments your pers