A guide for professional headshots

In need of some new professional headshots for your business? Not sure what to look for when it comes to finding a photographer? Our handy guide will shed some light on what it takes to get the best business headshots, and even provide some useful tips to help you prepare for those all-important staff portraits.  

Why are professional headshots so important? 

First of all, why is it so important to get professional corporate headshots? Not only do consistent, high-quality staff portraits present a professional image of your company, they also provide a personal touch. It can instantly improve the connection between you and your customers, facilitating a positive relationship for sales.

Corporate headshots make for useful marketing and branding collateral too. When consumers visit a website or look through a brochure, they want to see the faces behind the business. They want to know who they’re dealing with. Having staff portraits featured throughout your marketing materials provides consistency, and paints a friendly, trustworthy picture of your business.

What should I look for in a professional headshot photographer?

GDPR 

If you’re hiring a photographer for staff headshots, both parties must comply with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Photos of your staff are classified as personal data. They can contain arguably the most sensitive of personal information about an individual, including their ethnic origin, gender and occupation. A clear and specific statement of consent must be provided by everyone who is being photographed – each staff member must proactively opt in to the images being taken, stored and published. All data subjects should be made aware how they can access the data that the photographer holds about them. They should also be clear on how they can withdraw their consent at any time if they wish. Once you’ve found a photographer to produce your professional headshots, be sure to check their website for an up-to-date privacy policy. Find out more in our recent blog post

Style 

Have you thought about the style of professional headshots you require? Your photographer will be able to discuss your requirements with you in detail, but it’s worth considering beforehand whether you’re after formal business portraits, or more relaxed, natural photos of staff members. We offer traditional corporate headshots in front of plain backdrops, as well as professional headshot photography at your location. Business headshots done on location, like this one we produced for First Care Ambulance, show staff in their native working environment. They offer a more casual look, whilst communicating clues about a staff member’s role in the business. 

professional headshot from Spencer Cobby Photography of a First Care Ambulance worker

Orientation 

Vertical headshots of portrait orientation are usually the go-to format. However, horizontal staff headshots can also be very effective. A landscape view allows more of the background to be visible, and it can always be cropped for a more traditional look if necessary. 

Backdrop colour 

For traditional corporate headshots, make sure you discuss your preference for background colour with your photographer so that they can order the right backdrops. The most commonly used colours tend to be white, grey or blue because of their fresh, clean appearance. You should always avoid busy backgrounds that might compete with the subject. In a recent revamp of Clear Property’s staff headshots, we used a blue backdrop to direct the eye of the viewer to the staff member. Cool tones like this blue hue contrast with warm skin tones and draw attention to the subject’s face.

professional headshot from Spencer Cobby Photography   

How do I get the most out of professional headshots photography?

Once you’ve found your photographer and discussed your preferences, what’s next? Be sure to give staff plenty of notice. There’s nothing worse than arriving at work only to find out that you’re having your photo taken that day. We’ve gathered some tips to help you and your staff members prepare for, and conquer, your photoshoot.  

Consider your clothing 

We’d always recommend wearing plain clothes, without patterns, stripes or graphics. These garments may look good in person, but they’ll more than likely be a source of unwanted visual noise on camera. Also, be sure to wear an outfit that complies with your company dress-code. 

Clean your glasses 

image of a hand holding smeared glasses covered in rain drops

If you’re wearing glasses in your photo, make sure you give them a thorough clean beforehand. You want to avoid being able to see dust or fingerprints in the final image, as this can draw attention away from your face.  

Keep make up natural 

Keep in mind that this is a professional shot for corporate use. We’d always advise keeping make up simple and sticking to what you normally wear. A staff portrait is not the time to start experimenting with bold colours and heavy coverage.  

Smile! 

A top tip is to think about someone or something funny when having your photo taken. This will look much more natural than a forced, ‘say-cheese’ smile. It will be a genuine smile that reaches the eyes – perfect for representing you as a friendly and personable team member.

Trust your photographer 

Last but not least, remember that your photographer wants the same thing as you – the best picture possible. Relax, sit comfortably and have trust in them.  

High-quality corporate headshots speak volumes about a business. As a window into your company, its ethos and its people, they are an important asset that you cannot afford to get wrong. 

Spencer Cobby Photography offers individually catered staff portrait packages to suit all kinds of businesses. We pride ourselves on providing high-quality professional headshots to help represent your business online. The images we create are highly versatile, and perfect for corporate use, marketing and company websites. They are also a great way to provide employees with suitable images for LinkedIn and social network profiles. To find out more about the business headshots service we offer, visit our website. And please do get in touch if you have any questions about how we can help with your staff portraits.