Headshots for business, your face is your fortune. (So they say)

April 07, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

   Welcome back.


Headshots for business


Recently I was asked to take a headshot for someone who required one for a conference he was attending.

No problem.

Let’s start with the basics. What is a headshot?

It’s an introduction to possible clients who do not know you outside of an email address. They are a means of not only representing your company in the marketplace but also, obviously yourself. As they say first impressions still count, especially so in these days when visuals are all. The image could end up on business cards, company websites, Social media profiles etc. It may also end up as a backdrop to a presentation you are giving.

Potential clients, who will be looking at your website, will be looking for people who they want to do business with.

How should you as the client approach the sitting? First off, let’s talk clothes.

 It all depends on the industry you are in .If the dress code is predominantly formal, shirt, tie, jacket etc. Then wear a shirt, tie and jacket. Keep the colours complimentary save the bright colours for going out and parties. Bright colours distract the eye, as humans we can’t help going to the brightest part of the picture, which should be your face, not your tie or scarf. It may also be that time to renew that threading shirt with something new. Under photo lights any flaw in the clothes does show up. Did I mention first impressions still count?

If the dress code is less formal, then by all means go with that but still the bright colour rule still applies. It’s your face that should be the centre of attention not your tee shirt however cool you may think it is.

Make up, keep it simple and appropriate to what you may wear to a business meeting. Any impermanent marks can be removed during the post process stage but removing make up can get very time consuming even in Photoshop.

As for jewellery, keep it simple again not too distracting. Your face should be the focus of the photo.

As a photographer it’s up to me to reassure the sitter it’s going to be OK. I’m there to give them a great image. Get them to relax and enjoy the process. Have your lights set up and ready to go. Try to find out any parameters that are required, such as colour of background, black, white or grey etc. These are the main colours for the business headshot as again bright colours distract. Though colour can be used but they are usually muted in tone.

All this can be discussed with the client prior to the session.

We were shooting against a black background, so a three light set up seemed appropriate. My main or key light was placed in front and off centre of my subject with another light opposite to provide a lift to the shadows. Finally a third light behind the sitter directed at the background set to low power. This gives a slight halo effect and gives separation so the head doesn’t appear to be just floating in a black void.

Behind the scene.


Firstly let’s get the colour right. For that I use a colour checker which combined with a calibrated monitor and software will ensure the colours you choose are the colours presented. That’s my first few shots of the session.

Accurate colours


Then we can focus on getting some fantastic images that will hopefully engage your present and future clients.

Giving direction is essential, especially if this is the sitters first time being the centre of attention. A tilt of the head and a slight change of posture can make or break the photo. It’s very incremental but can mean a world of difference to the final image.

The final result.


So you’re probably thinking why not use my phone, a couple of reasons. Firstly you will probably use the front facing camera so you can see what you look like. This particular camera on a phone is specifically made a wide angle as it’s meant to capture you and your friends out socialising. At arm’s length it will also distort your face and don’t forget to turn off the beauty feature. We all wish to be at bit younger but you also need to look like you, not a smudged version of yourself. Chances are the lighting will be off you may look a strange over saturated funky colour, again not the best first impression and just to say again, they still count.

If you require a professionally taken headshot for your business please get in touch. 

As ever please leave any comments or questions below or contact me via the website, a DM on Facebook or email :

[email protected]