Corporate head shots are a crucial aspect of every companies’ public relations profile. They are both necessary and yes, oftentimes delayed, avoided and occasionally dreaded.   Maybe it’s the oversimplification that resembles our high school portraits we were not so fond of even back then. Remember?  The posture set at 90 degrees, face turned to 6 o’clock, hands in lap and the detached expression.  Just add a power suit and we have the standard corporate headshot…..or do we?  I think not.

It is imperative that the way the corporate head shots are photographed matches the essence of your branding, from the lighting to posing and clothing to expression.  With that in mind, there are a few questions to consider.

1.  What image is your company trying to project?

  •  Are you a part of an established law firm that needs to convey authority?  Or perhaps you are a start-up design firm that would like to showcase its’ creativity?

Once you decide on what these portraits need to convey, it is time to consider all of your options.  Within the last several years, I have found that there has been a move away from the standard head shot with a backdrop to a more environmental/editorial portrait.  Here is the difference:

Chicago Commercial Photographer















Keep in mind, in both cases, a skilled  photographer can work the lighting and colors to match your branding and capture your personality.  But if you are leaning towards one portrait style over another, consider this:

2. How much time does the photographer have to shoot and how many people need to be photographed?

  • In the case of high volume portraits for larger companies, there is limited time to change the lighting. With the standard headshots, we are fixed in one place, with one backdrop and have been able to complete as many as 40 corporate head shots in one day.
  • With environmental portraits, we can stick with one location.  But we can also change it up a bit and find additional places in your office that make for an interesting background.  This requires us to move our lights and dial in our settings once again.  All of which takes some time.

Always feel free to ask questions of your photographer.  They understand the timing and what is required to move from one location to the next.  In my case, I am always happy to do a location scout prior to the shoot to check out all of the options we have.  This way,  we can create a solid plan for each scenario together.

3.  Consider the budget range you have to work with.

  • Most commercial photographers do not have a set day rate but rather their fees and expenses are unique to every assignment and dependent on the complexities of each shoot.
  • If there are 5 people in the office and you would like 5 standard corporate headshots using a backdrop, this will run less than doing these same portraits using a few different locations within your office.

The most important aspect of planning for headshots is communication.  My job is to make your job easier so always feel free to ask questions, bounce ideas around and ask even more questions.