The Definitive Guide to Professional Headshots


Welcome to your total guide on mastering your brand’s image through high-quality professional headshots! In today’s fiercely competitive market, establishing a strong online presence is essential for success. Your headshot is, quite literally, the face of your brand across multiple platforms online. It conveys your professionalism, credibility, and authenticity on social media, networking platforms, and your company’s website. In this comprehensive guide, we will ensure you not only understand the importance of professional headshots, but also have the tools to make informed decisions on your style and photographer that will achieve your professional goals.

Table of Contents:

Understanding the Power of Professional Headshots

What do you assume about someone with a bad headshot?

No matter how professional the individual might be in person, chances are, you could have a slightly skewed view of them if the appearance of their profile photo does not match. Investing in high-quality headshots can significantly enhance your brand’s trustworthiness, appeal to your target audience, and could also serve as an initial indicator for a new career opportunity or promotion.

Your headshots provide the human connection to your brand. They might be the first impression that a client gets from you on LinkedIn. If someone is looking for a professional in your area, finding a welcoming face on your website will make them more likely to reach out; they feel like they know a little bit about you and can envision themselves working with a professional like you.

If an individual professional headshot speaks volumes, a team portfolio worth of high-quality headshots screams it. No matter your industry, having a website page of your uniform employee headshots elevates the legitimacy of your brand and lets your potential clients know that you take your business seriously.

Unveiling the Artistry Behind Professional Headshot Photography

As anyone with a camera phone can testify, getting an excellent photograph is not simple. Professional photographers and amateurs alike hone their craft for years, even decades, and corporate photographers are no different.

Although it might seem like a corporate headshot is about the most straightforward, noncreative type of photograph there is, there is artistry here too. The intricate details that make a standout headshot, from expert lighting techniques to skillful composition to clear direction in front of the camera, all contribute to the impact that your headshot can have.

Your headshot photographer is a craftsman (or woman!) whose goal is to use their artistry to capture your spirit and resonate with your brand’s audience. If you feel tempted to DIY your own headshot, put the phone down! You will thank us later.

Selecting the Perfect Photographer for Your Brand

Choosing the right photographer is the single most important thing you can do to achieve headshots that align with your brand identity. But if you don’t even know how a camera works, how do you know what to look for? How do you know what questions to ask?

Finding your true collaborator means they will understand your vision for your brand’s portraits. You should be able to meet with them and after a brief explanation be fully confident they can fulfill your needs. They’ll know how to ask the right questions of you to make sure you’re on the same page – because you’re on the same team!

Your collaborator should also possess the expertise and creativity to bring your vision to life. Ask to see a sample of their portfolio of work, specifically photos that align with your vision. Even if they don’t have portraits that look identical to your goals, having a breadth of portfolio images can give you an idea of thier skill level.

If these two steps don’t get you to the finish line, don’t be afraid to ask for references! Ask the other reputable companies in your area about their experience with your photographer. Ask about things like consistency, customer service, turn around times, and “bedside manner” behind the camera. These are the things you won’t be able to tell from a simple meeting with a potential photographer.

Crafting Your Brand Story Through Headshots

Although your headshots will capture your likeness in an accurate way, they should do more than that. They can reflect your brand’s tone in a compelling and authentic way.

As you partner with your photographer, discuss with them what it feels like to work for your company and the individuals on the team. Is it laid back? Strait-laced? Hard working? A little bit silly? You can feel this reflected in your professional portraits!

Other aspects you might think about are background and/or location of photographs, wardrobe, posing, and facial expression. These little variations convey your brand’s unique personality and give your clients a peek into who you are as a company and as unique individuals. Communicate these desires to your team and photographer and you are well on your way to a consistent brand experience for your clients!

Elevating the Headshot Session Experience

When it comes to your headshot session, the delight is in the details. The right photographer will make your experience personalized from start to finish to take all the stress out of getting your professional portrait taken.

The best professional photographers give you convenient options for scheduling, reminders, and clear communication about your style. During the portrait session, they will create a comfortable, relaxed environment that lets the real you shine through. They might add a little powder to your face, swoop your hair one way or adjust your collar just to make sure every detail is picture perfect.

After your photo session, they might let you choose your favorite pose – or take the stress off you by using their decades of expertise to choose them for you. Finally, they will deliver you a convenient digital file that is ready for its debut on any digital or print medium you need it for!

These things are customizable details that your headshot photographer will be able to adjust to fit you and your company’s unique needs. If any of these specifics are important to you, be sure to communicate them to your photographer and make sure they can meet these needs!

Perfecting Your Headshot Through Editing and Retouching

The last step before your headshot comes to you is editing. Although photoshop has gotten a bad reputation, tasteful post-production can elevate your professional portrait to the next level.

A good photographer’s retouching style will toe the line between overly edited fakery on one end and too real-life on the other. Your finished headshot should be pleasing to the eye – no stray hairs, pimples, or imperfections – while also still looking like you! Over airbrushing, drastic color changes, or artificial slimming stand out from a mile away.

This is an area to pay attention to when you look at a potential photographer’s portfolio. If the people in their photographs look a bit fake this will be obvious, but there are other slightly more nuanced signs like overly dramatic contrast or odd coloring that might point to over editing. You always want your professional headshot to look like you, just better!

Leveraging Your Headshot for Maximum Impact

Once you have your headshot you might be asking yourself, what do I do with this? You should always start with the digital platforms that are facing your target clientele: LinkedIn or other networking sites and the team page on your company website.

Once you have your headshot you might be asking yourself, what do I do with this? You should always start with the digital platforms that are facing your target clientele: LinkedIn or other networking sites and the team page on your company website.

Did you know that there are so many other ways to use your headshot? You can put it on your business card (physical or digital) or as a part of your email signature. Industry recognition, speaking engagements, or providing an expert point of view in an article are all other examples where you need your perfect headshot ready to go.

The reach of your professional headshot is unlimited, so go out and get your investment’s worth out of your portrait!


Congratulations, you now know everything you need to know to uplift your brand’s image through corporate headshots! You know why headshots are for professionals and what questions to ask a potential photographer so they meet every expectation that you have.

If you’re ready to take the next step in finding the right photographer for you, send us an email at and we’ll be happy to exceed your expectations.

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