A high-quality headshot is essential for every managerial or corporate role.
However, with so many options available in the current marketplace, it can be difficult to know the best approach when posing for a picture.
So, what do you need to know beforehand?
And what are some of the elements you should consider to get the most from a session?
What is a corporate headshot?
Simply put, a corporate headshot is a picture that captures your image for professional use.
Extremely common in a range of industries, they can be used on your professional social media accounts, on your business website and on any publicity material or for speaking events.
A headshot is conventionally captured in a studio with a trained professional who will work with you to capture the style of image you require.
However it can also be done at your office or a location where you can capture any number of relevant variables.
Choosing a provider with extensive experience gives you the freedom to experiment and find the right look for your shoot or tweak an already-established presence for maximum effect.
A headshot is a crucial part of cementing your professional identity, allowing you to match your internal branding, create an air of confidence or approachability or be used for any other purposes you need.
That can take the form of a high-quality digital image or physical prints.
It is important to ensure your headshot is of the highest quality when it comes to the technical specification and that it represents you appropriately.
How do I know if I need a new headshot?
While you may already have a professional headshot, it is important to ensure it is updated regularly to match your current role and physical appearance.
As a rule of thumb, it is important to refresh a headshot to ensure that you put forward an accurate representation of yourself to clients.
Key triggers for updating your headshot include:
- Time has passed: As a rule, it is best practice for a professional to update a headshot at least every two to three years. It keeps your online image in line with your everyday appearance, preventing confusion or disconnects.
- Life changes: If you are attending a conference or event, having a headshot match the person they are meeting creates a feeling of continuity.
If you have changed your hair, started wearing glasses or your physical appearance has noticeably altered, it’s a good idea to consider updating your image.
- Career change: This can be as simple as a promotion that includes a role change, a new job following a restructuring in the company or even a complete change of industry altogether. Updating a headshot permits you to represent the look and feel of your new role.
What are corporate headshots used for?
To reiterate, a corporate headshot can be used in several different ways.
Some options include, but are by no means limited to:
Social media accounts: Attaching a headshot to your accounts allows means they act as an extension of your online identity. That enables you to do outreach and become part of relevant conversations, displaying your authority and skillset to other individuals in your sector.
Representing your business: When researching your business, it is likely individuals will review your professional portfolio – either through your site or online repositories such as LinkedIn or even on file with relevant recruitment agencies. Maintaining a consistent visual image means you represent your company to the highest possible standards. It also makes a valuable first impression without being present, reducing a risk of being ‘second-guessed’ due to poor image quality, appearance or framing.
Your website: Any corporate website worth its salt will provide details on its employees. Ensuring your professional headshot is of the highest standard gives the best possible representation of you with peers.
What should I wear?
When it comes to a corporate headshot, it’s important to have a discussion with the professional or team taking the image.
They can provide guidance on your look, taking care to capture the aesthetic you’re looking for.
Consulting with a photographer means you can talk through the goals of your session and agree a range of looks to try.
Some general rules of thumb include:
Business clothes: When it comes to a professional headshot, it’s important to dress for the job. That could be the smart casual clothes you wear to the office or a crisp suit you wear during board meetings. In short, dress for the role you have, and not the one that you want.
Minimal extras: It can be makeup or hair styling. It’s also an opportunity to stand out by wearing glasses or any items that are an essential part of your daily routine. Remember jewellery can be distracting but, if you’re set on adding to your image, a simple statement piece can speak volumes.
Middle ground: Once you’ve settled on attire, it’s worth considering how those garments look. One tip is to temper your dress a little; appearing too formal or casual can have a net negative effect. If you are still unsure, ask your provider for sample images from previous shoots to settle on a tone that works for you.
Why are corporate headshots important?
While a headshot session clocks in at between 30 minutes and an hour, professionals sometimes find it difficult to allocate the time – especially if they are operating in a demanding industry.
However, failing to ensure you book a session can risk missing out on:
Crafting a distinct identity: Having a high-quality corporate headshot creates a strong identity. It can match your house style, lend authority to your professional image or allow you to fashion your own with ease.
Building trust: People are social animals, and we often want to know who we’re working with before we hire them. Providing a visual reference puts a face to the name and makes them more likely to engage with your business or reach out via phone or email.
Tackling the competition: While you should never a judge a book by its cover, the truth is it happens too often. Providing a solid headshot can lead clients and customers to avoid ‘faceless’ providers and settle on one that they can see.
How to pose for a corporate headshot
While your look may be right, posing at an awkward angle or displaying a stiff expression can massively undermine even the greatest of headshots.
Bearing this in mind, some simple tips to follow include:
Don’t face the camera: When it comes to capturing an organic image, angles are your friend. Be sure to put yourself at a 45-degree angle to the photographer, straighten your back and elevate your chin.
Relax, relax, relax: If your session is scheduled, be sure to get a good night’s sleep before showing up. It can help your skin look younger and removes bags under your eyes. When your photographs are being taken, maintain this energy and ‘release’ your posture. Unclench fists, loosen your jaw, and allow your eyes to open.
Communicate: If you’re feeling nervous or unsure, let your photographer know. Even the most experienced of us get stage fright from time to time, so communicating your issues or concerns helps the team accommodate them – resulting in a better-quality headshot.
While this can be awkward for even the most seasoned professional, a good photographer will be able to guide you to the right pose for your picture – letting you have full control over how you’re represented.
Once your variables have been resolved, it’s time to find the right provider.
While it can be challenging to find a business that has the right pedigree for your unique needs, the team at Just Headshots have you covered.
With many years of professional experience in a range of sectors, we understand the importance of capturing a quality image.
We pride ourselves on operating in a no-pressure environment that achieves results, working with clients to ensure they are comfortable and looking their best when it comes to capturing a look that consolidates your professional identity.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us directly and let us know exactly what you need from a session.