How to Get a Good Business Headshot

Business headshots are about first impressions.
Business headshots are about first impressions. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

There is a reason the old adage "you only have one chance to make a first impression" has been around as long as it has; it is true. Corporate headshots are just that -- opportunities to make a first impression. While having a picture taken may not seem worthy of too much time or attention, business headshots are often the first thing a prospective client, employer or employee see when visiting a website or reviewing a portfolio. With that being said, proper preparation is essential to ensure the impression you give with your headshot is the one you intended.

Select a photographer experienced in business headshots. As with any type of photography, there are specialists familiar with the idiosyncrasies inherent to taking professional-looking headshots that capture the image you want to project.

Get a good night's rest before your headshot is taken. Looking alert and refreshed will make a difference. Professional photography is able to capture the most minute of details, and tired eyes and expressions will not translate to quality headshots.

Choose your clothing with care. While photographers will vary, most will suggest avoiding loud, multi-patterned clothes, as they can distract from the photo. It is also a good idea to bring several shirts, coats or tops, as the lighting, your hair color and other factors may warrant different looks.

Consider hair and makeup prior to your photo session. A clean, neat look with minimal jewelry will help ensure the focus remains where it should be, not on ancillary items or inappropriate makeup. Scheduling an appointment with a hair and/or makeup stylist prior to your headshot is often a good use of time and money.

Discuss what you and your business want to convey in your headshots prior to sitting for the photo. Many emotions can be conveyed through professional photography. It is worth some discussion to make sure all interested parties in the business are on the same page. If associates have already had headshots done, review the results to maintain consistency. For example, if your company has 10 photos that are inviting and convey warmth, a stoic business headshot would be inconsistent.

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