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Professional Headshot Preparation: Some Tips to Look Your Best

Photo studio
Photo by Alexander Dummer on Unsplash


Are you ready for your close up? Many of us dread getting in front of the camera for our professional headshot. Preparation involves more than picking out your power suit, although that’s a good place to start. With a few simple tips, you can put your best foot (face) forward for your next profile photo.

Remember, just because you love that picture of yourself from 15 years ago, doesn’t mean it’s the right photo to use in your current professional career. Since your last photo was taken, has your hair changed? Do you now wear glasses? Your headshot should look like you today so when people meet you in person for the first time, they will recognize you.

How Will the Photo Be Used?

It’s a good idea to confirm the various ways the photo may be used in the future.¬†While it often may appear cropped close to your face, many websites, marketing materials, advertisements and even third-party media outlets might prefer to use a full-body or three-quarter/head-and-torso photography. You may not know all of the future possible uses, so it’s often a good idea to keep a final high-resolution version with a good amount of space around all sides of your body in the frame. This will allow you the most flexibility for cropping in various ways, including close to the face. Knowing this, you’ll want to plan your full outfit (down to your toes) accordingly.

Other Considerations for Corporate Headshot Photography

Think about your backdrop. Some companies have branded styles or backgrounds. Even if the primary photo you use will have an “environmental” background, meaning you are standing in an environment such as an office or outdoors, it can be helpful to have a studio photo with a neutral background that can easily be manipulated for various future purposes.

Also, if you are planning to have new photography for the full firm, your professional headshot preparation plan should include a cost-effective means for getting future new employees photographed with similar backgrounds. This is most easily done by sending them to a photography studio, but if you’re taking environmental photos, it may not be feasible to bring the photographer onsite every time a new employee arrives. In this case, it is often recommended that the photographer capture some environmental “blanks” (capturing the same backgrounds, but without a human subject), so future employees can have their photos taken in a studio, and the photos can be digitally edited so the person appears in front of the standard background.

Here’s a one-pager with a few more tips to help you with your professional headshot preparation.


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