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First Impressions: Mastering Your Corporate Headshot

I was at a conference recently in Chicago and one of the organizers who was introducing me for a talk I was presenting told me, “I love your corporate headshot. You look like you rule the world.” To him, my photo exuded confidence and professionalism, but it also captured my personality, and I guess my secret plan of ruling the world one day!

In a world of social media profiles, standing out is important, but oftentimes without having the opportunity to meet people in-person first, I believe our corporate head shots need to do a lot of work to highlight the spirit of who we are! This is no job for a selfie, but the work of a professional photographer.

For over a decade, I’ve personally relied on Tiffany Christianson of Tiffany Christianson Photography to look after our team’s corporate head shots because she captures us well to put our best foot – or face - forward when our first interaction with a prospective client is online. We asked Tiffany for some of her go-to tips for creating an exceptional corporate head shot and she delivered!

Tiffany’s Go-To Tips for an Exceptional Corporate Head Shot

The Clothing: wear something you would normally wear when meeting with clients. For example, if you meet with clients in a dress shirt, don’t show up for your photo session in a tuxedo or track suit. Choose colours that work well with your brand. If you’re not sure what that is just yet, keep colour palettes neutral. Some patterns are okay, but don’t overdo it and avoid logo wear, unless of course it’s your own company’s logo. And finally, think layers! Jewelry, sweaters, or a jacket. You can always take away during

a photoshoot, so a little extra is not a bad thing! And bring options to change in to.

The Look: often I recommend that you book an appointment with a makeup artist and hair stylist before your shoot so you can look your best, but it is not a necessity because lighting and small touch ups in post-production can do wonders! When you do put makeup on, don’t overdo it - you still want to look like yourself. Practice your smile before you shoot and when you smile for your photos, think of something funny or have someone there who can make you smile or laugh. The key is a natural, authentic smile, not a forced one.

The Options: get photos of you sitting and standing, so you have options to choose from. The more choice the better so you can use your photos in a multitude of applications.

The Application: do you know where your photos will go? Do you have a design and layout for your website? Let your photographer know where the photos will go which will help get you what you’re looking for i.e. social media, website, magazine or publication. Additionally,

brainstorm with your photographer about locations.

You want a location that will look good with your brand.

The Big Win: most important, keep your headshot current. Photos more than three years old don’t accurately reflect you, especially if you’ve made big changes to your appearance. I recommend updating your photos at least once every two or three years.


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