If a picture is worth a 1,000 words, then what does your company headshot say about you?
In today’s world of social media and company websites, there’s a good chance that the first time a potential client, customer, or employer sees you is an online photo.
Over the last 25 years, we’ve witnessed our fair share of sub-par photography, and we’ve learned a thing or two about capturing a great company headshot.
Check out our top tips on how to nail your next company headshot…
Dress For Success
- Avoid wearing white or sheer clothing (It can sometimes look see-through. Plus, you just know you’re going to get something on it.)
- Wear contrasting colors (in case the photo is converted to black and white)
- Try new clothes on before the photoshoot and have your outfit selected a couple days before
- Make sure your clothes are pressed and clean (it can’t hurt to bring a travel steamer, either)
- Don’t wear shirts with graphics on them (Unless you work for Marvel Studio’s corporate division … where comic T-shirts are practically a uniform.)
- Avoid loud patterns (especially avoid stripes because they can cause a moiré effect)
- Overall, select an outfit that’s professional and classic. (Check out this article for more inspiration.)
Set Yourself Up for a Great Hair Day
Don’t risk a bad haircut the day before. Make sure you’ve taken the preliminary steps and gotten a haircut early enough that you have time to get another one if something goes wrong. (Bad haircuts happen… just don’t get stuck with one in your company headshot!) Bring any hair tools or products that you would normally use to style your hair, just in case you need to do a quick touch up.
You want to look polished… but not literally.
Most company headshots are shot in a studio or office with artificial lighting, which can make your skin appear shiny and oily.
Make sure that any makeup you wear doesn’t create too much sheen and is properly blended in to your skin for a natural look. If your photo is being taken later in the day, it’s a good idea to actually wash your face just before the photo or use a face wipe, and then apply fresh makeup.
PRO TIP: Another way to ensure that your face isn’t oily, is to use oil-absorbing sheets. (They’re also great to have on hand in your briefcase or purse during the summer months to prevent looking sweaty in meetings.)
Glasses… to wear or not to wear?
If you’re normally seen wearing your glasses on any given work day, then it’s a good idea to wear them in your company photo. Clean the lenses thoroughly so there’s no chance the camera will capture any dirty spots or smudges.
If they’re only reading glasses, then we suggest leaving those cheaters behind. (Just make sure that you’ve taken them off well before the photoshoot, so that there are no red marks on the bridge of your nose.
Thrust Your Face Forward and Chin Slightly Down
This is an old trick used by a lot of portrait photographers and is great for company headshots. It helps you avoid the dreaded double-chin and helps add contrasting shadow to your neck area, giving you a more defined face-shape.
You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile
Whether you show your teeth or opt for the subtlety of closed lips, you can’t go wrong with a smile. And the only thing worse than not smiling is fake smiling.
So how do you get that natural smile? Don’t try to smile. Instead, think of the last thing that made you chuckle or maybe even laugh out loud. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a great photographer that knows how to make people laugh and capture a genuine smile.
Give Your Appearance One Last Look
Make sure your outfit is on point, get your hair just right, check your teeth… you know the drill. This is your last shot to make sure you look good and snap one last mirror selfie, if that’s your thing.
Be Nice to Your Photographer
Seriously… your professional image is in their hands! And while this may seem like common sense—like being polite to your server so they don’t add “special seasoning” to your meal—it could be the difference between getting to taking a few okay photos or taking those extra shots to get that one great photo. (Besides, being nice to people is just a good general rule of thumb!)
There you have it—the Wenzel guide to taking a great corporate headshot.
And forget the cheese… SAY PROMOTION! (That’s sure to put a real smile on your face!)