4 Secrets to High-Quality Corporate Headshots & Portraits

How to Avoid Camera Fright and Find Your Photogenic Qualities

4 Secrets to High-Quality Corporate Headshots & Portraits

We’ve all seen them, corporate headshots and portraits that look awkward, uncomfortable or strange. It is, however, possible for almost anyone to get amazing looking corporate headshots.

You see, unless you are a model, actor, or celebrity of some sort, you probably don’t like having your photo taken. Most people feel nervous or uncomfortable in front of a camera.

We are all self-conscious and in today’s age of social media, the need to look good and stand out is only intensifying.

The fact is, most of us do not look like models. Truth be told even models need help to look their best and few models look amazing all the time.

Better Corporate Headshots & Portraits – How to Look Like a Million Dollars


Well-applied make-up can do wonders for a corporate headshot or portrait session.

Usually, it is best to use a minimal amount of make-up. If your personal style, however, is to use more make-up or bright colours is your thing then go ahead and apply it.

The important thing is that you feel comfortable.


Good lighting makes a huge difference to the quality of your headshot and portrait photos.

While each photographer will have a personal preference for how they do their lighting, the main thing is the quality of the lighting needs to be good.

Some photographers offering corporate headshots will prefer to use a speed light or a strobe. Others may prefer a continuous light source.

The positioning of light sources will also create a certain mood and look to the photos. When it comes to corporate photography, light clean images tend to be favoured over more dramatic and darker lighting techniques.

No matter the lighting setup used, it is important that it flatters the subject and helps to make them look their best.

My own approach to corporate headshots and portraits is to use a constant light setup. This way I can see clearly your expressions and work with you to draw out your best looks.

In fact, I use a custom-built lighting system that I created purely for headshot and portrait sessions for entrepreneurs, estate agents, sales professionals and anyone needing quality headshots.

Coaching & Direction

Perhaps the most important aspect of headshot and portrait photography is coaching and direction.

As most people are not comfortable in front of the camera, it is very important that your photographer knows how to get you to relax and be yourself.

As you become more comfortable it becomes easier to apply the coaching and direction it will take to find the best angles and expressions that make ‘you look like money’.

I’ve used the term ‘you look like money’ because this is a compliment that someone gave a client of mine.

Now you may not be trying to look like a million dollars. More likely you want to look confident, approachable, and professional.

These qualities are achievable and I aim to take headshots and portraits that will help you stand out in a hectic and noisy digital world.

Many photographers will treat headshots as a production line and approach your headshot shoot like this:

“Stand in front of the camera, turn your head, smile. click click, all done.”

This fast shooting approach does not give you time to get comfortable in front of the camera and you will not get the best headshots possible.

Most people accept this as they are uncomfortable in front of the camera and are happy to get the shoot over with.

If you are going to the trouble of having headshots or portraits done, then why not do it properly.

Take a little time, work with your headshot photographer to get comfortable and find your natural photogenic qualities and you will be amazed at the difference in results. Almost everyone has a photogenic look in them, it just has to be coaxed out.

Photo Editing and Retouching

Lastly, comes the photo editing and retouching.

This makes a big difference to your photos and it is important not to overdo this process.

I’ve seen headshots where the skin no longer has pores but has a weird plastic-wrapped look. Photo retouching should improve your looks, not completely change them or make you look weird and unnatural.

The way I do retouching is to even skin tone, soften (but not remove entirely) blemished and highlight your best features.

Typically, I will not remove scars, moles or any permanent markings as these are part of how you look.

If requested they can be reduced or lessened but typically, only temporary marks and blemishes such as pimples, ingrown hairs and similar markings are removed as part of the retouching process.

Choosing Your Corporate Headshot/Portrait Photographer

When you are selecting a professional corporate headshot photographer make sure you view some of their work first.

A good photographer is always keen to provide a range of sample photos.

Be sure to look for some consistency in the work. Also, keep an eye out for stock images.

Some photographers will use these in place of their own work. Be sure to view the work on their website and any social pages or directory listings they may have, if you notice a big difference in style then you may be looking at stock images which do not reflect the images you are likely to receive after your shoot.

Be sure to look at the headshot galleries on the Light Art Studios site, they are all original images that I am very proud of.

If you would like to book corporate headshots and/or portrait sessions, please do get in touch.

Image Credit: Ryan McGuire from Pixabay

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Gordon Wridgway

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