Four Ways to Nail a Corporate Headshot

A picture says a thousand words, and that goes double for marketers. So, that begs two questions: 1) with two thousand words, what are you saying to your audience and 2) how can a successful portrait session help you say what you want in the best way possible? When a prospective client comes to your website, you want them to get the right flavor of what you’re all about.

Lucky enough for us at SCG, we have our own in-house photographer (me). I’d like to offer a few tips and approaches that I’ve found to be helpful for having successful corporate headshots:


Find a location that your subject feels comfortable in or has importance to them. This helps relieve any awkward or uncomfortable feelings, removing the barrier between photographer and subject. For the photography itself, a neutral background is a tried-and-true approach, but you can also use a prime lens and shoot wide open, or wide aperture.


We prefer natural lighting over indoor or artificial lighting. It’s the toughest way to light a photo shoot, but it’s ultimately worth it. If you do go the artificial lighting route, however, we recommend using the best portable gear possible, such as Profoto.

Create and Maintain a Connection

A photography or portrait session can be a very intimate thing. Many people may not enjoy or feel comfortable getting their picture taken. Have a conversation. Listen and try to understand them. Creating a connection between the photographer and the subject is very important. That person must feel comfortable – if they don’t, it’ll show in the photo.

A great corporate headshot comes from not breaking that connection. You want the culture of your company to be reflected by the people that work there.

Candid Camera

When it comes to corporate headshots, the standard method of muted backgrounds and strained smiles is old hat. Don’t be afraid to take photos when the subject isn’t expecting it. Candid photos go a long way in your employees coming off as relatable and down-to-earth – again, company culture in a snapshot.

First impressions mean a lot in the second-by-second pace of today’s digital age. Use those two thousand words by nailing your corporate headshots and setting yourself apart from the competition. And – most importantly – have fun with it!

If you think you’d like to explore some new photography for you and your company, shoot me an email.

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Ryan Pederson

Ryan’s broad professional and creative repertoire encompasses photography, web development, and film – a huge plus for implementing integrated marketing campaigns quickly. He earned a bachelor of arts in Spanish and Management from the University of Minnesota […] Read Bio »


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