Whether for your company website or social media accounts, the style and quality of your headshot say a lot about what kind of person you are and how you do business. A portrait in corporate attire shot indoors against a backdrop of solid color expresses a different feel than a portrait shot outdoors in casual attire.

While the specific kind of photograph that’s suitable for your business is a branding choice, regardless of what kind of business you’re in, a poorly framed or blurry photo would communicate inattention to detail and disorder that could carry over to the reputation of your brand.

With that said, well-known photographers in Salt Lake City and other parts of Utah list some basic dos and don’ts to help you nail the perfect professional photo.

Headshot Photo Shoot DOs

  • Discuss with your photographer what would you want to communicate in your photo. Tell the photographer what business you’re in, your position in the company, and your business or company culture. If you see headshots that you like, show them to your photographer.
  • Ask what background color would be used or suggest one if you have a particular color in mind.
  • Take several changes of clothes, so you could experiment which ones work best. Remember that only the top part of your outfit would be photographed.
  • Make sure your hair is styled as naturally as possible. Use a bit of hair gel to keep it in place.
  • Consider wearing solid, dark-colored clothing to avoid swaying attention away from your eyes and face. If you must wear stripes, opt for fine vertical stripes. Opt for a V-neck to elongate your upper body instead of a round neck or a turtleneck.
  • Try to have fun and relax. Follow the advice of the photographer when posing and just pose away so you’d have many options to choose from.

Headshot Photo Shoot DON’Ts

Man getting a haircut before the photoshoot

  • Get a haircut before your photo shoot. Do it at least a week before.
  • Wear white clothing unless you’re 100% certain it’s not sheer. If you must wear white, wear something underneath it.
  • Wear clothing that would clash with your backdrop.
  • Wear a scarf, hat, pieces of jewelry, or anything that would take attention away from your face.
  • Wear loud prints such as herringbone, plaid, or stripes.
  • Wear ill-fitting clothes. You need to be able to move comfortably during the shoot. Otherwise, you might end up looking stiff or fake.
  • Wear too much makeup, meaning the amount and thickness of application, not necessarily the style of makeup. You could always color correct with Photoshop. Just take care of the basics — cover dark under eye circles and dark marks, add color to your cheeks and lips, fix your eyebrows, some mascara (skip the false eyelashes), and add in some contour and bronzer.

Now open your company site and social media profiles and check out your current headshots. Ask yourself: “Is your headshot in line with your brand and business culture?” If not, find a local photographer that you feel comfortable with, book a shoot right away, and change your current headshots.