Corporate Headshots: Best Practices (And What To Avoid)

Corporate Headshots: Best Practices (and What to Avoid) | CorporetteWhat are the best tips for looking good in a corporate headshot?  Should “looking good” be the goal? Reader J wonders:

I have a professional photography session coming up. Any general recommendations?

Good luck, J!  We haven’t talked about corporate headshots, or whether to wear eyeglasses in your corporate photo in a while, so let’s revisit. As I’ve said before, above all else, I think the main goal in a corporate photograph is to look FRIENDLY. Don’t try to look “smart” or interesting or (God forbid) beautiful or stylish. It’s ok if you END UP looking like smart, interesting, beautiful, or stylish, because, you know, you are, but don’t try — leave the duckface and burning, non-friendly smizes for when you’re taking pictures with friends.  As for “looking smart” — most times, your corporate headshot will be displayed next to an abbreviated form of your resume and experience.  Let people evaluate your intelligence based on those years of work, not one single photograph.  (I’d say that the model pictured here is trying to look smart.  Don’t be that model.) The purpose of the headshot is really for that two second, subconscious, gut decision: do I want to work with her?  Does she look like someone who would get me what I want, on time, with no errors?  I could say “look responsible” here instead of “friendly,” I suppose, but I think attempting to “look responsible” or “look competent” is a fool’s mission beyond combing your hair and making sure that your face and clothes are free of smudges and so forth.

For my $.02, these are some other tips: [Read more…]

Glasses and the Corporate Headshot

Photographers, originally uploaded to Flickr by w warby.Reader J wonders whether she should remove her glasses for her corporate headshot…

I was looking over an old post about corporate photographs, and I have a question about whether or not to wear glasses in my upcoming firm photo. I’ll be a new associate at a law firm at the beginning of August. I am very young looking, and part of my professional attire (and personal style) is wearing glasses. I feel more comfortable in glasses and wear them every day anyway. I was wondering if you or your readers have advice on wearing glasses in professional pictures. I’ve always taken them for professional photos in the past to avoid a distracting glare. What do you think?

Great question. This is the kind of thing that you may want to ask the photographer about — can he Photoshop out a glare? What does he recommend? In general, though, I think that if your everyday look includes glasses, then you ought to include glasses in your firm photo. (In fact, your glasses may already have an anti-reflective coating on them — if you can check your receipt or call the store where you bought them, that might help you remember.) I would also caution against the dark circles undereye circles that glasses can cause sometimes — take a few test shots at home to see if they do create them, and then test to see whether concealer helps hide them.  (Pictured: Photographers, originally uploaded to Flickr by w warby.) [Read more…]

Reader Mail: What to Wear for a Corporate Photograph?

corporate headshotsToday’s reader mail asks an excellent question: what to wear for a corporate photograph?

I am a mid-level commercial litigator with a small firm in Chicago. In a couple of weeks, a photographer is coming to the office to update everyone’s website pic. I was wondering if you could provide advice on what the best look is for such a picture, obviously a suit, but is a shell better than button down, etc. Also, any tips on the best way to wear hair and the appropriate jewelry.

This is such an interesting question, particularly because, in many offices, you don’t get a chance to take these photographs that often — so one photograph could be your “face” in the office phone book and on the web for the indefinite future. For our $.02: You want to look neat and professional, but also attractive in a non-sexual way. We would also aim to look “friendly” and “trustworthy.” (Our theory here is that your pedigree will likely be listed alongside the picture — your schools, your honors — but your personality will, most likely, be absent. A future client, a recruiter, or a partner from another office will see that you’re smart and accomplished; but the photo also has to convey likeability.) (Also, it doesn’t hurt to keep in mind that future dates and ex-boyfriends can all find this picture if they Google you.)
[Read more…]

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