Do and Don’ts For Executive Headshots?

Some thoughts from a 20-year Pro.


-Arrive with more than one outfit: the photographer can help you decide what looks best. Often what looks good in the real world doesn’t necessarily translate to great photos.

-Make sure clothes are stain-free and pressed. 

-Have an open mind and take direction from the photographer. Even if an encouraged expression is “embarrassing” or “feels fake” it may well look excellent on a photograph. People who resist smiling and laughing are only hurting themselves.

-Go ahead and tell the photographer your “good side”. Why? You will be more receptive to the photos and feel better.

-Feel free to tell the photographer what you want to avoid and they can suggest a work-around. For example, people often tell me they don’t want to smile because they will get a double chin or show wrinkles. Both these issues can be resolved by posing techniques or  retouching/lighting.

-Sit up straight -it shows confidence. Everyone loves confidence.

Business Headshot


-Worry about feeling anxious. Over the years people have admitted to me they would rather go to the dentist than have their photo taken. I get it! A professional photographer will put you at ease. Honestly, a great photographer can capture your look in a few minutes. I have been in high-pressure situations where I needed to get a Fortune 500 CEO’s portrait in 5-10 minutes.

-Resist the photographer’s suggestions. Let the photographer guide you into poses & expressions. If you cannot smile “properly” ask the photographer for suggestions. Just because something feels uncomfortable doesn’t mean it won’t look good.

Notice how I haven’t spent much time telling you posing techniques? That’s because it’s not your job to know this. Take the pressure off and let the photographer guide you. Relax and suspend disbelief.

Do and Don’ts For Executive Headshots FAQs

What Questions to ask a Headshot Photographer?

Do You have a Portfolio of Examples of Real People (not models)? What is Included in Your Rate? Will the Session Be Indoors or Outdoors? How many Looks will I get? What are my Image Usage rights?

How to Prepare for Corporate Headshots?

Bring clean Pressed clothing. Bring options for colors. Be makeup and camera ready. Have your hair done and ready.

Corporate Headshot Poses?

Look at examples on the Photographer’s website that you like. Show them and ask for something similar. Bring examples from Pinterest or Instagram and show them to the photographer.