Style matters. Actors and lawyers both need headshots, but the images convey very different messages. That's why I always ask my clients how you're going to use these photos. 

When you need new company headshots, or a team photo of everyone, consider these points to make sure the photos match your company's brand identity and story. 

Headshots for lawyers - Gary KruikshankMessage and style - The images need to convey your personality, and the brand of your company. This starts with picking out appropriate clothing to wear. Financial companies usually go for the jacket and tie look. It conveys trustworthiness, a traditional attitude and reliability. Law firms and insurance companies also adopt this look and feel.

Many start-ups and more casual companies avoid the formal look. They prefer to show how cool they are, by letting people wear whatever they want. This sends a message about the type of company, to the people viewing the pictures. 

Traditional businesses can experiment with different backgrounds. They don't all have to be on a neutral or white seamless backdrop. I prefer to add in elements to the background to create additional visual interest. Many buildings have some kind of unique architectural feature to use. Repeating patterns of steel and glass, windows, and brick walls can be very pleasing when out-of-focus in the background of a photo. 

Some start-ups want to feel much more fun and free-spirited. I love how Wistia uses mouse-over effect to show a few silly headshots as well as a regular smiling one. Everyone has one standard image, 3/4 profile looking to their right. Then each person has 2-3 additional shots which show movement, dancing, playing with props or some kind of inventiveness. When you're creating shots like this, you have to really commit to the idea. Playing it cool, or not going big enough doesn't work. Photographers must create a safe environment. Their subjects need to  feel free from judgment to express themselves. 

Consistency - You should decide early on if you want everyone to have the same kind of headshot, or if you want them all to be different. Creating consistency is totally possible, if it's planned properly.

You can achieve the same look and feel on different photoshoots, no matter the time of day or weather. For Localytics, we shot everyone in one conference room, looking out the window. The building across the street became the background. I took one blank frame with no one in it. Later, we could photoshop people in to the same set-up. It's an easy method to keep the same look as your team grows.


Shoot one frame without a person, for easy photoshopping in the future. 

Whole Team shots

Sometimes you want to get everyone into one single shot for posterity. I've helped companies mark important milestones like closing a funding round or releasing a new version of their product. Bringing everyone in to a single frame helps preserve that memory. People want to remember who was there, contributing to the larger team's success. 

These shots present their own logistical challenges. Usually it's best to take the picture from an elevated position. That allows the most number of faces to be seen. Large company atriums are great for this. Make sure to feature some company swag where it can be seen. 


The Onshape Team gathered to celebrate releasing their public beta.

Ford's celebration

Ford put together an amazing photo a few years ago. In 2006, they leveraged their logo, the blue oval, as collateral for raising debt. These were some tough financial times. When they received an upgrade on their debt rating, they regained ownership and control of the logo. To celebrate, employees from their Dearborn, Michigan plant gathered together in blue and white shirts for a team photo. They recreated their logo on open field. Over 600 people took part in that picture. It was a proud moment for the company, and for every one of people in that shot. 


AP Photo/Ford Motor Co, Jennifer Moore

Your company can mark similar milestones. With a little creativity you can craft an image that will become a part of your company's story. 

Photos for Recruiting

Culture matters. Team pages indicate more than just who works at your company. They can also show what type of people work there. Recruiting top talent has always been a challenge. Now, more than ever, well-qualified people can shop around to find the type of company they want to work for.

This study showed that 77% of millennials rank culture as important, or more important than salary and benefits. Since they are now the largest segment of the working population, targeting millennials is critical. Make sure you choose a photographer who will work with you to capture the essence of your company culture. Your website is the primary place potential employees look for insight into the company culture. Make sure you convey the right message with the best photos of your employees.

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Topics: Headshots