Quick Corporate Headshot Photography Tips & Techniques

If you’re looking to break into shooting corporate headshots, speed and accuracy are essential ingredients for success. Jay P. Morgan shows how you can take three different styles of professional corporate headshots in just 30–45 minutes:

You may be wondering why you need three different styles. Shooting three looks gives more choice for the final image, and as Morgan says, if you’re doing magazine work the editor will want more than one image.

One of the keys to a quick photo shoot is to get set up and ready to go before your subject arrives for the shots. These are busy people, and they’ll typically only have a limited amount of time for the shoot. You won’t make a good impression if they arrive and have to wait around for you to set up all your gear!

Morgan advises using quick-change backgrounds or setting up lights in two different places before your subject turns up. Once they are there, be ready to go. Shoot fast and go for it.

For these types of corporate shoots, Morgan adds variety by shooting against a grey background and a black background, and then he takes an environmental portrait.

For the grey background, in this case, Morgan used a large, white reflector and flagged his lights so that there was no spill onto the background.

grey backdrop

Morgan takes several shots with each backdrop so the client has a few options.

For the black, he simply added the black cover to the reflector.

corporate-lighting-setup

For the two plain background shots, Morgan placed his strobe and softbox at the front with a white reflector to the side, and a strobe with a wide grid at the back to add rim light.

The environmental image was shot with a strobe placed outside the office, shooting through the opaque glass next to the subject to add light.

environmental headshot

Three more subjects turned up for a group shot, and Morgan decided to have them placed against an office window with a view of the buildings outside. He shot with one softbox directly behind him and above his head to avoid silhouetting the group with the backlight from the window.

professional group portrait

The whole process actually took 45 minutes with the group shot, but Morgan shows that you can create good corporate headshots with minimal equipment, simple lighting, and not much time. The key is simplicity and setting up beforehand.

Try practicing to see how quickly you can set up and be ready to start shooting—you’ll soon be looking like a pro!

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