4 Executive Headshot Tips For The C-Suite Execs

by | Jan 26, 2021

Executive headshots have become critically important for C-Suite execs as the world has become increasingly digital and socially enabled. 

From LinkedIn profiles, to company websites, to press releases – high-powered executives need corporate headshots that show the the outside world that they’re competent, friendly, and trustworthy.

While some corporate and startup executives may think that “their work speaks for itself”, oftentimes investors, media, and even potential employees will make split-second decisions about whether you look like they 

And these days, many of those first impressions start online.

In this article we’ll cover our top for executive headshot tips. Let’s get started.

Tip #1: Choose an Experienced Headshot Photographer

If possible, resist the temptation to hire a generalist photographer or someone who is just starting out. 

While anyone can take a photo with a fancy camera, there are a bunch of small details that are critically important for ensuring the best results possible. 

For instance:

Can anyone edit a headshot to remove distracting stray hairs, whiten teeth, and acne – without making the edits obvious?

Can anyone ensure that you have a smooth experience on the day of your session? Can anyone show up on time and be prepared with the right equipment? (You’d be surprised how rare this quality is in photographers)

Can anyone coach you on posing and smiling so that you look smart, friendly, and charismatic in your corporate headshot?

Probably not. And that’s why you hire a pro who focuses exclusively on headshot photography.

Tip #2: Choose the Right Backdrop for your Industry

In general, some industries tend to use certain backdrops. While these are not hard set rules, it’s wise to take a look at your peers on LinkedIn and their company websites to see what backdrops they’re using.

To make things easier fo you, we’ve outlined the most common industries and their typical backdrop below:

Finance: Neutral Colored Studio Backdrop

Law: Neutral Colored Studio Backdrop

Real Estate: Any Type Acceptable (Most common is studio.)

Tech: Any Type Acceptable (If you work in sales, don’t consider about what your peers wear…consider what your customers wear.)

Healthcare: Any Type Acceptable

Energy: Neutral Colored Studio Backdrop

Consulting: Neutral Colored Studio Backdrop or In-Office

Local Services: Outdoor or In-Office

Design/Marketing: Studio Backdrop or Outdoor

Tip #3: Dress for the Job You Want (Even If You’re Already the CEO)

Make sure to dress up for your executive headshots. In general, you’ll want to wear solid-colored new-looking clothing. 

While some people, particularly in the Bay Area, like to dress uber-casual in their headshot, we don’t recommend wearing a t-shirt in your photos.  

Usually, for executive headshots, that means a solid-colored button down shirt and blazer. For C-suite executives or corporate leaders working in highly-regulated industries, wearing a tie is also the norm.

However, its OK for professionals working in tech to wear more casual attire like a nice sweater or polo, but you should be aware that your clothing choice may not impress old-school corporate execs who are used to professional formal attire.

So, if you’re selling to those people or hiring them (as the owner/CEO) your casual clothing may appear unprofessional to those audiences. 

Tip #4: Get a Range of Photos to Use

If you’re a senior executive or entrepreneur getting your CEO headshots, you’ll want to have a variety of photos to use in different scenarios. Ideally, you would get a combination of studio shots along with photos at your office/outdoors.

If you use the exact same photo across multiple platforms (LinkedIn, Email, Website, and Marketing Materials),  it can look a bit amateurish to the outside world. For these circumstances, we recommend out Platinum Branding Session, which is 60-minutes split along studio and outdoor backdrops for maximum variety.


That’s a wrap! Follow these tips and your executive headshots will be best in class and the envy of your industry. To learn more, check out our quick-start guide on executive headshots.

If you have any questions, feel free to email smile@headshots-inc.com or start a chat on our website.

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