5 Group Headshot Tips for Stress-Free Employee Photo Sessions

by | Jan 26, 2021

If you’ve ever booked group headshot sessions at your office before, you’ll know that preparing and executing the event can be a bit stressful.

Some photographers aren’t experienced at handling big groups. Some employees will show up unprepared. Sometimes the weather won’t co-operate.

However, over the past six years shooting group corporate headshot sessions for some of the Bay Area’s top companies, we’ve built up a list of bullet-proof tips to help you manage a smooth group photography session.

Follow these tips, and you’ll have a silky smooth session:

Tip #1:  Use a Dual-List Scheduling System

In this system, you’ll ask employees to register for a time slot before their session. That allows for busy employees to find a time slot that works for them

But, the photographer should also keep a separate list of people who get headshots in chronological order.

Invariably, employees switch spots, some people no-show, and others will want to jump in.

Without the second list, you and your photographer will have to email back-and-forth to match photos to the right employee.

A dual-list system removes all that busywork, and ensures the maximum utilization of your time slots while the photographer is on-site.

Tip #2: Send Employees a Reminder Email with “Prep Tips” The Night Before Their Session

Particularly when the group headshots aren’t paid for by employees, many people will forget that they have a session scheduled. So, it’s critical to send a reminder email to all participants the night before.

Some general guidance about how to dress will also ensure that employees are prepared to the greatest extent possible.

Tip #3: Use a Backdrop and Lighting Style that Can Be Easily Replicated Later

Especially for large groups, some of your employees will call in sick or have an emergency work issue pop up – so they will need to makeup their appointment later.

A simple, but well executed, backdrop and lighting style can make it easier to both a) schedule makeup sessions for your employees on other dates and b) match one offices’ headshots with another office to keep a consistent employee headshot brand.

We could write more about this topic, but it’d mostly be photography jargon.

Tip #4: For Large Groups Headshot Sessions (+20 people), Avoid Outdoor Shoots

There’s usually about two hours of good lighting ever morning and two hours of good lighting every late afternoon. For large groups, that means it’s almost impossible to fit everyone into one of those two hour slot. 

Outdoor shoots also risk disruption from rain and wind – so its generally best to either avoid large outdoor group headshots or limit attendance to 12 people.

Tip #5: Can’t Get Everyone in the Room at The Same Time? Ditch the On-Site Model

Sometimes, it’s just impossible to get a bunch of busy executives in the same room at the same time for a traditional “headshot day” on-site. But, at HeadShots Inc, you can also create a “Corporate Pass” account which will allow you to send employees to our studio whenever they’re available or in-town.

Some customers will use a big company event, sales kickoff, or executive off-site to efficiently organize an initial batch of group headshots for employees, and then supplement that with an order of Corporate Passes for group members that missed the event.


In summary, hire a real pro headshot photographer. They’ll know how to incorporate all of these tips into their sessions with you. If you’d like to learn more about our best practices and packages, visit our Group Headshot page for best-practices and Team Sessions page for pricing. 

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