“What makes a staff headshot an investment and why should we invest time and money in them?”

Staff Headshot Portrait of women in black suit © Paul Worpole Photography

“From a “one-man/woman band” to huge corporations everyone needs a decent staff headshot …or two!”

Staff Headshot Portraits of three individual portraits of women © Paul Worpole Photography

Visually, our tastes are getting more and more sophisticated and more importantly it seems that everyone expects to see a staff headshot on the company page.

Staff Headshots portrait of a young man in a corduroy jacket leaning on a back of a chair © Paul Worpole Photography

Likewise strong imagery helps build your brand in a positive light, making a connection with your customers or clients and instils confidence in your company.

Staff Headshot Portrait of a man scientist smiling in between lab glass jars © Paul Worpole Photography

The About Us Page…
How often have you seen a seemingly random set of images of staff on the “About Us” page and just know these have been sent in by the individuals; climbing mountains, in the pub carpark or walking the dog!

Staff Headshot Portrait of Man leaning on a chair back laughing in blue shirt© Paul Worpole Photography

Perhaps an individual can get away with it in the ‘creative’ industry. You can even make them all appear to match if you convert them to black and white portraits.

However, if you run a business where the public image is important, then your clients need to trust & have confidence in your business.

Furthermore, you can dramatically increase this trust and credibility with the results of a professional staff-headshot or portrait session.

From years of experience of photographing staff, the feedback from hundreds of staff headshot sessions tends to fall into two distinct camps.

1. 10% say, “I don’t like having my photo taken and /or why is the company making me do this and where is this picture going?”

2. 90% understand the need to have that ‘online handshake’ and in most cases, certainly feel more valued by the company for making the investment in them. Most feel comfortable and some even enjoy the experience!

Staff Headshot Portrait of a man in a black t-shirt at a light mixing desk © Paul Worpole Photography

For the reason that they can double up and be used on other forms of media including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter etc.

Staff Headshot Portrait of a man in black fleece holding a welding mask from the Royal Opera House © Paul Worpole Photography

People love visual content…
Customers love to know who they are working with and will often look at the staff company page. It’s a human thing!

Staff Headshot Portrait of Man playing harmonica with herringbone baker boy flat cap on with a skull head ring and glasses on © Paul Worpole Photography

Here’s my Ten Important Tips That You Should Know About Staff Headshots…

1. Change of clothes…

Having alternative jackets or tops available gives you style options for the reason that it makes it look like there was more than one photoshoot.

This is particularly useful at MD & CEO level where you are often approached for a journalistic piece about you or your company. It’s very useful to have a bank of images available for editorial photography on tap!

Staff Headshot Portrait of a man in black suit shot on a wideangle lens with a surprised look on a white background © Paul Worpole Photography

2. Airbrush…?

It’s amazing how many times I get asked for “airbrush” work to be applied. It’s an old term from the glory days of the film stars, where they would literally get an airbrush artist to get creative, from correcting a few skin blemishes through to a whole new set of teeth.

Some of these problems can be avoided (see below) and others corrected “post-shoot” in Photoshop.

Staff Headshot Portrait of man against a black background shot from below © Paul Worpole Photography

3. Shiny skin…

Yes, it can be a problem particularly with the artificial lights I use, but in order to get consistent results on a large staff portrait session they are essential – it’s England so we can’t rely on natural daylight.

However big lights can be used to create an amazingly soft, flattering shape to the face and bring out those cheekbones!

Here’s the trick…

So my suggestion for women, first of all a good quality concealer or foundation & make-up to compliment your complexion. It will give you a much smoother appearance.

Similarly for men, a quick once over with a baby wipe can take away excess grease and prepare you for the camera.

Staff Headshot Portrait of a man in Microsoft leaning against a wall with four buld lights above him © Paul Worpole Photography

4. Clean those glasses…

Grease on glass lenses is a big no-no. Not only do they look awful, but its almost impossible to correct in post-production. Rather than moving the grease around with the end of your tie, rinse the lenses with some warm water and detergent, then dry with a clean tissue.

Staff Headshots portrait of a man in ceremonial uniform with maltese cross © Paul Worpole Photography

5. Smile and the world smiles with you!

Quite often, people don’t like their teeth. If they are yellowed, that’s not a problem as that gets corrected in Photoshop. However, some people are very self-conscious about their teeth and don’t want to show them at all.

Staff Headshot Portrait of a man with a beard and purple suit and purple glasses on © Paul Worpole Photography

That’s not a problem either as all I need is a smile with the mouth closed. It’s not just the smile, but how all of the 43 muscles in your face align to create the smile.

Almost impossible to fake a genuine smile…and it will be noticed!

6. It takes a little time…

One of the most common mistakes people make is not allowing sufficient time for the photograph to be taken. It’s tempting to ‘get it out of the way’ as quickly as possible and this can show on the face.

Staff Headshots portrait of a man in Brompton Bikes smailing with bikes around him © Paul Worpole Photography

Being realistic, a staff or business portrait takes around 10 minutes per person – not only to get used to the studio surroundings but the lights flashing too.

Not the end of the world…

Knowing that the first few shots will probably not be used and ‘it’s not the end of the world’ is a form of relief for many people.

For me, I like the person having the staff headshot to be part of the process and show them after a few shots what it looks like. We can then make some minor adjustments to hair and posing if required!

As a result, it’s hard to hold people back…sometimes!

Staff Headshot Portraits of three individual portraits of a man with a green crown on © Paul Worpole Photography

7. Posing…

With a few simple techniques, we take the time to pose and coach you so you’ll be relaxed and confident on the day.

Staff Headshot Portraits of four individual portraits © Paul Worpole Photography

Taking staff headshots tends to be 50% technical and 50% direction.

8. Make some room…

Because we set up the whole studio at your premises, it’s useful having lots of room but some privacy as well.

Staff Headshots portrait of a man in a lab with protective glasses looking at small round filter © Paul Worpole Photography
Unless drunk, many people do not like posing in front of their colleagues. So having a room with a door that can be shut is really essential to get the best out of your portrait session.

If I want to get some super silly shots, then I would recommend getting another member of staff to chat to them…invariably it ends up in fits of laughter and they can be the shots used.
Why, because they are genuine.

Staff Headshot Portrait of Man posing against large ice creams in blue shirt and khaki trousers at Cheshire Ice Cream Farm © Paul Worpole Photography

9. Out of the studio…

Some clients want the portraits or staff headshots taken on site and not in a studio situation. These can and do look spectacular!

Staff Headshot Portrait of Chinese women in white shirt and black trousers in office stairwell © Paul Worpole Photography

Corporate headshots using your own office environment as a background setting can look great, but there are things to consider:
  1. First of all, make sure that you build in enough time. If different aspects of the business need to be shown and you have 15 locations to do, this will expand the shooting time – especially if it’s outside and weather dependent.

Staff Headshot Portrait of a aman in dark blue suit with a beard © Paul Worpole Photography

2. Corporate headshots using your own office as a setting can look great, but consider how the background will look to others. Is the space cramped and full of clutter/stuff/paperwork? Is the decoration looking a bit tired in terms of colour scheme?


Staff Headshot Portrait of man outside Siemens building in Manchester © Paul Worpole Photography

10. Who is your target audience?…

And finally…this is so important and often overlooked. Always think about your audience and what they expect of a staff headshot.

Clean and corporate headshots on a pure white or black background.


Staff Headshot Portrait of a man in a blue University of Cambridge boiler suit working on a lathe © Paul Worpole Photography

Next to industrial machinery or in the lab?

Wherever we shoot, it needs to be appropriate, enhances the branding of the company and conveys the message of a professional organisation.

Say “Cheese!”

Time to bite the bullet and get those staff headshots in the bag? Contact me here.