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Professional Headshots for Team and Organizations

Doctor Headshots: How to Plan, Costs, Examples & More

By June 16, 2023No Comments

doctor headshots

Having polished, professional doctor headshots could be the difference between new prospective patients choosing your medical practice over another. Unfortunately, securing headshots may require additional labor you didn’t anticipate, such as:

  • Organizing custom backdrop and equipment rentals: Your staff’s headshots need a clear, cohesive background in their photos to maintain credibility. Sourcing the necessary backdrop and equipment to produce stellar pictures comes at an additional cost outside the general fee for the photographer(s).
  • Finding an available photographer within your hospital budget: Photographing multiple practice staff members can be a big undertaking. It’s not uncommon for larger shoots to cost thousands of dollars once you factor in shooting, editing, and retouching work.
  • Coordinating the schedules of all the physicians in your practice for an in-person photo session: Physicians and other medical staff are busy enough every day. Setting aside a single time to take photos requires a coordinated effort between your team and a temporary sacrifice among your patients.

We’ve experienced these struggles firsthand, so you don’t have to. In this guide, we show you exactly how to obtain great headshots from start to finish, covering planning, costs, and real-life examples to make your next photo session successful.


Why Your Doctors’ Headshots Are So Important

Securing headshots for your medical practice’s physicians can take a surprising amount of time. However, it’s well worth the investment for the long-term benefits your practice and potential patients gain. To illustrate this, let’s take a look at a site with cohesive headshots for their doctors:

medical headshots example 1

Now, compare those professional headshots to a site without a unified backdrop:

doctor headshots bad example

From a patient’s perspective, you can instantly see a clear difference in presentation. The cohesive set of doctors’ headshots exudes an aura of credibility, professionalism, and commitment as a team.

The latter headshots showcase a friendly, confident disposition, but the lack of background consistency and photo style visually communicates some degree of disorganization.

Seemingly minor distinctions can make a huge difference when a patient decides between two equally praised practices. Having professional headshots speaks to your thoughtfulness and care as an organization.


Planning a Doctor Headshots Session

Taking headshots into your own hands can be a significant undertaking, especially considering the busy nature of your practice. Here is what you can expect while coordinating a headshot session through traditional and modern routes.

The Traditional Way (The Hard Way)

1. Research Your Options

To start, you need to gather information on local headshot photographers and put together a timeline that works with your team of busy physicians. Photographers often book months in advance and can charge high premiums depending on their availability, so you might have to work with a timeline or cost that doesn’t quite match your initial expectations.

Have details about your team’s accessibility, backdrop needs, and overall project scope readily available. If possible, come up with a couple of prospective dates in case the photographer is unavailable on your first preferred date.

2. Book a Local Photographer

Once you find a photographer that suits your needs, it’s time to outline the points of the contract. It’s up to you to manage your photo session, so iron out the details proactively to get the results you’re looking for as quickly as possible.

How many headshots will you need? Will all poses and backdrops be the same? Will you require retouches and edits? What will the wardrobe look like? Have all the answers to these questions long before the shoot day.

3. Execute a Coordinated Photo Shoot

When shoot day rolls around, each doctor must understand the basics of posing, placement, and wardrobe so you can all have a successful photo session. Time is of the essence, especially if you’re shooting outdoors where the lighting can be unpredictable. Prepare your staff to be as efficient as possible.

Your photographer will help guide your doctors through the posing process.

4. Provide Post-Production Guidance

After your shoot, you’ll need to wait on your photographer to light, color grade, edit, and retouch your headshots. Be as detailed as possible with your revision requests to get your photos back quickly. If you need print materials, let the photographer know so they can factor that cost into the final invoice.

5. Anticipate Your Site Upgrade

Every photographer is different, but you can expect to get your completed headshots back within a few days to a couple of weeks. Additional edits and retouch requests will require extra time for the photographer to revise accordingly. Once you’ve received your headshots, don’t forget to ask your medical team to update their profiles. (The Easy Way)

While professional headshots are undoubtedly important, the traditional route of obtaining them can be a hassle, especially when coordinating the schedules of several busy practitioners.

Fortunately, you can circumvent this process by opting for virtual headshots through Your doctors may not be able to set aside time for an in-person photo shoot, but everyone can snap a quick photo with their phone.

Once each doctor receives direction from our staff on taking a few portraits, they can submit their photos to a virtual dashboard. This way, you can obtain all pictures of your staff at once, even if they’re traveling or geographically dispersed.

The photos are then edited, retouched, and set to your choice of a custom background. Each picture is hand-edited by our team of experts (no tacky A.I. needed), and we manage every step of the process so that you don’t have to lift a finger.

Photos are delivered within 3 business days and backed by our Happiness Guarantee to ensure your team is satisfied with their studio-quality photos for a fraction of the time and price. From there, you’re all set to update your practice’s website, LinkedIn profiles, and any other print materials, like brochures and business cards.


What Your Doctors Should Wear

Prepare your team of doctors with these general guidelines for making wardrobe decisions when getting their headshot.

Women’s Headshot Attire

Doctor headshots follow the central rules of women’s headshot attire, except that a professional white coat may replace a traditional blazer. Lean toward darker-colored fabrics for base layers to better contrast against a white coat or blazer, preferably without any distracting accessories.

Jewelry, glasses, and head scarves are definitely acceptable; simply make sure to present yourself in a way that’s authentic to your everyday look.

doctor headshots - womenMen’s Headshot Attire

Men’s attire for physician headshots should focus on simple, darker-colored fabrics with a business blazer or white coat paired with a contrasting tie. You can opt for scrubs too, but take care to remove any wrinkles. Small accessories are fine, but they shouldn’t be that different from what you wear daily.

All doctors should pose using good posture and a confident yet relaxed position. Don’t forget to smile to make a lasting impression on future patients!

doctor headshots - mens attire


Examples of How to Pose

Snapping a great headshot starts with an equally great pose. Here are some time-tested poses to inspire your team.

Stunning, Centered Smiles

You can’t go wrong with a casual, professional smile. Bring out your favorite white coat, center yourself, and greet the camera with the same bedside manner you present to your patients. You can even angle one shoulder closer to the camera for a more distinct profile appearance.

physician headshots - posing example 1Crisscross

For all the doctors who don’t know what to do with their hands, create a confident pose by crossing them gently in front of your body, angling your focus towards the camera. Pair your pose with your stunning smile, and you’ve got a winning combination!

physician headshots - posing example 2Collected Confidence

Create a good first impression with a calm, collected pose. Opt for a focused photo from the shoulders up, with your white coat and reassuring smile.

physician headshots - posing example 3


Typical Cost of Headshots for Doctors

Factoring in the expected cost of headshots can significantly impact your options, especially when accounting for an entire team of doctors. Generally, you can anticipate paying several hundred dollars per headshot through a traditional photo shoot—or less than a hundred dollars through a virtual service like

Approximate Price Paid per Finished Headshot

Traditional Photo Shoot* 
$100 to $500 per headshot $25 to $50 per headshot

*Not including pre-planning or opportunity costs due to the logistics involved with a traditional photo shoot

In a traditional photo session, costs add up fast. You have to factor in payment for equipment rentals, studio space, the photographer’s time, and post-production expenses.

It’s not uncommon to anticipate each headshot may cost several hundred dollars, especially if your shoot takes place during a particularly busy season for photographers.

On the other hand, a virtual service like offers a more affordable solution with studio-quality results. Your staff can take photos on their own schedule so they don’t miss out on valuable time with patients, and our team handles the photo capturing and editing experience from start to finish.

Our fully remote headshot service costs $50 per finished picture and can be as low as $25 per picture.

It’s also worth considering that traditional photo shoots have significantly more opportunity costs. That’s because of the extra time needed to budget, coordinate, and execute an in-person session.


Next Steps: Get Studio-Quality Doctor Headshots with a Fraction of the Effort

Learn more about our quality virtual headshots, and take your medical practice’s presentation to the next level.

From project management to final retouches, we handle the entire process from beginning to end, saving you time and money. With a few clicks, you’ll secure studio-quality headshots and help your medical team stand out.


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