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Professional Headshots for Team and Organizations

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

By July 7, 2023April 1st, 2024No Comments

executive headshots

When prospective clients evaluate your website, branding materials, or even your company’s LinkedIn profile, they aren’t just judging the merit of your product or service. The people behind the product always speak volumes about a company’s priorities and professionalism.

This image is especially important for your executive team, who serve as the model for the rest of the company. Striking executive headshots are key for making a positive first impression, but obtaining these headshots may be more challenging than you might expect.

Coordinating your executive team’s busy schedules is just one piece of the puzzle. You also have to execute studio and equipment rentals, decide on poses and backdrops, and find the right photographer, which can be a lot to wrap your head around with a tight timeline.

We know these challenges all too well. Below, we outline everything you need to know to secure exceptional executive headshots, detailing the costs and sharing examples to help you achieve a successful shoot.


Why Your Executive Headshots Are So Important

Strong executive headshots exude credibility and cohesion to potential clients, investors, small businesses, CEOs, and other team members. They are the cornerstone of a good first impression. You can see how impactful great headshots are by viewing examples of well-thought-out executive headshots versus those with room for improvement.

Let’s take a look at this first set of headshots:

exec headshots bad example

While these headshots look nice individually, they don’t feel consistent or work as a unit. Gaining a client’s trust from these photos alone is challenging without a strong sense of unity.

Now, compare those to another set of executive headshots:

exec headshots good example

This firm meticulously planned out its headshots, making an effort to coordinate a cohesive background color and pose pattern. From a client’s perspective, we see a group of credible, confident, and approachable individuals that line up nicely as a team.

Investing in executive headshots is well worth the cost and helps your outward appearance as a company reflect your internal strength and commitment to your clients and stakeholders.


Planning a Headshot Session for Your Executives

Planning a successful headshot photo session for your executive team can be more overwhelming than you might anticipate. Let’s outline two paths to help you navigate the process.

The Traditional Way (The Challenging Route)

1. Coordinate with Your Executive Team

Preparing your executive team for what a traditional photo session entails is essential. They all have to find a block of at least several hours to set aside for the endeavor, plus they should also get briefed on the best poses, attire, and the purpose of the shoot.

Try to grab a few available times from your team so you can secure a session with the photographer as soon as possible. Now is also an opportunity to define your budget and determine which executive headshots are a priority in case you need to schedule more than one day for the photo shoot.

2. Shop Around for a Photographer

Once you have several available dates and times, you can start seeking out a photographer. Photographers with a corporate headshot specialty may be hard to find, depending on your company’s location. You may pay a premium for their availability or have to set back your shoot by a couple of weeks.

Give your photographer details upfront about the size of your executive board, what look you’re going for (preferably with references), and your proposed budget. You may have to do some negotiating, but make sure you complete an agreed-upon contract before committing to the service.

3. Prepare for Shoot Day

As shoot day approaches, it’s essential to prep your executive team. Ask them to show up a few minutes before the start time to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible. Let everyone know what they can expect, and provide some guidance on wardrobes and poses.

4. Execute the Photo Shoot

Photo shoots are quick and intense, so make sure everyone is on their A-game. Your photographer will provide direction according to your preferences and capture several shots of each executive.

5. Work through Post Production 

Before you receive your completed executive headshots, your photographer will spend some time editing and retouching the photos. This process can take anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks; it depends on your photographer.

Once you receive the headshots, you can use them to update your company’s website, business cards, and social media accounts. (An Easier Solution)

What if securing individual headshots in person isn’t possible for busy business professionals? Not to mention, it can be pretty expensive. Traditional photo shoots require extra time and labor around schedule coordination, photographer evaluation, and renting the items necessary to produce a professional backdrop.

Fortunately, you can secure professional business headshots virtually instead. allows you to get studio-quality headshots for a fraction of the time and cost. This 100% remote process is especially well-suited for executives who are busy traveling or may have trouble setting aside time for an in-person photo shoot. Your executives can capture and submit photos using just their cell phone and submit them on their own schedule.

corporate headshots

From start to finish, our interactive guide shepherds your team through the photo-capturing process to ensure you get your polished headshots back as soon as possible. Together, we curate a custom backdrop, or you choose from the library, so your team can shine in front of a background that reflects your branding sensibilities.

Once we receive your photos, we hand-edit and retouch each headshot, delivering results within 3 business days. Our Happiness Guarantee backs all our headshots and ensures you’re thrilled with the results.

As soon as you approve your company headshots, you’re free to download them directly from the portal to update your LinkedIn page, marketing materials, and brochures and share them anywhere else you need them.


What Your Executives Should Wear

Make sure your executives have a clear sense of what they should wear when shoot day rolls around. Here are some generalized guidelines to help your staff curate their wardrobe.

Women’s Headshots 

Women’s executive headshots should center around a dark, preferably solid-colored top, either on its own or layered with a neutral jacket or blazer. Lighter colors work best underneath a dark top layer, but avoid wearing light colors only since that can wash out the subject.

women exec headshots

Small, neutral pieces of jewelry and accessories are welcome, too, but they should not distract from the photo’s focus—the smile!

Men’s Headshots

The wardrobe for men’s headshots should also entail solid, darker colors to complement the subject. A light, neutral shirt is fine underneath a jacket or suit, but keep each layer to one color to minimize visual fatigue. Patterned ties and glasses are fine, so long as they represent that executive’s everyday look.

men exec headshots

With every executive subject, encourage good posture and tell them to focus directly on the camera. A confident yet approachable smile speaks volumes in professional headshots.


Examples of How to Pose

Having a pose or two in mind goes a long way in preparing your executive team for shoot day. Here are some tried and true choices to spark inspiration for your executive headshots.

The Angled Shoulder

This classic pose is a great starting point for any headshot and is super simple to set up. Have your subject stand with feet shoulder-width apart, a tall posture, and shoulders back. Instruct them to lean one shoulder towards the camera on a diagonal, keeping their chest centered. Tie it all together with a confident grin.

angled shoulder pose

The Centered Smile

You can never go wrong with a straightforward yet stunning smile! Pose your executives in the center of the frame from the chest up with an upright posture. Have them give their attention directly to the camera and offer a big smile for a professional, polished headshot.

centered smile pose

Crossed-Arm Confidence

Want a headshot that shows more than just their face? Have your executive stand shoulder-width apart, lightly crossing their arms across the chest. Pair this look with a smile, and you have a winning combination that says, “I mean business!”

crossed arm confidence post


Typical Cost of Headshots for Executives

Executive headshots can be surprisingly expensive. In the case of a traditional photo shoot, the photographer, equipment, studio rentals, and post-production costs add up quickly. It’s not unheard of to pay several hundred dollars for a finished executive headshot.

Additionally, planning an in-person photo session comes with plenty of opportunity costs. Coordinating an entire executive team for a single shoot when factoring in everyone’s complex schedules is quite a feat. However, time spent on set ultimately means time away from your clients.

Approximate Price Paid per Finished Headshot

Traditional Photo Shoot*
$100 to $1,000 per headshot $25 to $50 per headshot

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

On the other hand, you can use a service like to get professional portraits at a fraction of the cost. Our team walks each executive through capturing and submitting good shots on their own time, making our process well-suited for those who work remotely or frequently travel.

Once the photos are submitted, we touch up each headshot by hand, inserting them in a custom backdrop and producing polished, professional images backed by our Happiness Guarantee. Our service costs as low as $25 per picture and, notably, won’t take significant time away from your clients, unlike a traditional photo shoot.


Next Steps: Get Studio-Quality Executive Headshots with a Fraction of The Effort

Producing polished headshots for your team of executives shouldn’t be a hassle. Learn about our 100% virtual headshot services and save valuable time and money.

We handle the entire process, from coordinating the photos to hand-editing each headshot, so you don’t have to lift a finger. Get started with only a few clicks.


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