CEO Headshots:  How to Achieve the Perfect One

In today’s technological era, most corporate networking is done online. A CEO portrait is an important first impression towards the public or potential investors.

Importance of CEO Headshots

A CEO headshot is a type of portrait photography that serves the purpose of showing an executive’s professionalism, friendliness, and competence.

It’s the first impression that prospective clients and business partners see, so it’s important that these images convey the right feel and message—you want to market not only to your clients, but their brand as well.

A CEO portrait is then an important and versatile tool as it can work as a portrait for a LinkedIn profile—and other social media sites—as well as on business cards, company websites, and press releases.

A corporate headshot also goes beyond just being a portrait: it can build your brand, and connect you to the public and potential investors

In our digital era, your executive portrait will be the first thing most people will see of you. Because of this, this type of headshot is crucial for big executives to give a good first impression and start building affection toward potential clients and associates.
Realtor headshot

Preparing for a CEO Headshot

The first thing to do to prepare yourself for your CEO portrait is to define the goal of the sessions and what image you’d like to convey.

Once you have an idea of what you’re trying to achieve with your business portrait and you have selected a professional headshot photographer, there are three main considerations to take to maximize your results.
A CEO sitting in a chair in front of a yellow wall for her headshotA CEO in glasses sitting in a chair for his headshot.a female CEO in a business suit posing for a headshot in her office
A CEO sitting in a chair in front of a yellow wall for her headshotA CEO in glasses sitting in a chair for his headshot.a female CEO in a business suit posing for a headshot in her office

1. What to Wear

Besides the industry where the photos will be used, factors like your personality, location, and the backdrop might influence what you wear for your professional headshot. The best rule of thumb is to see what your colleagues and other senior executives are wearing to match the attire most appropriate for your target audience.

Conservative industries like law and finance tend to go with formal attire. A suit-and-tie or formal corporate wear can never go wrong when aiming to convey credibility and reliability. 

When the corporate headshot is more geared towards recruiting and general company culture, more natural-looking images seem to be preferred, especially when the business photoshoot is aimed at customer-facing situations.
a woman standing in front of a wall with a sign that says your face is your place.

2. How to Pose

Once you’ve chosen the most appropriate outfit, the next step to consider is how to pose. Not all angles work for everyone and using the services of a professional headshot photographer will help you achieve your optimal pose depending on your frame and your goals.

In most cases, minimalist and straightforward poses are usually the go-to when taking these pictures. Most executives prefer a simple, arms-crossed headshot combined with a couple more candid shots to make the most out of their professional photo shoot, and have different images to use for different situations.
a CEO man in a suit leaning against a wall posing for a headshot

3. What Backdrops to Use

Depending on the industry the background might call for a more color-neutral-based approach or a more colorful or natural-looking backdrop.

For conservative industries like law or finance, a neutral-colored backdrop is recommended, using colors like white, black, or gray. A simple and clean background like this will convey reliability and consistency.

For executives in more creative industries, tech startups, or non-profits, you could play around with a more colored backdrop or an outdoor setting for a more flashy portrait.
Example of Woman CEO Headshot wearing glasses and a red scarf.

Tips and Ideas for CEO Headshots

A lot hangs in the balance of a business portrait, here are some tips and ideas to help you get ready for your CEO Headshot session: 

  • Do an online search and see what most of your colleagues are wearing to plan your outfit.
  • Take a look at previous photos of yourself and share them with the photographer to have a good grasp on your personal style and what works for you. 
  • Go with good energy to the studio, so get some sleep, exercise, and maintain a good mood.
  • Try your outfit a couple times before the photo session and make sure it fits and it’s clean.
  • Build a relationship with your photographer to erase awkwardness during the session. 
  • Keep makeup and accessories to a minimum.

Decide beforehand on how much retouching and editing you would like your portrait photographers to do, and on which images.

CEO Headshot Session Pricing

Discover the ideal headshot package for you or your team below
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Team Headshot
Get group headshots that meet your brand specifications.
Packages start at
Contact me to request a custom quote.
Individual Headshot
The CEO headshots package starts at
Includes in-studio session, online proof gallery, and one retouched file.
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You Only Get One Chance to Make a Great First Impression

Your image plays an important role in helping you achieve success. Get up-to-date professional portraits to use in your website, resumes, professional email, LinkedIn and on business cards.