Why are backgrounds so important to your headshot?
Personal branding and corporate headshots
Environmental Headshots – The importance of backgrounds and how it fits with your brand.
As a commercial photographer when I get asked by my clients to create headshots for their business, my first question is
“What do you need your headshots for?”
Very often, their response is that they need them
for their website – “About Us” – section and possibly
for social media such as LinkedIn and Facebook etc. etc.
This relaxed, yet casual headshot
was created for a construction company near Manchester, England.
They required a variety of shots to
be taken at one of their
The black background creates a
really classic look. It really helps to make the person stand out from
This image was for a business networking group in Cheshire, England.
Many offices are full of great locations.
This corporate headshot was created for a corporate insurance company based in Liverpool, England.
The glass walls behind made a
very interesting background.
Then I ask them what background they would like.
I would say that 80% of the time their reply is
it’s about you and your brand….
You and your brand are one and the same.
…“Hi, this is me, I am a really great person with a friendly, warm personality. How can I help you?”
CALL OR MESSAGE US NOW TO BOOK YOUR PERSONAL BRANDED HEADSHOT
We can help you with ideas on what background to use, what clothes to wear and even the best time of day for your chosen location.
How does that “business self” fit with your brand?
How does it fit with your policies, your culture and your ethos?
Only by having an idea of the answers to these questions will you be able to decide:
• What clothing to wear
• What colours to wear
• What type of background to use in your professional images.
A natural background showing an office environment is great for corporate businesses, finance or telecoms, but this wouldn’t work for a tree surgeon or a joiner or an engineer.
For example –
• Someone that works in a great city centre location may want to show the building and surrounding area
• Someone that works from home but lives in a beautiful place might have a more outdoor shoot showing trees and fields.
• For personal branding images you may want them taken next to signage showing location and logo or with branded vehicles – this is great for showing off your brand and advertising your company name.
These styles of background are excellent for directors, management teams and personal branding.
Multiple numbers of staff can be photographed in a few hours using generic backgrounds like this.
A really creative example of how headshots and their backgrounds can be used to great effect is shown on the Griffiths & Armour Insurance website.
Each location would have an interesting background but would be shot in such a way that the person would be in the foreground and in focus, lit by our portable studio style lighting, and the background would be lit by the ambient light but slightly blurred. These type of images are sometimes referred to as “Lifestyle” images.
After a courtesy visit to the offices, several locations were carefully chosen, photographed for reference then approved by the board of directors and the marketing team.
On the day of the shoot all of the areas to be used had been cleaned and prepared. I used a simple lighting setup so that we wouldn’t be in the way of day to day running of the office environment and had an assistant with me so that I could maximise the time spent with each director.
Below are a few samples from the shoot.
The other clever thing that was considered in these images is the use of a landscape format image, placing the person to the right and creating a darkened negative space to the left to allow for the legibility of descriptive text. This is especially useful when the website is being viewed on a desktop computer. Another thing to think about for the use of your images.
For example I did a whole set of headshots for a finance company near Manchester that used bright pink for their brand, so I shot their management headshots and team photographs using a bright pink background beautifully lit to highlight the brand..
For more headshot ideas, please visit our headshot portfolio page – thankyou!