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Corporate Headshots in San Francisco

Magazine-Quality Corporate Headshots

Corporate headshots are a foundational tool for building a killer executive brand. Whether you’re booking for yourself, or for a group, corporate headshot photography can help boost your image and supercharge your career.

What Are Corporate Headshots?

Corporate headshots are business portraits typically used for corporate websites, business cards, LinkedIn profiles, and press releases. While the word “corporate” might imply that they’re only used at large organizations, individuals or groups of any size can book them.

Corporate headshots focus on showcasing the client’s professionalism, friendliness, and competence. A great headshot is a foundational first step for building a killer executive brand.

What Backdrops are Best for Corporate Headshots?

It depends! The most common backdrops requested are mid-tone gray and white (see examples of both above).

However, you shouldn’t feel compelled to use only these backdrops.

The most appropriate backdrop depends on your personality, industry and placement. 

For more conservative industries like law and finance, we recommend neutral backdrops like white, gray or black. Those colors allow really crisp headshots, conveying reliability and consistency. 

If you’d like your photos to have a bit more pop (for example, if you work in a creative industry), feel free to pick a colored studio backdrop or try an outdoor/in-office session. These photos often have a bit more personality. At our studio, we offer five shades of neutral colors, along with four colored backgrounds: yellow, light blue, dark blue, orange and red.

If you’re a senior executive, entrepreneur or thought leader, you should probably have several photos of yourself to use across platforms. Ideally, this would include a couple outdoor photos to supplement studio headshots. 

Don’t just use the same headshot  for LinkedIn, the company website, and press releases; that comes off a bit amateurish.

How Do I Pose for Corporate Headshots?

Your corporate headshot should be cropped fairly close around your head, which means pose doesn’t matter quite as much as in other types of photos.. There are still a few good things to try, though. 

Smiling with your arms crossed is perfect for conveying strength, and as such is great for executives and lawyers.

Looking over your shoulder with your body facing away from the camera is another great pose to try.

Finally, you can try a more candid look, aiming your gaze to the side of the camera rather than directly at it.

At HeadShots Inc, we try to capture at least three poses in every session.

What Are Some Common Mistakes for Corporate Headshots?

Here are the top four mistakes we see:

  1. Don’t cheap out with an uber-cheap photography and/or friend. They likely won’t have the same equipment, experience, or willingness to retouch your photo afterwards. (We have yet to meet someone who has perfect pearly white teeth, hair that never moves/frizzes, and no bags under eyes.)
  2. On the other hand, don’t book a photographer who will overly photoshop your headshot. Make sure to review their website photos. Some headshots look like wax was poured on the client’s face.
  3. Don’t fall for the idea that your headshot should be super casual. You can wear a t-shirt once you’re a billionaire, not before.
  4. Remember to update your photo every two years. Hopefully, people will actually recognize you when you meet them for the first time.

How Much Do Corporate Headshots Cost?

Corporate headshots cost between $125 and $750 depending on geography, package, and provider. 

When considering pricing, consider a) licensing (ie who owns the photos?) and b) retouching fees.

On licensing, photographers typically only give you ownership for photos that you “buy” from them. This fee is separate from your “session fee” which just covers the time spent inside their studio. If you want to use your photos on a billboard, or in print, or somewhere else – you may have to pay additional fees.

On retouching, many photographers charge between $50 to $100 per photo for retouching. Calculate those fees into your total session cost.

For reference, HeadShots Inc sessions cost between $150 and $400, you get 100% rights to all original photos, and  you get one airbrushed photo included. (Additional are just $25 each.) 

Where Can I Get Corporate Headshots in San Francisco?

Come on down to HeadShots Inc! We offer both individual corporate headshot sessions and team headshot on-sites. You can choose between a studio, outdoor, or in-office sessions for the perfect corporate headshot experience. 


dan st louis headshot photographer

San Francisco’s #1 Rated Headshot Photographers

About the Author

Dan St Louis is the Owner and Head Photographer at HeadShots Inc. As a headshot and portrait specialist, his work has been featured on the larget photography blogs in the world including: 500px, PetaPixel, Fstoppers, DIYPhotography, ShotKit, and

To get magazine-quality corporate headshots that supercharge your career, check out our Individual Session page for booking options.

Studio Sessions start at just $150.