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Executive Headshots in San Francisco

Build Your Executive Brand

Executive headshots are your most important tool for showcasing the competence and professionalism of your management team.

What Are Executive Headshots?

Generally speaking, the term “executive headshots” is used to describe business portraits taken of senior-level company executives, including CEOs, CMOs, CFOs, COOs, Board Members. etc.

However, the term is also used more broadly to describe a headshot for any important business person.

Headshots are generally cropped at mid-stomach level, so that the viewer can see the subject’s eyes. But, executives often prefer photos taken from farther away, as a larger crop is generally more flattering.

Executive headshots are usually included in website About Us pages, investor presentations, press releases, and marketing collateral. 

What Backdrops Are Best for Executive Headshots?

It depends! The most common executive headshots are taken on a gray studio backdrop. Different industries and brand guidelines should be considered before selecting a specific backdrop for your executives.

An insurance provider or financial institution should choose a fairly conservative backdrop (neutral colors). 

A friendly tech startup, on the other hand, might prefer an in-office or outdoor session, which add a bit more personality to your photos.

For a really special backdrop, consider taking headshots in an industry-specific location (imagine a construction company’s executive team photos taken at a construction site.)

Before selecting a backdrop, we recommend that you review all potential placements for your photos. Make sure that your selected backdrop will look good in all contexts.

If not, HeadShots photographers can work with you to design a shoot schedule that gets several photos of your executive team on different backdrops. For example, we can plan for one natural plus one studio per person. 

What’s the Best Way to Pose for Executive Headshots?

The most popular pose for C-Suite execs is an arms-crossed posture with a smile. Crossing your arms tends to convey strength, and smiling tends to convey friendliness. 

However, this pose shouldn’t be universally used when multiple executives will be displayed on the same web page, as two or more with the same pose can make the whole set appear contrived.

Because they’re closely cropped, headshots don’t require specific posing, so standard headshot posture is also 100% OK. 

What Are Common Mistakes for Executive Headshots?

The biggest mistakes are:

  1. Using a generic “corporate photographer” who doesn’t specialize in headshots. The photos will not look nearly as high-quality as those from a dedicated headshot photographer.
  2. Not specifying all photo requirements before your shoot. 
  3. Not getting commitment from executives on date/time.

What Are Some Tips for Great Executive Headshots?

The three keys to great executive headshots are planning, planning, and planning. 

You should know:

     – Exactly who needs to get photographed

     – Exactly who’s available, and when (not an easy task)

     – Exactly where your photos are going to end up

     – Exactly who is going to be difficult — we can budget extra time for execs who are awkward in front of the camera

If you give us this information, success is pretty much guaranteed.

Do I Need to Keep Executive Headshots Consistent?

We definitely recommend that you keep headshots consistent across your executive team. Crop, posing, and background style should be kept uniform across the group. However, sometimes slight differences in background is OK. 

For instance, if one executive has an outdoor headshot, with a mostly green (trees, grass, bushes etc) backdrop, a slightly different mostly green backdrop is OK.

However, the company About Us page will look like a mess if you have two studio headshots, one outdoor headshot and two indoor office backdrops.

What if it’s Impossible to Get Them All in the Same Room at the Same Time?

A common issue! In these cases, we can set up your organization with a Corporate Account. You can then send executives to our studio whenever they’re available/free. 

We’ve also been known to fly around the continental USA to provide headshots to dispersed executive teams.

How Much do Executive Headshots Cost?

Prices can vary according to geography, provider and package. However, you should expect to budget anywhere from $250 – $700 for executive headshots. 

Where Can I Get Executive Headshots in San Francisco?

Come on down to HeadShots Inc! We offer both individual sessions and team sessions for executive teams. We’ve been the trusted photography partner for some of the largest companies in the San Francisco Bay Area – taking headshots of everyone from interns to the CEO.

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 amazing executive headshots that get you noticed, check out our Individual Sessions or Team Sessions page for booking options.

Studio Sessions start at just $150.