How Do I Choose the Best Executive Headshots?

C. Mitchell

Choosing the best executive headshots is chiefly a matter of determining what sort of image you want to convey, then ensuring that all of the photos for your organization complement each other. Most of the time, companies organize executive photo shoots with the intention that the end results will all reflect the same general style and image. Choosing images often requires some degree of consistency. It is also important to consider how the executive portraits will be used. Pictures posted on a website are often different in terms of pixilation and resolution than those printed in ads or scanned onto posters.

A person looking to choose headshots needs to know what sort of image they want to convey.
A person looking to choose headshots needs to know what sort of image they want to convey.

The first thing to think about is what sort of a look you are trying to convey. Nearly all executive headshots contain only a person’s head and shoulders, but the style of the photo can range from the glamorous to the staunchly professional. If you are looking to inspire confidence in your leadership, you may want to choose executive headshots that are more subdued. Photos that are angled or stylized may not be appropriate for all businesses.

Headshots have many purposes, but their main goal is to acquaint clients, consumers, and the general public with the executives. As such, the photos' style should reflect the general tone of the business. A company that specializes in artistic design might find more playful executive headshots effective, while the same photos could detract from the credibility of a financial or legal firm.

It is usually also important to ensure that all executives within the same company or division have comparable headshots. Most of the time, all business portraits are displayed together on corporate websites, annual reports, and other official documents. Executive headshots in wildly different styles, colors, or sizes can detract from the professionalism many are intended to convey. Choosing a single photographer for all shots is a good way to promote consistency. Barring that, photos should be selected such that they convey a similar, consistent message.

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Finally, you should consider how you are going to be using the photos before making your final choice. If you are intending to post the images on a corporate website, you will want to choose headshots that are clear when viewed in a small size. You will also want to make sure that the resolution meets the specifications of your site. Photos destined from print advertising or promotional materials often have different requirements. Most photographers can help manipulate executive portraits for different purposes, but you must usually make these requests known at the outset.

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