Taking a business headshot is an opportunity to capture a professional image that reflects your personality and brand. Preparation is key to achieving a polished, high-quality headshot that meets your expectations. Here’s a comprehensive checklist to ensure you’re thoroughly prepared for a business headshot session.

1. Consultation 

Initial Discussion- Phone or Zoom

  • Identify your use: Determine the specific use of your headshots—corporate website, LinkedIn, business cards, press releases, social media, etc. Do we need to match any branding colors?


  • Style Preferences: Understand your desired style. Do you want a formal, corporate look or a more relaxed one? Or both? This often relates to the type of profession you are in.


  • Wardrobe Guidance: I’ll provide advice on suitable clothing. I most often recommend solid colors and avoid busy patterns to keep the focus on the face. Bring a couple of outfits and I can help you choose what will work best. Avoid short sleeves.



2. Equipment Preparation

Camera and Lenses

  • Camera Check: I always check to make sure everything is working properly before you arrive.


  • Cam Ranger: I make sure that our live view is working properly so that you can review your photos in real time. 


Lighting Setup

  • Natural Light Options: (On location) If I use natural light, I will find the best locations. If possible, I like to do a site survey of your settings prior to our session.


  • Artificial Lighting: If we are shooting in the studio, I prepare and test our lighting equipment before you arrive to ensure a seamless session. I have recently incorporated constant light for studio headshots. I really like it because it is constant and doesn’t flash in your face (It’s most like natural light). 



Essential Accessories

  • Reflectors and Diffusers: I pack a 5 in one reflector. It can be used to subtract light, bounce light, and a translucent to block out any harsh light that I don’t want to hit you or your face. 


  • Tripods and Light Stands: I ensure all stands and tripods are secure and stable to prevent accidents.


White Balance

  • Custom White Balance: I set a custom white balance to ensure accurate color representation, especially in mixed lighting environments.


3. Background and Composition

Background Choice

  • Clean and Simple: In our studio we mostly use white, black or gray. Once we decide on the headshot you like best, I will give you a variety of crops. Square, rectangle and off centered so you can use your photos as a backdrop for branded message graphics. 



  • On location: We can bring our background or use your environment. When using your environment, most often we will set our camera to make the background out of focus so that you become the main subject.



4. Client Comfort and Posing

Posing Directions

  • Natural and Relaxed: I will guide you into natural poses. No need to worry about what to do. It’s my job to make you feel comfortable and always give you simple instructions on how to pose.


  • Expressions: I encourage genuine expressions, whether a confident look or a friendly smile, to reflect confidence and approachability.



  • Real-Time Feedback: I will show image previews to ensure you are satisfied with your appearance during our session. We quickly discover what is the best side of your face and then will go for a variety of expressions to capture the one or more that you like best.


5. Post-Session Workflow

Immediate Review

  • On-Site Check: We will review shots on-site to confirm you have captured the desired images.


  • Backup Process: I immediately back up all of your images to multiple storage devices to safeguard against data loss.


Editing and Delivery

  • Editing Software: To prepare to make final touches, I ensure that our editing software is up-to-date with the latest versions and ready for professional post-processing.


  • Client Preferences: I take note of any specific retouching or editing requests that you may have to ensure that you love your headshots. I usually apply what we call “age-appropriate retouching” to most portraits, but you can let me know if there is anything more you would like removed.


  • Timely Delivery: We discuss a timeline for editing and delivering the final images, and set a date for when you will have your retouched images in hand. 



Preparation is critical to the success of a business headshot session. By following this detailed checklist, we ensure a smooth, professional experience that results in high-quality headshots reflecting your professional image. With thorough preparation, we will capture headshots that convey confidence, competence, and approachability, meeting the highest standards of business photography.