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When it comes to CEO and executive headshots, there is a lot of outdated information regarding do’s and don’ts, what to wear, should you smile and how to approach images of leadership in the public space.

If you Google CEO headshots and look under the images tab, you will notice a lot of suits, studio shots and indoor spaces. For some industries, that might still be the norm but in the day of remote work, startups and non-traditional industries, CEO headshots have a lot more flexibility and options.

Related: Company Culture Photos   |   Why Your Company Needs Employee Headshots  | How To Pose For Headshots  |  Headshot Background Ideas  | How To Take Professional Headshots

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Headshots will depend on a number of items like company, industry, what you want to convey, how established/secure you are, company colors (for branding purposes possibly) as well as your build, hair, location, outfits and more. Read below for tips on what to wear, how to pose, things to look out for, how people will receive photos and more.

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If you want to understand how CEO headshots have changed over the years, take a look at press releases, tech funding announcements and the like.

More and more CEOs are adopting a more approachable look and feel to headshots than ever before.

Sure, some CEOs still use studio headshots with accompanying filters, photoshopping, editing and artificial lighting, but those that convey a more natural, organic feel can signal certain things to their employees, candidate during recruiting and general company culture.

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Headshots these days can be taken outdoors as well as indoors. Ambiguous backgrounds provide flexibility as to not be tethered to a certain studio, logo background, office location or geographical footprint.

Public spaces allow companies to use different photographers in case their original one is unavailable or tries to lock people in by using custom backgrounds. 

A great photographer doesn’t need to worry about losing clients if he/she knows what they are doing. It’s also important to keep in mind how the headshots might be used beyond the company website.

Having options with orientation (landscape vs portrait) is key to avoid having to take new headshots or creating artificial backgrounds to accommodate dimensions and media requirements.

Related: Men’s Headshot Examples

Related: Men’s Wardrobe, Styling Ideas, Tips 

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There are several ways to create consistent, professional photos without having to rely on studio locations. Many good photographers can take environmental photos in one’s office space so that the backgrounds are not a generic solid texture.

Texture in backgrounds inject some uniqueness in photos, which is important to avoiding stock like images that are very cookie cutter and boring.

Many photographers avoid shooting outdoors to avoid sunlight, wind or location scouting which is understandable, but there are a few great photographers that specialize in outdoor shoots and help you plan accordingly.

Related: Women’s Headshot Examples

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For additional tips on how to take headshots, how to pose, what to wear, and background ideas, take a look at this headshot guide for help for both men and women.

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Approachable, professional images for business & creative individuals; I shoot outdoors, public spaces and clients sites (office or home).

I take the anxiety, planning and awkwardness out of taking photos. Assist w/ outfits, backgrounds, locations & creative direction.

About Eddie Hernandez

Eddie is a professional photographer in SF w/ clients internationally. He balances approachability & professionalism, focusing on wardrobes, appearance, location scouting.

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