Toronto Business Portraits

Portraits that mean business

Business portraits, or business headshots, are probably the most common and most effective type of corporate photography. It's the quickest, easiest and possibly the best way to connect with your customers.

These portraits can be used on your web site, blog, social media, e-mail signature, business cards, press releases, media handouts, announcement notices, conference programs and anytime you author an article for print or web media.

Every photographer will say they shoot business headshots. But that's not true. What is true is that every photographer can shoot some sort of headshot.

"Business portrait" consists of two words and both are important. This means the picture has to serve a purpose other than just looking nice. The portrait has to mean business.

A successful business portrait is one that conveys a message and that message can vary from business to business.

A common message is about honesty and friendliness. But it can also be about authority, confidence or something else.

A good business portrait requires a photographer who first understands the purpose of the portrait and then knows how to create and reflect the needed look. This requires a knowledge of posing, lighting and even some behavioural psychology. It's not quite as simple as one might think.

Behavioural psychology is for understanding how and why people look at a photo, in this case a portrait. Knowing how to guide a viewer's eye movement through a photo and how to influence their opinion is the key ingredient to a portrait.

The best way to convey trust, confidence and honesty is to look directly at the camera. Eye contact with the camera is equal to eye contact with the public. It also helps to smile a little.

If a company executive doesn't, can't or won't look the customer in the eye then you don't need a degree in psychology to know that something is wrong.

A portrait where the subject looks off-camera may be fine for a model or actor but in business, it often has negative connotations.

What's Your Style?

A business portrait is usually a vertical, head-and-shoulders style of picture against a plain backdrop. The reasons are:

  • This look is timeless.
  • It maximizes eye contact.
  • All attention is on the face.
  • It's the most effective.

But having said that, don't feel you're stuck with this format. Depending on your business and what message you're trying to convey, a business portrait can take on many different looks.

Decide on what you're trying to say with your portrait. There are no wrong answers.

Well, actually there can be a few wrong portrait ideas but it depends on the expectations of your customers. Remember that your business headshot is not for you, it's for your customers.

Perhaps you're trying to say "stable, conservative and trustworthy." Maybe it's about being "honest, friendly and approachable." Or perhaps "fun, casual and creative" describes your business.

Here are some suggestions about what to wear for a business portrait. But it's up to you and your business.

If you're wondering whether it's better to save your money and not bother with a business headshot then please read this blog post.

A good business portrait is the easiest and best marketing advantage you can have no matter what your business.

If you're now thinking, "That's all very nice but I just don't look good in pictures," then science has you covered.

There's a reason why every politician has a business portrait. It works. Their portrait earns them votes.

We instinctively make instant decisions based on how someone looks. Is that person friend or foe? A portrait will always influence our thoughts no matter what we may have heard or read about someone. We always trust our eyes first.

You may not be running for public office but every day you need to win the vote of your customers.

Contact us when you decide you need new business headshots.