Planning for your corporate portrait

You’ve booked your corporate portrait with your commercial photographer. If you’re based in Preston or Lancashire, hopefully you’ve booked that portrait shoot with me. Then, as the day draws near, you start to wonder whether you should prep anything before I turn up. Well…

A portrait shoot – at its most basic – requires only three elements: you, me and a camera. But let’s not forget that your portrait should be around for a while, so it’s worth ensuring you’re happy with the version of you it presents.


Investing in me as your Preston corporate photographer may not be the largest expense your business faces this year – but the results should last for at least year (if not several more).

So if you’ve been meaning to get your hair cut, restyled or recoloured, why not do it before the shoot, so your portrait isn’t out of date the moment you leave the salon/barber’s?

Facial hair

Are you trying out facial hair but planning to ditch it? Have you ordered your commercial portrait shoot for Movember when you’re clean shaven the rest of the year? Is that hipster beard doomed to history? It won’t be if you don’t shave it off before the shoot.

Make up

Nice and subtle is what tends to work best. On the assumption your portrait is aiming to present a professional, corporate-ised version of yourself, it’s best to avoid glamming up too much. There are industry-specific exceptions, but if in doubt, underplay it.


If you usually wear glasses, I’d suggest wearing them for your portrait. If you don’t, don’t. When one of the key purposes of your professional corporate portrait is to let a viewer see who they’ll be talking to when you meet, it really doesn’t make sense to confuse them.


Smart, casual, formal, scruffy-chic – it really doesn’t matter what you settle on for your portrait shoot, but it is important to settle on something and ensure everyone’s on the same page.

I’ve done shots for creative companies where even the CEO is in jeans and t-shirt, and I’ve done shoots for law firms where everyone is in a business suit. Either can work brilliantly – where it falls down is when someone doesn’t play the game. Faced with a webpage of portraits where one person is in casual and everyone else is suited, the obvious question is ‘which is the real face of the company?’. If there’s one thing your Lancashire portrait photographer shouldn’t do, it’s cause any doubt as to that question.

And remember, just before you have your shots taken, remember to pay the mirror a visit. I’ll always straighten a wonky tie or point out a rogue hair grip, but you’ll probably want to be the first to discover you’ve got egg down your blazer front.

Are you a Lancashire business ready to have your corporate portraits reworked? Let’s talk. You can find me here.

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