Shooting The Breeze is a photography blog by Gavin Jowitt, an award-winning Sydney-based photographer, offering valuable articles and advice on corporate, industrial, and architectural photography; life and photography in Sydney; and running a successful photography business.

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How to prepare for a corporate headshot

Published On: 25 July 2021By Categories: Corporate Photography
Corporate Headshots by Sydney Photographer Gavin Jowitt

My number one piece of advice for preparing for your corporate headshot is to try not to stress about it. I appreciate that some people get very anxious at the thought of standing in front of a camera; for others, it’s not a big deal. The phrase I hear the most when people arrive for their session is “I hate having my picture taken”. I totally understand that feeling. However, all that anxiety and stress will get in the way of achieving a great shot. Lucky, with me, you’ll be in good hands. Please, let me know if you’re feeling particularly stressed; I’ll quickly put you at ease.

Other general advice is to make sure you’re well-hydrated in the days leading up to your session and on the day of your headshot. Additionally, make sure to get plenty of sleep the night before your photo so you’re rested and ready to go.


I will provide direction for posing, and we’ll try a variety of options and angles. However, the basic tips to remember are to have a relaxed posture with your shoulders back and to push your face slightly forward towards the camera.

Smile or no smile?

My preference is for a smile with teeth. This keeps you looking friendly and approachable and is how you would typically look when you meet someone in a work environment. However, for some people, that’s not their thing. If you’re unsure, take a look at the shots on this page and see what your preference is. Alternatively, have a look at other photographs of yourself. Either way, we can try a few different options, so you’ll have the choice.

What to wear

Choose an outfit that has a classic look and is appropriate for your industry and workplace. Plain colours are your best choice. That said, if bold colours are your thing, then go for bold! Make sure what you select has a flattering fit, is clean and freshly pressed. If you are wearing a tie, choose a shirt that fits around the neck with the top button done up.
Read my what to wear guide for women here and my what to wear guide for men here.


As a general rule, do your makeup how you would usually wear it in the workplace. For headshots, you want natural-look makeup. Match the colour of the foundation to the natural colour of your skin. Avoid glowy or dewy types as they may create excessive shine in the photos. An oil-free matte finish foundation works best. Your face will be well lit, so it’s ok to take your lips, brows and blush a touch darker than usual.
Read my guide to hair and makeup for corporate headshots here.

Final check

Lastly, take a quick stop-off to check yourself in the mirror before you go to have your headshot done. Give yourself the once over to make sure that you’re happy with how you look. Check that your hair looks good, there’s no food in or lippy on your teeth, and there’s no fluff or hair on your clothes.

About the author
Gavin Jowitt is an accomplished corporate communications and branding professional with over 30 years of experience as a creative director and photographer. Awarded Australian Commercial Photographer of the Year in 2019, Gavin has built a reputation for delivering high-quality photography that enhances stakeholder communication. Gavin works with a wide array of public and private sector clients, guiding them in creating versatile photography libraries while offering extensive corporate, industrial, and commercial photography services throughout Australia.

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As a professional Sydney-based photographer specialising in corporate headshots, I recognise the significance of top-quality images for building the professional profiles of your key personnel. My expertise is crafting professional headshots highlighting confidence, character, and professionalism.
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