Successful Business Portraits

How to take business portraits that make you look successful and happy!

Every businessperson wants to look successful and happy in their portraits, but it can be a challenge to strike the right balance. In this article, we’ll outline four tips for taking business portraits that will make you look both successful and happy. By following these simple steps, you’ll create portraits that reflect your true personality and professional image.

What success means for our business is unique to your office, company, and brand. A warm smile with the coastline in the background may signify wellness for wellness experts. To convey trust, financial advisors may choose a neutral studio background reassuring clients that there is a real person behind the corporate logo.

prices for business headshots


What do you think successful and happy business portraits look like?

There are many definitions of looking ‘happy,’ but it is often defined as projecting positive emotions and satisfaction in your chosen career. Successful business professionals project confidence, competence, and competence. The best are almost always hired, worked with, and recommended.  The worst ones are overlooked.  If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner, you have a responsibility to yourself and your business to use business portraits where you look successful and confident.

What success means for our business is unique to your office, company, and brand. A warm smile with the coastline in the background may signify wellness for wellness experts. To convey trust, financial advisors may choose a neutral studio background reassuring clients that there is a real person behind the corporate logo.

Each person I work with will have a customized questionnaire so I can get to know you better. We will take a look at your goals and concerns, the things you want to achieve, and how well you are doing so far. Then, I will talk about how I will help you choose your wardrobe, how we can use your company colours, whether props will be necessary, and, of course, how to look confident on camera! This includes my monthly specials.

Related: Why modern headshots are important to everyone

corporate headshot in a suit

Business Portrait Tip 1: How to look happy?

Business portraits can stir complicated emotions even for those who consider themselves to be self-assured and comfortable in their own skin. I’ll show you how I change the script during your business portrait so you feel comfortable interacting with the camera.

When we take a picture of someone, we have a certain expectation of how they should look. Most clients ask to look confident, approachable, likeable, and natural. Don’t you find it strange when you see people who don’t match their business portraits? That’s because they have been left in silence for too long as their photographer clicks away behind a big, black camera. Or, they have been Photoshopped beyond recognition.

My approach is very different. When you’re sitting down for your portrait, I want you to relax. I want you to feel at ease. That’s why I keep things simple and natural. You can see more examples of this approach in my reviews gallery.

Empty compliments or saying, “cheeeeeese” are generally not viewed favourably by business owners. In my opinion, I prefer engaging conversations that generate conversation topics that demonstrate you’re smart, cultural, and engaging. While we chat, I’ll take a few pictures, show you the back of the camera, and then move on to the next outfit or background.

You can’t fake smiles. So I create them together with humour, empathy, and dignity.

Related: How to inject personality into your LinkedIn Headshots

corporate headshot for a writer

Business Portrait Tip 2: Backgrounds

Just as important as the outfit is the background. When I go to a client’s office, my goal is to be comfortable in their space and also make sure that it’s not too distracting or unflattering. During my Headshot Specials outside, I’ll try to use natural colours, like the sky and trees. My home studio uses fine art backdrops or neutral backgrounds that are not too busy. When a client first contacts me, I’ll ask them about their business values, branding colours wardrobe style and personality. Part of my service is to guide and advise you every step of the way, it’s why I have so many returning clients.

Here are some guidelines:

  • Traditional businesses: grey background
  • Creative industries: fine art background
  • Client-based industries: outdoors
  • Actors / Performers: all of the above

And of course – rules were made to be broken!

Related: The benefits of getting executive portraits 

Isle of Wight actor studios

Business Portrait Tip 3: Business Portrait Posing

Posing in a flattering way and showing genuine expressions are the key to looking good on camera. Essentially, it’s a combination of ‘faking it till you make it’ and science-backed posing guided by me. All my clients say, “Any advice would be helpful!” Since this is new territory for you, they all ask, “What should I do?”

Here’s a breakdown of what I do:

  • I’ll show you the pose
  • Explain why it works
  • Guide you into position
  • Make you laugh
  • Take the winning

I’m so experienced at this that the first frame or photograph is often the ‘hero’ shot that everyone chooses.

Related: The connection between happiness and professional business headshots

relaxed man headshot

Business Portrait Tip 4: Clothing

Wear clothing that is flattering and professional. This can be the most important part of your look. If you have a professional image to portray, make sure you are dressed accordingly. For example, if you are representing a company, wear a suit or formal outfit that suits your business and industry. If you are a writer, beautician, fitness coach or entrepreneur wear clothes that make sense to your customers.

I recommend:

  • long sleeves
  • solid colours
  • form-fitting clothes
  • laundered and ironed
  • groomed hair/beard
  • day makeup

advisor laughs on steps

The best way to look confident, professional and successful is to like what you wear. When you are packing make sure that you are focussing on what suits your client base, and company values and flatters your figure. The more focused you are on styling the colours and layers in your wardrobe the more professional and confident it will appear in the photo.

young actor blue blazer

Whether you’re a business owner, freelancer, or just starting out in your first career, you want to look your best. A great headshot can make you look confident and help you network with other professionals. If you’re looking for a business headshot, be sure to consult with my professional photography studio so we can help you achieve the look you’re going for.

My sessions teach you how to look confident in your business portraits. Book now at +44 (0)7719316609 or use the email below. Being Isle of Wight-based, I often conduct business portraits outdoors around Ryde and in my Seaview home studio. Get in touch now.


Please contact the Isle of Wight Studio on +44 (0)1983 617383

or Mandy on +44 (0)7719316609 email or use the contact form below



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