In this two-part blog, photorgrapher Liz Carrington looks at the right environment for creating brilliant portraits, identifying five key points to consider if you want ?head and shoulder? portraits for corporate or professional use.

Naturally, you want to look good in your business portrait, so what are the top 10 things to think about to ensure your photos are great? In this two-part blog, photorgrapher Liz Carrington looks at the right environment for creating brilliant portraits, identifying five key points to consider if you want ?head and shoulder? portraits for corporate or professional use.

1.Photographer? it goes without saying  that a fabulous photographer is the first thing you need. With the best will in the world, if you have a fusty old photographer, who has been doing things the same ways for donkeys years, your portrait is unlikely to look fresh and modern. Similarly, if you have an inexperienced photographer, or perhaps a friend or colleague taking your photo, it?s unlikely they will know the tricks to ensure your portrait is as flattering as possible. Grab yourself a fab photographer with a style you love and off you go?

  1. Time ? One of the keys to creating a wonderful portrait is to allow enough time. Now I know you are busy and I know there is work to do but trust me, you need a little time for the magic to happen. I would allow at least 30 minutes but more likely an hour, especially if you?re going to be shooting in multiple locations and aiming for a few styles of photograph. An hour is enough time for you to relax into the shoot, without clock watching, enough time to try a few different poses, styles, lighting arrangements, backgrounds and expressions. With a good photographer, an hour will pass very quickly. Give yourself the best chance to have a flattering relaxed-looking portrait. You will be glad you did.
  1. Natural light ? This is an easy one. If you are having your photo taken, natural light is likely to be the most flattering light. Use windows and light-filled spaces to bounce the light all around and fill in any shadows. If it?s a super bright day and you want to avoid the harsh sunlight, bounced light works best – this is why photographers use reflectors and shade. However, there are times when you will be photographed with studio lighting – a little more intimidating perhaps, but the even lighting gives a great glow.
  1. Location? Its important to get a good selection of shots from your shoot, as time is precious and whilst you are doing a shoot, you need to get good value for your time. I would recommend at least 3/4 different set ups and looks for one shoot. Your photographer will scout these locations out in advance and have an idea what will look great. Windows work well, interesting walls and walkways with perspective are good too, as are stairwells. You will need to trust the photographer on this one, but be prepared to move around and try a few things.
  1. Style and feel ? Are your shots to be used on a corporate website, are they for Linkedin and social media? Do you need more than one look and can this be achieved by simply using several set-ups and taking your jacket off and rolling your sleeves? Professional photographers know that you are likely to need different shots for different media and different PR purposes. You don?t want the happy smiley shot used for a news story about redundancies, nor do you want a serious shot for a lighthearted piece about a fun charity event for instance. You will know what type of shots are most relevant to your work, but ensure you get a selection as your PR or Marketing team may need something else too.


Liz Carrington is a professional photographer, owner and tutor at THE informal SCHOOL OF PHOTOGRAPHY and likes straightforward people and almond croissants. Find her at and and follow her at follow her at

These shots were all taken by Liz in natural light on location to demonstrate the ten steps. Thanks to our wonderful model Katie, interior designer extrordinaire, who can be reached via

Watch out for Part Two of Ten Steps to Perfect Modern Business Portraits … on Wordville’s blog.