Streamlined Staff Headshot Photography for Large Teams

Staff photos have taken on a whole new level of importance in our online-driven world. These headshots are often the first impression your clients get of your team. But with various factors like cost, time, and location to consider, choosing the right photographer for staff headshots can be a daunting task.

Don’t worry; we’re here to help demystify the process and ensure that capturing your team’s professionalism and personality is a breeze.

What Are Staff Headshots?

Professional staff headshots against white background

A significant portion of business activities have shifted to take place online or over the phone. This change brings an interesting challenge – how do you convey trust, professionalism, and approachability when your clients may never meet your team in person?

The answer lies in the power of staff headshots. These images are often the first and, in many cases, the only impression that a client forms about your staff.

Used on your website, email signatures, and business cards – they set the tone for your professional relationships, influencing whether clients reach out to your business or look elsewhere.

What Are Important Qualities Of Staff Headshots?

No matter how many staff you have, there are certain qualities you should insist on for your portraits.


Staff headshots should show your team’s competence and dedication to their roles. Clients seek trustworthiness and confidence in your brand. A skilled photographer can bring out these qualities in each of your staff.


No matter where or when your photos were taken, they should all match. This is achieved via studio lighting and careful control of the environment across different sessions.


It’s crucial each staff member feels their photograph reflects their true self. Sometimes a photographer may get a “good” photo, but that person doesn’t feel it represents them authentically. Maybe they don’t usually smile like that or they don’t usually stand in that way. In the future whenever they use the photo they will feel like they are lying to the world.


Tailor each person’s headshot to their role and position. The level of friendliness and seriousness should correspond to the job requirements. For instance, a senior legal counsel’s headshot will have a different tone than that of someone in customer support, all while maintaining the company’s overall image.

How Should a Session Be Run?

Staff headshot sessions are usually run in the office for your convenience. The process begins with pre-session planning to establish the desired look and style, ensuring that the session is tailored to your needs. Often guides will be provided on how to prepare for your session.

Photographers will bring studio equipment and set up on-site, providing professional quality lighting. This minimises disruptions to your team’s workday and you don’t have to worry about dark eye sockets caused by office downlighting.

Hair and makeup artists may be employed to give everyone a quick touch up, building confidence and enhancing the quality of the output.

You have the option to use the office or a plain background depending on your goals. The photographer can quickly advise you on the day of the most appropriate space.

Once the setup is complete, each staff member will take their turn in the studio. Your employees are not models, and are not expected to know how to pose. The photographer will guide them on posture and coach them on how to present their best qualities. They see the photographs as they go along and when they’re happy with the result the next person can come in. The amount of time varies from person to person but in general 10 minutes on average is good for a simple headshot.

The advantage of allowing staff to choose their headshot on the spot is that it ensures they are happy and proud to use it. Also it means there is no admin time afterwards well you have to chase up or go through thousands of photos to select which ones to use. Once the session is done, the photographer packs up and returns to the studio for post production – there is no further work for you.

Should You Use Retouching?

The use of editing and retouching can vary significantly from one photography service to another, and it’s essential to understand what is included in your package and what may incur additional charges.

Basic editing

Basic editing involves adjustments to balance overall lighting and color among the shots. In some cases we also clean up small imperfections in the office space such as scuffs on the wall.

Other times the lighting would show up as reflections in the windows. We also capture an empty frame to combine later in post production to give a natural look.

Professional team photograph against Sydney backdrop in CBD highrise building

Basic editing is a fundamental step in all cases, ensuring that your headshots have a professional finish. Without it, the results may be no different from smartphone snapshots. However not all photographers include editing in their quote.

Background Replacements

In addition to basic editing, you may have other specific requirements such as background replacements. This is immensely popular for multi-location offices. By using a consistent background, you can provide all your offices with a cohesive, unified look, even if they are in different places.


And then we have retouching. Retouching refers to refining things like blemishes and other small imperfections on the face and skin. There are also details like reflections in glasses, red skin, and what to do with scars. Styles vary greatly, some photographers have a “barbie-doll” look, while we prefer a more nuanced natural look. Our goal is that your friends and family think you look great, and look exactly like their impression of you in real life.

Retouching is necessary because the camera can capture and emphasise things that may be barely noticeable in real life. It’s about ensuring that your staff headshots look polished and professional while still maintaining their authenticity. We can adjust the level of retouching to your tastes, and everything you see on this website is retouched.

Sydney professional female corporate headshots in studio

AI Headshots

Yes, nowadays for the cost of a team lunch you can get AI headshots made of all your staff. But should you do it?

AI Headshots often involve sending a dozen or so selfies of a person, and then overnight a dozen to a hundred different headshots are generated and sent to your email. Some may look quite realistic, while others may appear a bit eccentric. This can be an appealing for a fresh university graduate seeking a cheap option for their job applications – although, look at our marathons for a cost effective headshot.

But for professionals and businesses, it’s crucial to remember the original purpose of your headshots.

First and foremost, authenticity and trust are paramount. What does it say to clients when you use your head stuck to someone else’s body as your profile?

Moreover, consider the impact on staff morale. What will they think when you tell them to bring 20 selfies, because the company is unwilling to invest in professional headshots for them?

Additionally, AI headshots are not a suitable solution for team photos and lifestyle portraits. Ignoring the issue of extra arms and fingers, these types of photography require a human touch and an insight into your business. Clients want to see “your office in action”, not “people in a generic office”.

AI headshots have their place. Just like I love instant noodles for a snack but wouldn’t use it for a dinner party, you should consider whether AI headshots are appropriate for your business.

Professional staff team photograph at conference table in Sydney CBD highrise building

How Much Should Staff Headshots Cost?

And now we come to the critical juncture in your decision-making process – the budget. Many often seek three quotes and opt for the middle ground, but when it comes to photography, the range can be vast. It’s like choosing restaurants in a foreign land without knowing their offerings. You might select three fast-food joints and assume the entire country lacks quality dining.

Instead, it’s better to have a firm understanding of your business goals and choose what is important to you.

Basic Pricing Models

The pricing structure generally falls into two categories:

  • Per Head Pricing: This is based on the number of people or photographs required. It’s a straightforward and transparent method that ensures you only pay for what you need. It also ensures each person is given the attention they need, without being rushed for time. If you add shots on the day, you will pay extra – but the photographer will be happy to accommodate for you.
  • Hourly Pricing: This can be attractive when you have a large team as you can fix down a cost. An unscrupulous provider may try to pad out your time. Or they may underquote the time required knowing you’ll have to pay more when it runs over. If you try to squeeze in extra people, a rushed photographer may start making mistakes and affect the quality of the work. The skill and experience of the photographer affects what you can get out of the same amount of time, so it is not a useful way of comparing different service providers.

Note that in both styles, post production may or may not be included in the quote. It is wiser to focus on the overall project cost than to be bogged down in itemised expenses.

In the grand scheme of things, all Sydney photographers face similar expenses: equipment, transportation, insurance, and rent. Regardless of their pricing, they must earn enough to cover these costs. If a photographer charges half the amount, they’ll need twice the number of clients, and will spend less time on your job.

Beware of enticing “deal” pricing, as it might not deliver the quality you’re aiming for. Quality often comes at a reasonable price, reflecting the photographer’s expertise and commitment.

Other Considerations

In addition, many factors are baked into the overall cost of staff headshots:

  • Location: Until we have mass teleportation devices, travel time is factored into pricing. Consolidating services into a single day will be more cost effective than spreading out over several days.
  • Usage Rights: Copyrights and licenses are a fundamental aspect of professional imagery. Basic usages are typically quoted, but additional charges may apply for specialised uses like billboards.
  • Additional Editing: Staff headshots are not as detailed as Executive Portraits. There’s a set style and amount of retouching included – which varies by photographer. Additional editing will incur charges.
  • Skill: A seasoned photographer may take 5 minutes to get a 9/10 headshot from each person, while someone less experienced may use 15 minutes to get a 7/10 headshot from some and only manage a 4/10 from others.
  • Contingencies: An experienced photographer has already factored in everything that may threaten the consistency of your headshots. A guided experience from start to finish, means less worry for you.

These factors constitute the “invisible costs” inherent to photography services that are often hard to compare.


Bulk staff headshots on white background

Ultimately, the cost of staff headshots should be a reflection of your specific needs, the photographer’s quality and expertise, and your budget. At Executive Images, we believe in providing staff with a great experience in front of the camera. By ensuring they are relaxed and happy, we can bring out their best.

The results extend beyond fantastic photographs. Our approach leaves staff feeling great about themselves throughout the day. They’re happy to participate in any business lifestyle photography planned, and they’re proud to use and show their headshots in their personal Facebook or LinkedIn profiles.

So next time you get quotes for your staff photography, look beyond the numerical cost, and see the value you are getting.

Executive Images provides Professional Headshot Photography conveniently at your Sydney office location. Contact us now and let us help you make your best first impression.

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