This is an interesting question that I am asked all the time. And my answer would be yes, it is fine for professional headshot photos to be outdoors. I mean, why ever not? Given that the corporate world has changed beyond all expectation over the past decade or so. Firstly there has been a sea change in corporate culture. With people dressing more casually and the lines between work and home life becoming blurred.
And then, of course, the pandemic hit and that shifted the paradigm very quickly. Whereas until two years ago, working from home was unusual, the events of the past two years changed that completely. And in some sectors, working from home at least a few days a week has become the norm. Further blurring the lines between home and work. Nowadays, people work from all sorts of places, including their garden, outdoor cafes, etc. So this has obviated the need for suited and booted, grey background headshots. As they just don’t reflect everyone’s working reality. Happily, you don’t have to sacrifice professionalism to have outdoor headshots.
And then of course the corporate world has shifted its focus to being far more green. More environmentally friendly, at least nominally. Companies work hard to meet the criteria to be BCorp certified and shout about their green credentials.. So having images outside, blurring that line between office and outdoors just gives a little nod to that shift. And even better if there are plants, trees or flowers in the images.
And as mad as it sounds, interior trends have also made it more acceptable to have professional business photos outdoors. A few years ago, not that many people had houseplants. However that has completely changed! Everyone’s home is filled with houseplants, as are offices, shops, restaurants, etc. Even a royal wedding had trees inside the church! So the trend of bringing the outside in has become huge, as has the trend to live outside as if inside. We now desire outdoor kitchens. And new office buildings have roof terraces and encourage employees to use them. Now we aspire to live a more holistic life blurring the line between indoors and out, And this has all made it seem so much more normal to have professional headshot photos outdoors, They reflect how we feel and how we wish to live. Not cooped up inside while working, or living.
Happily for me, this trend works so well with my style of photography and personal preferences. I am an outdoor girl and I am a natural light photographer. The abundance of nature has always been a huge inspiration to me in my work and in my life. I have a whole series of images of woman photographed outdoors which I refer to as the Bolton Blossoms. And a portrait is a portrait, whether a headshot, a family portrait or a female empowerment portrait. The lines are blurred so it stands to reason that I would take my headshot photography outside as well. Just look at the pages of my website to see how much this is the case. And of course there are a few examples here as well.
And if you are looking to have some professional business portraits, whether in your office, on location or in my West London studio, I would love to help. You can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org, ring me on 07958511819 or click to book a Zoom or telephone conversation.
“Photography through the lens of a storyteller”
LONDON HEADSHOT AND CORPORATE PHOTOGRAPHER