Business Portraiture and Headshots

Corporate or business portraits are a staple for many photographers, but many often face a few key challenges when it comes to taking business portraits: How to shoot and control light bounce in small spaces, how to photograph people with glasses, how to photograph older people, how to pose subjects and determining the best equipment to use.

In this live photography workshop, Karl addresses all those problems, providing practical solutions and demonstrating exactly how to overcome these problems as he shoots live.

He photographs two different subjects in a number of different lighting setups, showing how you can achieve great results straight out of camera with well-positioned lights and just basic modifiers.

In this class:

  • Portrait photography: Business portraits
  • Recommended equipment for business portraits
  • Efficient workflow
  • Posing: Business portrait poses
  • Lighting setups for business portraits: Using one and two lights
  • Photographing subjects with glasses

For more business portrait photography classes, visit our Portrait section.

Questions? Please post them in the comments section below.


  1. hi i hve a neewer octabox 80cm to begin + 2 godox 685 with my fuji xt4. Many people has said to me that i can not use a larger octabox because my speedlite was too big to reflect all the poor light of a speedlite. But at the beginning of the video you said the opposite, that i can use a speedlite on a 180cm octabox.. what do you think about it? thanks!

  2. Hi Karl, may I ask you a question. I have followed your class business portraits and headshots and also already applied them successfully. I am a location photographer, so mostly work at my client’s place and I wanted to do the setup with the triflector but I could not place my octo high enough because the ceiling was too low. Had done this in my studio first and this gives a good result. What is possible with the triflector if the ceiling is not high enough? Do you have any ideas? Thanks in advance for the effort.

    Hugo Delvaux

    1. Hi Hugo, most ceilings are white. If they are then you can fire a studio light with a standard 70 degree reflector at the ceiling you will need to make sure that no direct light hits your subject from the light so barn doors are useful or a loose grid. Essentially if you can make an equivalent size of light (from the subjects view point) as the octabox on the ceiling and in approximately the same place then the tri-reflector will bounce that back.

  3. EltonRicardo

    Hi, Karl! Would you advice me to buy a 165cm umbrella with diffuser, or a 150cm Octabox for this kind of work?

  4. Safarudeen

    This is a wonderful tutorial. In the past, I have made a number of mistakes when taking business portraits. The most important thing was that I learned about inverse square law.

    Thank you.

  5. Karl, another excellent video. You have so many to watch. Do you have a video explaining the tethering tools setup and use? Are there different wires for different camera systems?

    Thank You

  6. Hi, will I get similar results if I use the Softbox 120 on 180 instead of the octa? Thank you

    1. Hi, yes it is bigger so will be slightly softer but you can mask a bigger softbox down if you need to or move it further away. Cheers Karl.

        1. Hi, if you mean for business portrait head shots then I’d put it horizontally. If it were 3/4 or full length body shots then I would put it vertically as you will see in another business portrait class.

  7. Hey,
    what’s the company name and the number of the gray background that Karl used to take the portrait?

    1. Hi, I use Colorama background papers in mid to dark grey, I think this one was called ‘Granite Grey’ but they change the names over the years.

  8. Hi Karl,

    You mentioned in the video in response to someone’s question regarding the pure white background shot, about doing it in post. Yes it’s quite time consuming when you do it yourself and probably more worth it to actually get the shot right. But I use a company based in Bangladesh to cut out pictures. They literally charges cheaper than peanuts and have your pictures ready within hours.

    Thanks for your great videos!

  9. Hi Karl
    Would love to thank you first for the great effort you are putting into this educational platform.

    I have a business portrait client (lady) requiring not only head shots but full length shots. Would the 150 Octa used as key light from the side as your first setup be enough for the whole length shot?
    Unfortunately got no time for experimenting in advance.

    1. Hi, yes it would but I would add white reflectors to the floor and below the softbox and full length white poly boards whereever you can. Or better still light into a v-flat arangement with a bare bulb light if you have the space.

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