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  • Writer's pictureDean Birinyi

Backgrounds for Company Headshots

Company Headshot Backgrounds

The background you choose for your employee backgrounds should be consistent with your brand, enhance your people's professional image, and, most importantly, makes your people the star of the show.

I feel backgrounds should be simple and should never compete with the people's faces for attention. There are four different types of backgrounds I suggest shooting on.


Grays work on any website regardless of the branding or color scheme. I shoot 95% of my headshots on a gray background because it is neutral, and all colors stand out against it. Because I bring my own lights, I can adjust the value of the background to coordinate with your company's branding.

Chinese man's company headshot in San Jose, CA

Whether we're doing men's or women's company headshots in Silicon Valley, I work to find the perfect balance between authority and approachability when working on a dark background. The small extra effort receive an enormous ROI in both the quality of the headshots and how satisfied your people will be with their headshots.


Woman's company executive headshot in Silicon Valley

White backgrounds are classic and always give a polished, professional look to a headshot. Much like a gray background, the neutrality makes the images very flexible.

White backgrounds can come across as sterile. If you are using your headshots for recruiting, it might be best to use a more emotionally charged background.


Patterned backgrounds are the most dangerous type of background to work on. Geometric patterns and variations in color or brightness can compete with the subject for attention in the headshot.

* Standing in front of a brick wall or using plants as a background is the surest way to end up with a contrived presentation that is ill-suited to communicating a creative culture in your employee headshots.


Asian woman's employee headshot on custom colored background in Mountain View, CA

I use top-of-the-line RGBW LED lights to offer custom color backgrounds. I can create a background color that perfectly matches any PMS or RGB color.

Colored backgrounds add energy and vibrancy to an image. We have to be careful the color doesn't overwhelm the person in the photo, so we work to find the perfect balance between matching your branding and controlling the presentation of your people in your company headshots.


Dean Birinyi is an award-winning photographer, founder, and owner of Professional Headshots Palo Alto and Silicon Valley Headshots. He specializes in expression coaching to guide his customers on presenting themselves as confident, approachable professionals ready for the next opportunity.

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