Common Posing Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Business headshot photography tips Chicago

Let’s face it: there are infinite number of ways to pose for photos, but no matter what pose you choose, it can seem awkward and uncomfortable if not done properly.

Think of your corporate photos as your online “storefront.” Prospective clients and customers will often take the time to check these corporate portraits out before contacting you. That’s why flattering, professional portraits help you put your company’s best foot forward.

This week, let’s take a look at some of the posing mistakes you want to stay away from, along with some suggestions on how to avoid common pitfalls. Hopefully these tips will steer you clear from these mistakes and end up with more flattering portraits!

Business headshot photography tips Chicago


A genuine smile is something that comes from within you; it isn’t an accessory you can put on like a hat. As such, it’s important that you have a good relationship and rapport with your photographer. A good photographer understands smiles and knows how to get the best from you!

If you’re still struggling getting that natural smile, take a break and think about those things that make you happy. Casually chat with your photographer about these moments, and just relax. Remember: we delete unflattering photos and take the time to find the perfect photos for you.

Straight joints

A lot of people don’t know what to do with their arms and hands when posing. Without proper coaching, some people stand straight as a board with their arms practically glued to their body. This isn’t a particularly flattering pose when you consider that this pose makes your arms look bigger, especially if you’re wearing a short sleeve polo or sleeveless blouse. Plus, straight arms generally look stiff and unwelcoming. To make your arms look slimmer and more relaxed, bend your arms slightly and pull them away from your body. Also, relax your fingers, bend a knee and don’t be afraid to take a few photos with your face directly aimed at the camera.

Shoulders square on

The shoulders are the widest part of the body. Posing with your shoulders directly at the camera will make you look much larger than you actually are.

Whether you’re standing or sitting, angle your shoulders slightly toward the camera and bend forward at the waist. This will have a huge impact in your portraits!

Obsessing Over The Details

It’s important to carefully consider your wardrobe, jewelry and grooming well ahead of your session.  Once  you’re in front of the camera, however, let the photographer worry about these details.  What people see most in a picture is not whether every hair was perfectly in place, but rather, the overall energy and positivity in a picture.  So, it might sound cliché to say, “have fun with it”, but truly being “in the moment” and projecting a positive energy will make you far more attractive than perfect hair ever will.


Things to do in Chicago

things to do in chicago

Chicago boasts some of the best attractions, cuisines and entertainment in the country. But since you don’t have all the time in the world, choosing between all of Chicago’s most popular spots, restaurants and nightlife can be quite a challenge.

In this blog post, we’ve compiled some of the best things that Chicago has to offer. Here’s your comprehensive guide to the best things to do in Chicago.

Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP)

The Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) is an incredible collection, creation, and examination of contemporary photography and digital imaging. This is certainly a place not to miss in Chicago.

The Music Box Theater

For the last two decades, the Music Box Theatre has been the premiere venue in Chicago for independent and foreign films. It currently has the largest theater space operated full time in the city.

McFetridge Sports Center

From ice sports to tennis, the McFetridge Sports Center is open for events and activities for patrons of all ages.

Chicago Architecture Foundation

Most notably, The Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise is worth every minute. This river cruise review more that 50 buildings along the Chicago river and is a must-attend for Chicagoans and tourists. The foundation also highlights other tours in Chicago and ways to get involved.

Garfield Park Conservatory

As one of the nation’s premier conservatories, Garfield Park Conservatory features 6 multi-facing greenhouses and two grand exhibit halls. It additionally offers beautiful location for special occasions in Chicago including weddings, reunions, business meetings and more.

Novelty Golf and Games

Novelty Golf and Games is a fun stop off with friends or family. It includes two 18 hole minature golf courses, batting cages, a game room and more!

Sidekicks Chicago

Sidekicks Chicago is a dive bar in Chicago that truly is a magical karaoke wonderland. You are sure to have a good time any weekend at Sidekicks.

Art Institute of Chicago

The world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago is considered as the 2nd largest museum in the country.  It houses more than 300,000 works of art, spanning 5,000 years in history. Spend a day here and marvel at one of the world’s finest collections of art.

Grant Park

Grant Park is often referred to as Chicago’s front yard. It is a large urban park that is spread across 319 acres of land. A trip to the Grant Park is a must for tourists since it is where you’ll find some of the most notable landmarks such as the Art Institute, Buckingham Fountain and Millennium Park.

Magnificent Mile

Magnificent Mile is the most famous section of Michigan Avenue. It is the largest shopping district in Chicago, featuring hundreds of retails stores, hotels, restaurants and museums. Here, you’ll find high-end designer shops. It is where the rich come to indulge.

Gene Siskel Film Center

Founded in 1972, the Gene Siskel Film Center of the Art Institute of Chicago has showcased cutting edge cinema to their frequent visitors. Programming includes annual film festivals that ‘celebrate diverse voices and international cultures, premieres of trailblazing work by today’s independent filmmakers, restorations and revivals of essential films from cinema history, and insightful, provocative discussions with filmmakers and media artists.’

360 Chicago  

Located in the heart of the windy city is the 360 Chicago Observation Deck. Perch atop the John Hancock Center, the 360 Chicago offers dining, sights and interactive tour above the city streets.

Wrigley Field

Built in 1914, Wrigley Field is the second oldest ballpark in the major league. It is also home to the Chicago Cubs since 1920. If you are looking to watch a game during your visit, be sure to act fast. Tickets get sold out pretty fast.

things to do in chicago

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Tips for Choosing the Right Corporate Headshot Photographer

G Thomas Photography Headshot Photographer in Chicago

Images do not only tell stories, they also sell products, ideas, brands and experiences. When shot well, your professional headshot can not only be used for business cards or website pages, but also for marketing collateral in the future. You have poured countless hours of work into your professional appearance and your business portrait is a great way to appeal to clients and customers. That said, it is important to find a headshot photographer who can help you better establish your personal brand.

G Thomas Photography Headshot Photographer in Chicago

Here are some tips for choosing the right professional headshot photographer.


How much are you willing to invest in your image? Answering this question before you start looking will help you focus on professionals that suit your budget. Keep in mind, though, that the saying “you get what you pay for” applies when considering a headshot photographer.

If you want quality photos, be prepared to pony up some dough.

Check portfolio

Go online and spend some time looking at the portfolio of the photographer you’re considering working with. This will give you an idea about their style and ability. Take note of what you like and dislike in the various photos you see.

Field of expertise

Taking professional photos of an individual while capturing his or her personality is different from taking photos at a wedding, concert or sporting event. Be sure to choose a photographer that is experienced at taking thoughtful corporate headshots.


The more experienced the photographer is, the more extensive their portfolio is. Also, you can expect that they have better equipment as compared to those who are just starting out.  Ultimately, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that they are capable of capturing great professional photos.


Corporate Entertaining Ideas in Chicago

One of the biggest challenges of planning a corporate event is finding a way to set it apart from the usual business gatherings. If you are in need of ideas for your upcoming events in Chicago, we’ve got you covered.

In this blog post, we’ll give you a few ideas that you can use for client entertaining, group outings, team buildings and company events in Chicago. Here are a few.

Food stations

Ditch the formal dinner and spice up your event with food stations. With this set up, mini buffets or dining stations are scattered throughout the venue; thus, allowing guests to get up of their seats, enjoy great food and mingle with other guests. It is a popular approach for those who prefer a more casual, congenial atmosphere.

JOOJ Blow Dry

On November 9, 2015, JOOJ Blow Dry, a mobile salon company opened its shiny doors to the public. These chic air-stream trailers visits corporate offices, events sites and downtown streets to provide customers a convenient and accessible hair styling experience. Sleek blowouts, chic updos, bouncy curls and loose waves are all on the menu.

Treat your clients or employees to a luxurious and relaxing styling experience with this chic mobile salon.

Private painting parties

Add some fun to your team-building event or office party by holding a private painting party. Guests will leave with a one-of-a-kind creation and a new-found talent to explore.

Bottle and Bottega hosts private painting parties in their studio or at the location of your choice. They can accommodate a group of 10 to 100 persons.

unique ideas for corporate events in chicago

Chicago Chocolate Tours

Stroll through Chicago’s most decadent chocolatiers and dessert boutiques and sample something from each one. Here, you’ll be able to sample some of the city’s most delicious offerings such as truffles, warm donuts, pralines, cupcakes and chocolate drinks. This tour will not only provide a fun way to learn about the history of chocolates, it will also solve your clients’ and employees’ sweet cravings.

As always, should you find yourself planning a corporate event, don’t forget to consider G Thomas Ward Photography to document the occasion. With both extensive photography and video experience, your unique corporate event will be sure to be remembered.


Corporate Portrait Photography Tips You’ll Never Want to Forget

corporate headshots in chicago

Not every corporate photographer works with models. As photographers, we often face the challenge of posing our subjects. Our clients may not have any idea about how to pose in front of the camera. We are here to help you look your best in your professional headshot.
corporate headshots in chicago

Here are some tips for making your corporate headshot pop:

Lift the arm

When taking photos, most people would stand naturally and just place their arms on the side. No matter how relaxed the person is, he or she will look stiff and uncomfortable in these photos. Try to lift your arms slightly during your photo shoot.

Chin out and down

To hide a potential double chin, try to bring your chin forward and then down. Make sure, though, that the chin is not pressed closely against your neck.


Your hands are often a giveaway as to how your are feeling at the moment. You may look relaxed, but if your hands are clenched then you are going to look tensed. Make sure the hands are relaxed and do not overtake the shot.

If your hands are busy, try holding onto something. This provides a distraction to curb your anxiety. If you can’t seem to relax, your photographer should just focus on the face and upper body and not include the hands on the shots.

The relaxed look

Time and time again, we’ve encountered clients who would raise their chin and give some sort of blank expression. That’s how a model poses, right? Wrong!

Expression is important in portraits. A portrait without a real expression doesn’t connect with the viewer.  Try to relax as your portrait is being taken. The photos will not look natural if your don’t feel natural.

G. Thomas Ward in Action – Corporate Headshot Process

Last year I had the privilege to take business portraits at ChannelCon 2015. Take a look at the video we recorded of the headshot photography process and peruse through our gallery of the final product below!

Sample Professional Headshots from ChannelCon 2015


My years of experience include shooting for a wide variety of clients both corporate and personal, including Cartier, WTTW, The Chicago Reader, Northwestern University, Hartmarx, Music of the Baroque, Red Moon Theater, Theo Ubique, Third Coast Marketing and many, many more.

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