Content & Copywriting

5 creative team headshot ideas for when you can’t hire a professional photographer

Lyzi wears black gridded top and beige trousers, sits on a pink sofa in a pink room, holding a magazine
Lyzi Unwin
Content Producer
Fervent blogger sharing signature Studio Cotton advice & small business stories
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This article and all others on the Studio Cotton blog are written by humans. Please enjoy our opinions, expertise, advice, experiences, and typos.

I became content creator here at the lovely Studio Cotton in February 2020. At the beginning of March, we had a full team photoshoot in the office with megababe talented photographer Georgia de Lotz, and then a few days later, we were all sent home because the world went upside down.

Luckily for us, that timing meant that despite working from home for the next few months, we all had up-to-date headshots and pictures of us laughing and having a nice time together to use across our website – especially handy for the “meet the team” section on our about page – and socials.


Lyzi smiles and sits in the lounge area of Studio Cotton in front of lovely big Monstera cheese plant headshot
Veronica the Monstera (RIP) lurking behind Lyzi, by Georgia de Lotz – March 2020


We’re always banging on about how important professional photography is for branding, marketing and websites, and headshots are part of that. They are a great part of a good about page, as they let customers know who is part of the company, they show your personality, show how big or small your team is, and help to build a connection between customer and small business.

However, we know professional headshots can be a big investment, and you may not have the money in your small business budget to stretch to it – especially right now with everything being upside down again but in a different kinda way.

It can also be a lil tricky when you’ve forked out for a shoot, and then a team member leaves shortly after. Our lovely Kath had to leave quite abruptly, and now we have lots of nice photos of her, even though she no longer works here. Here she is looking gorj – also check out her eco-friendly glitter business EcoStardust while you’re here.


Kath smiling in an awesome lilac jumpsuit
Lovely Kath in a super cool lilac jumpsuit, by Georgia de Lotz – March 2022


PS. Kath, we miss you every day.

Ok, now that we’ve found an excuse to share some of our own lovely candid headshots, let’s move on to how you can get your own super fun and creative headshots on a small business budget.


1. Team member avatars

An avatar is a little graphic that represents you. There are a whole bunch of websites on which you can find or create your own avatars, so you can get one for each member of the team for cheap or even for free.

Open Peeps is website where you can make an avatar from a library of hairstyles, faces, colours, and more – they’re kinda like a more hand-drawn-looking MeMoji. You can make your own simple one here for free, and you also have the option of downloading more colours, poses, etc.

Look, I made my own free one (which meant I couldn’t change my hair colour 😤) but oh boy, is it cute. Also, the illustration style reminds me of the Biff, Chip and Kipper books from my youth, so that’s nice too.


Open Peeps avatar of Lyzi


2. Individual illustrations

A fun way to represent your small business is by getting little drawings of each team member done. They don’t have to be laborious, intricate drawings. Find an illustrator who’s style you like and enquire. #HeadshotIllustration on Instagram has some cool ideas.

Personally, I love Addyson’s drawing style, and she creates headshots for around £30 each. You can get in touch with her via her Instagram or email [email protected], and check out more of her work on her website.

Here’s a pencil drawing headshot she drew for me about 3 years ago.



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A post shared by Lyzi Unwin (@lyziunwin)


3. Out and about casual team pics

Add a little extra personality to your headshots by capturing team members out and about. You can get them to choose an activity that represents them and have your own fun photoshoot – they could be walking their dog, in their favourite coffee shop, or creating something crafty.

Photos of people doing something can often be more flattering than posed headshots too, as the subject will be more relaxed and look more natural. Though it’s a lighthearted DIY shoot, try your best to make sure that the photos are good quality, in focus, and not over-exposed.

This idea is great for small businesses who want actual photos of their team members, but perhaps don’t have an office, or work in a co-working space that can’t be used for a photoshoot.


4. Stock photography whimsy

You can have fun with this option, by getting your team members to choose whatever animal or thing they want for example. Just try to make sure the photos all look as cohesive as possible by keeping your brand colour palette in mind.

Have a browse of one of our recent blog posts to get you started – Our 6 best places to get stock photos for small business websites and blogs.

Before we had photos of team members, we got them to choose a stock picture of the cat that they felt represented them the best. I’d choose this one…


Cute brown tabby cat wearing party hat by Anna Shvets on Pexels


5. Say “cheers!” with your team

Gather the whole team together to raise a mug or glass and pop your phone (or even better, professional camera) on self-timer. You’ll have a silly photo of your whole team, which will be great for using on your website and social media.

It’s rather lovely for prospective clients or customers to see your team members interact, showing that it’s a happy and friendly place to work.


There ya go, it turns out you don’t have to invest hundreds of pounds to show the world the people that make up your small business – you just have to get a little creative.

Now you’ve got your team headshots in the bag, perhaps you need a little help writing your About page. Well, wouldn’t ya know, we’ve got a few blog posts to help with that.

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