What Makes a Great Professional Headshot?

2018-04-25T22:18:24+00:00By |

First impressions are everything. We form broad opinions about people within the first few seconds of meeting them.

In the business world, your headshot is your first impression. So why not put the effort in and make it great?

In this article, I’ll tell you the basics of a great professional headshot.

Choose the Right Clothing

You might think this as simple as choosing your favorite outfit, but that can sometimes backfire. Choosing clothes for a professional headshot is a lot different than choosing clothes that simply make you look good.

First, make sure your headshots look good in black and white as well as in color. Oftentimes, companies will print your headshots out in black and white or convert them to black and white for their publications. That means you need to pay attention to tones.

For example, if your shirt and tie are of the same tone, they’ll blend together in black and white, even if they’re different colors. To be sure, take some black and white photos of yourself in your outfit of choice to see how they turn out.

Patterns and stripes don’t come out well in photos. In fact, if the stripes on your clothes are too close together they can create a secondary rippling effect due to what’s called the moire effect. While this might be fascinating, it’s not something you want to show-off in your headshot.

And of course, dress professionally. You might think you can pull off the casual look by wearing a tee-shirt with a logo on it, but it usually doesn’t look as cool as you think it does.

Make Sure Your Skin Looks Good

There are going to be a lot of lights pointing at you during your photoshoot, so make sure your skin isn’t too shiny.

This is as simple as wearing foundation or washing your face before the photoshoot.

Perfect Your Smile

This is harder than you might think. You’re trying to find the perfect mix of professional, friendly, and genuine.

Think about whether or not you’ll show your teeth. This will depend a lot on how serious you want to look.

Avoid faking your smile. Instead, think about something that genuinely brings a smile to your face.

And don’t be afraid to practice your smile in the mirror before your photoshoot.

Find the Right Angle

Do you have a “good side?” This is the time when you want to show it off. Present the side of your face that you think looks better or that hides any “imperfections”.

You also want to make sure the photo is taken from slightly above you. If you’re tall, spread your legs apart so that your head is lower. A picture from above is much more flattering than a picture from below.

Talk With Your Photographer

You hired a professional photographer for a reason. They’ve taken hundreds of pictures like this and they’ll know how to help you.

Ask for feedback and advice as you’re taking your pictures and don’t be afraid to share any and all of your concerns. Don’t like the way something looks? Tell them about it.

A professional headshot is a team effort.

Let’s Take Your Professional Headshot Together

Now that you know what makes a great headshot, let’s get down to business. I’m an award-winning photographer with years of experience taking professional headshots.

Contact me and let’s take some photos.

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