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How to Get the Perfect Headshot: Dos and Don’ts From a Professional Photographer

by Nicholas Rhodes
Last Updated on March 8, 2023
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Getting your headshot taken can be a daunting task. After all, this photo is going to represent you for years to come! What if you don't know how to pose? Or what if the photographer makes you look bad? Relax, we've got you covered. In this blog post, we will discuss some dos and don'ts for getting your headshot taken. We'll also be giving tips from a professional portrait photographer on how to get the perfect head shot. So read on and learn how to take control of your headshot session!
Here are 18 expert headshot tips from OutSnapped’s founder, Nicholas Rhodes, to have fun while putting your best face forward while taking headshots.

What is a Headshot?

A professional headshot is a picture of your face that is used for things like job applications or online profiles. It's important to look your best in this photo.

Did you know you can get Headshot-O-Matic at your trade show booth?

  • Do dress as you would to a job interview or audition.
  • Do wear solid color clothing.
  • Do loosen up by practicing your looks in front of mirror before your session.
  • Do pose in left profile, straight on and right profile. You may surprise yourself with which angle represents you best.
  • Do take as many shots as possible. It’s way easier to edit down from more photos than to schedule a re-shoot.
  • Do try your best to take direction. You’re working with a professional who wants you to look and feel your best!
  • Do Practice. This may seem silly, but before your posing for your professional headshots, practice your looks in a mirror to fine your best headshot poses
  • Do make sure your hair is neat and styled the way you want it.
  • Do relax and smile!
  • Don’t wear a distracting clothing. An outfit with too many colors or patterns may look great on the dancefloor but not as a professional headshot for your in your LinkedIn profile pic.
  • Don’t wear clothing with words or large logos to your headshot session.
  • Don’t over accessorize. Less is more.
  • Don’t wear clothing that you don’t feel comfortable in.
  • Don’t overdo it with the makeup. This is definitely a less is more situation.
  • Don't bend your head too far forward or back - you want to be relaxed and natural-looking.
  • Don't sit in an awkward position - you want to look comfortable and confident.
  • Don't look down at the ground - keep your chin up and make eye contact with the photographer.
  • Don’t use outdated corporate headshots. Their maximum shelf life is 2 years!

Extra Credit: If you're taking you're own headshots, you may want to consider reading these expert headshot photography tips on how to take a professional headshot.

What should I wear for my headshot?

Some people recommend dressing in solid colors, while others say to avoid wearing busy patterns. It's ultimately up to you what to wear, but make sure it flatters your features and represents your personal style. For men, a collared shirt and tie is always a safe choice, while women can wear anything from a business suit to a dress or skirt.

What should I do with my hair for my headshot?

Again, this is up to you, but most photographers will recommend either styling your hair in its natural state or going for a simple, neat look. If you have bangs, you may want to pin them back so they don't obstruct your face.

How should I stand or sit for my headshot?

Most people prefer to stand for their headshots, but sitting can be a good option if you're uncomfortable posing standing up or if you have a lot of wrinkles or scars on your neck that you'd rather not show. When standing, try to relax and keep your shoulders down; don't hunch over or put your hands in your pockets. For seated shots, make sure your back is straight and rest your hands on your thighs.

How long will it take to get my headshot?

Since each headshot is tailored specifically to the individual, the shooting process usually takes around 30 minutes. However, the total turnaround time from shoot to delivery may be a few days depending on how busy the photographer is at the time of booking.

Where can I find professional headshots near me?

You can find professional headshot photographers near you by searching online for "professional headshots near me" or "headshot photographers near me." You can also ask for recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues who have recently had headshots taken.

What should I wear for headshots as a female?

When choosing what to wear for headshots as a female, it's best to stick to simple, solid-colored clothing that flatters your body type. Avoid busy patterns or logos that may be distracting. Consider wearing a classic blouse or dress in a neutral color, and bring a few outfit options to the shoot to get a variety of looks.

What are the best headshot outfits?

The best headshot outfits are simple, classic, and reflect your personal style. Solid colors are generally recommended over busy patterns, and it's best to avoid logos or distracting jewelry. Consider wearing a blouse or dress in a neutral color, and bring a few outfit options to the shoot to get a variety of looks.

Can you show me some example headshots?

You can find example headshots online by searching for "professional headshot examples" or "headshot photography portfolio." This will give you an idea of the different styles and poses that are commonly used in headshot photography.

What are some tips for female headshots?

Some tips for female headshots include wearing simple, solid-colored clothing that flatters your body type, keeping your makeup natural and minimal, and practicing different facial expressions and poses in front of a mirror before the shoot.

Who is a good headshot photographer?

A good headshot photographer has experience working with actors or other professionals who need headshots, has a portfolio of high-quality work, and makes you feel comfortable and at ease during the shoot. Look for reviews or recommendations from previous clients to help you choose a photographer.

What do casting directors look for in headshots?

Casting directors look for clear, professional headshots that accurately represent the actor's appearance. They want to see a range of looks and expressions that show the actor's versatility, and they may also look for headshots that match the specific requirements of a particular role.

What are acting headshots?

Acting headshots are professional photographs of actors used to market themselves to casting directors, agents, and other industry professionals. They typically show the actor's face and shoulders and may include different poses, expressions, and wardrobe changes to showcase their range.

Who are headshot photographers?

Headshot photographers are professional photographers who specialize in taking headshots for actors, models, business professionals, and other individuals who need a high-quality headshot for their professional portfolio or online presence. They use lighting, posing, and other techniques to create a positive and professional image.

Did you know you can get OutSnapped Headshot-O-Matic
at your office too?

Outsnapped headshots nicholas rhodes
Nicholas Rhodes, aka Nicky Digital
Founder Nicholas Rhodes, aka Nicky Digital, is best known for over a decade of enigmatic, after-dark portraits and the ability to turn a photography experience into a party. He founded OutSnapped to create the best photo booth company ever. His vision is to leverage his expertise in photography, design, and social media honed by shooting for publications ranging from Fast Company to Rolling Stone, Fortune 500s, international music festivals, performers, and fashion brands to make the excitement of capturing the moment, at a world class event, accessible to everyone.

Did you know you can get OutSnapped Headshot-O-Matic
at your office too?

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