Tag Archives: group headshots

Strike a Pose Elevate Your Professional Image with Headshot Photography

Determine Your Professional Image

Want the world to see you in a particular light? Professional headshot photography is the way to go!

Before booking, contemplate what kind of image you’d like to project. Who do you want to target? What’s the message? What outcome do you want?

Once you’ve got that sorted, schedule that session!

Consider your industry

Choose your look carefully. It depends on what industry you work in. A corporate suit and tie or an editorial style? Research the popular styles for your field. If you want an editorial look, get a photographer who has experience in that style. A wardrobe stylist can help. Include pieces that represent your work or what you aspire to do. If there’s a signature piece, make sure it’s included. Wear neutral shades like navy, black, light blue, gray or jewel tones. Solid colors will keep attention on your face – the main purpose of a headshot.

Consider your target audience

When selecting a headshot for your professional profile, consider your target audience. A lawyer’s look may not work for an actor. Be mindful of the impression you want to make on employers or clients.

Your attire should match the environment. If you wear a business suit for corporate events, bring that same suit for your photoshoot. Even if you usually dress casually, an outfit change can add a polished finesse.

If you need help picking outfits, consult professionals like stylists and image consultants. Consider the style and preferences of those who might view your headshots. Show yourself confidently and create an impactful branding campaign that boosts your visibility.

Consider your personal style

When deciding your pro look, consider the colors and styles that are seen as favorable in your field. Have a look at the styles worn by professionals you admire. This will give you an idea of what is expected.

For your headshot, opt for colors that enhance your complexion and compliment your hair color. Solids usually work best, but feel free to bring other pieces if they fit. Clothing should not distract from the subject, but rather act as an accessory and add interest. Accessories such as jewelry, watches, books or props can help express who you are and create depth.

Be mindful of texture when selecting clothing. Elements such as corduroy or suede can be distracting and draw attention away from your face. Crisp cottons or wools photograph nicely and flatter complexions while giving off a neat business-like vibe.

Dress how someone would going into their place of business – conservative yet sophisticated; professional yet approachable; modern yet classic; stylish yet timeless. Dress one step up from day-to-day attire!

Prepare for the Shoot

Headshots are awesome! They show off your professional image and make a great first impression. Before you get ready for the camera, it’s essential to be prepared.

Know the vision you have for your headshots. Also, pick the best outfit that fits that vision.

Let’s go through the steps of preparing for a headshot photography session.

Choose the right photographer

Selecting a photographer for your professional headshots and portraits? Find one with the perfect experience, style and approach. Choose one who specializes in capturing the real you.

Look for a photographer who has lots of experience taking shots of people in your industry. Check out their portfolio too – make sure it’s up to date with fresh work, and relevant looks for your profession. Experienced photographers have substantial portfolios with lots of examples of different people they’ve photographed.

They should be able to explain how your headshot will be composed and edited, so you can use it for personal branding or other purposes.

Choose the right location

When you’re getting ready for a pro headshot, the spot you pick is major to get that ideal photo. From workplaces with natural light to lively outdoor spots – the opportunities are limitless.

Indoors: Find a spot with lots of daylight, like a splendidly lit entryway or meeting room with steady shaded walls. Keep away from zones full of wires and mess, as they ruin your proficient look. Make sure to check if there are any backdrop limitations or allows that need to be acquired before shooting in specific spots.

Outdoors: Visit the place before time to cautiously think about its suitability – numerous parks may give your photo taker difficulty because of changing lighting conditions and bunches of individuals. When shooting outside, it’s ideal to select an area without solid shadows or diversions in the foundation. Furthermore, watch out for spots like bistros and eateries with fascinating scenery – simply ensure you don’t encroach on their private property during the shoot!

By picking the ideal area for your headshot session, you’ll have all the components required for the ideal representation shot!

Choose the right outfit

When prepping for your headshot session, outfit selection is key. Let your personal style show, but also consider what works best for the industry. Aim for a balance between conservative and modern, professional and comfy.

For industry-appropriate looks, an attorney might wear a suit, while an artist or musician might opt for something vintage and creative, such as a jacket and tie combo with jeans or khakis. Men should keep it simple with one change of clothes. A shirt and tie is usually a winning combo.

Style-wise, go for solid colors, avoid patterns and busy prints, reduce jewelry and piercings, make sure everything fits well, choose soft colors, remove logos, keep makeup minimal and leave hats at home unless they represent your profession (e.g. cowboy hats or military caps). Most importantly, make sure facial hair is tidy.

When dressing for your headshot session, remember timeless images come from smart styling choices. Your images will stay relevant thanks to great wardrobe choices today.

Get Ready for the Shoot

Professional headshot photoshoots are a must for creating a strong professional image. To look your best in the photo, get ready beforehand. Preparing for the shoot can really enhance the outcome. You should select your outfit carefully, and not forget to do your hair and makeup!

Let’s take a peek at what needs to be done before the headshot session.

Practice your poses

A professional headshot should show your best features, and give off a confident vibe. To get the right pic, you should practice your poses beforehand. Whether you hire a pro, or do it yourself, some prep will help you get the desired results.

The camera should be placed above your eye level, and slightly off-center, at an angle. For posing, keep your head up, chin parallel to the floor, and shoulders back and down. Relax your jawline, and look down – eyes should be gentle, not squinting or wide.

Here are tips for different poses to practice:

  • Formal: Stand upright with hands folded; or sit in a chair. Turn head slightly downward, looking up at the camera from beneath eyebrows.
  • Casual: Add personality with body language -smile with teeth showing; turn body slightly on an angle, but face the camera.
  • Natural Expression: Close eyes or blink, keeping the natural shape of your face. Use hand gestures to add relevance – pick out details such as ties, bars and cuff links.
  • Getting Creative: Vary angles between shots left-right; for women, hands on hips, arching back, can be attractive.

By practicing these poses, you’ll have a professional-looking photo!

Get your makeup and hair done

For your headshot session, it’s best to look more polished than usual. Professional hair and makeup can help you look and feel your best.

Get a skilled hair stylist and makeup artist if you think it will help. They can make sure your hairstyle, blush and lipstick look great in photos. Bring touch-up items or backups.

Having professional hair and makeup done before a photo shoot can help create calm. Schedule extra time at the beginning of the shoot for a “dress rehearsal” before the camera lens.

Relax and have fun

A headshot session can be fun. So, relax and enjoy! Get plenty of rest the night before. To look your best, wear an outfit that fits the image you want to portray.

When your photographer sets up the studio, rehearse your expressions and poses. This will help you feel ready when the session starts. Your photographer can give advice. But it is still your headshot. So make sure you are comfortable with the final photos.

During the Shoot

You don’t need to be a pro photographer to take pro headshots. But there are certain things you need to think about for the perfect shot. Your background, clothing and hair should all match the individual. Plus, lighting is essential. You also have to make sure you get the right angles and expressions.

Let’s break these elements down further.

Listen to the photographer’s direction

When you meet with a professional photographer for your headshot shoot, it’s important to follow their direction. Adhere to the instructions they give. They may ask you to switch up your poses, or try slightly different variations of each pose. This is to capture you in a variety of angles that reflect your professional persona.

Your photographer will likely move you up, down, and around. Until the image captured is how you want the world to see you. They angle the camera lens higher or lower to best capture your features. This draws attention to certain aspects of your face, such as eyes or jawline.

Be open to direction! And trust that your photographer knows what they’re doing. Listen closely to the instruction they provide during the shoot. You will likely get a powerful set of headshots that portray who you are as a professional.

Experiment with different poses

Experimenting with poses is essential for successful headshot photography. It provides options for post-production. Ensure your subject knows how to pose for each. There are a few posing rules, but experimenting can lead to better results than just repeating the same pose.

Focus on the 3 S’s when shooting portraits: Shoulders, Sides & Space. Work with your subject’s natural movements to bring out their best.

Shoulders: Ask your model to position their shoulders square away from the lens. This will create tension and push out the chest area. Or, they can roll their shoulders towards their ears for a sloped effect.

Sides: Take note of both sides of their face when moving around them. This helps emphasize certain features and draw attention away from problem areas. It’s also important for creating different photos in different scenarios.

Space: Leave space between people. This usually means less strain/awkwardness and more natural positions. Tilts and cranes help add depth. This is essential for taking group shots under bright daylight.

Take breaks to keep your energy up

Maintaining your energy during a headshot session is key. But, it can be tough after hours of posing! Take breaks and switch up poses/movements. Move & stretch to stay loose between shots. Bring snacks or protein bars for a boost. Avoid long conversations in the studio. Keep your energy high until the shoot is done.

After the Shoot

Professionals, entrepreneurs and performers: once you have had your headshots taken, what do you do next? It’s not only about taking the shot – it’s also about creating an image to use for different marketing and personal goals.

Here are some tips to help you before, during and after your professional headshot session:

Choose the best photos

Take time to review your headshots before deciding which one(s) are right for you. Look for distractions which can take away from your image. Consider which angles and expressions work best. Be selective about which photos represent you. Check if any color corrections or cropping needs to be applied.

Remember, even after considering these criteria, headshots can come across as too posed or unnatural. Put effort up front to select the right shots. This will ensure your photos do justice to your branding and effectively reflect the proud moments captured.

Get the photos retouched

Once your session is done and you have all the pics you need, it’s time for retouching. It can vary based on the photographer. Usually it includes color corrections, skin-tone adjustments, and cleaning up dirt and other problems. If it’s part of their package, they give enough unretouched images for you to choose from. This helps you compare the changes they make to the general look of your headshot.

Retouching brings a lot to a professional headshot. Minor imperfections can be fixed without making it too fake. More complex ones should be adjusted carefully so texture and depth stay. Blemishes and distractions, like utility poles or water bottles, should be removed. Plus, reduce redness, lighten eyes to make them brighter. All these changes should give you a pro yet natural looking headshot that shows who you are!

Use the photos for your professional image

A professional headshot is key for a strong personal brand. It’s the “face” you show the world, expressing who you are and your values. Polished photos show consumers you’re an expert. They will help employers decide if they should hire you!

Headshots should be used everywhere – social media, websites, PR initiatives. Consistent visuals create a powerful impression. They are also great for job applications and other materials such as newspaper articles and interviews.

Headshots show professionalism and legitimacy. They should be used on websites related to your career path. An authentic photo of yourself paints a clearer picture than credentials alone!



Mike Haller
4501 Mattis Road 63126
St Louis Photographer
St Louis, Missouri, USA | Photography services

Top 10 Headshot Photography Tips from a professional photographer


Prep is vital for great headshots. Know the look you want, pick the right outfit and makeup, and get props and backgrounds ready. Spending time on prep will help the photographer capture your best headshots. Plus, you’ll be relaxed in front of the camera and sure of your shots.

For deliverables, offer clients an online link that can be sent via email or a secure portal.

Let’s review the prep process for headshots in detail.

Prepare the location

Prepare your photography space before shooting. Consider the direction of the light, any shadows or distractions in the background. Natural light is usually better, but if outdoors, watch out for wind and other elements. If extra lighting is needed, bring a reflector and/or diffuser for control. Neutral wall color behind the subject helps, too. Textures and materials can cast unwanted reflections, so be aware of that.

Get everything ready, so when you shoot, it looks great!

Research poses and expressions

Posing and expressions are essentials for great headshots. They should show a person’s personality and energy. To get excellent headshots, look at how others have posed their subjects. Lighting, angles, facial expressions, and posture all influence the mood of the photo. Know where a person’s features are most defined. This makes them stand out in their images.

Practice expressions ahead of time too. Research these elements to capture a person’s true essence in their portrait!

Research the client’s brand

Researching your client’s brand is a must for a successful headshot session. Understand their brand to get the best images for their company. Communicate with your client about branding strategy and the look they desire. Ask what the goal is for the end result – professional or casual?

Research other images from their website or within the photography community to get an idea of what to aim for. Suggest poses that draw attention to unique elements of the clothing. Have an accessory pouch with items like scarves or hats to add personality or change up an image. This will help maximize ROI.


Headshot photography? Yep, you’ll need the right equipment. A digital camera with manual settings, that’s best. We suggest a DSLR camera with a big sensor. Plus, good quality lenses and a tripod! Lighting equipment too. It’s important for capturing quality, pro-lookin’ headshots.

Let’s dive into the details.

Choose the right camera

Headshot photography relies on the equipment you use. To get great pics, select a camera that captures high-quality images with accurate colour. There are many digital cameras available, from basic point-and-shoot to more advanced DSLR models. Research which one best suits your needs and budget.

When selecting a camera, consider image quality, shutter speed, frame rate, battery life and weight. The lens also affects results – longer lenses (e.g. prime lenses) give interesting perspectives that flatter faces and allow you to stay comfortably away from subjects. Experienced headshot photographers usually choose DSLRs or mirrorless systems. They have great lenses and precise autofocus which saves time when shooting many frames per minute.

Choose the right lens

Choosing the perfect lens is crucial for professional headshots. The correct lens will give you sharper and more accurate pictures, which is important for headshots. When picking a lens, look for one with a wide focal range, like Nikon AF-S 70-200mm VRII F4G ED or Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens. Both provide plenty of range and give exceptional results for headshots.

Other elements to consider when selecting a lens for headshots are size, weight and durability. You need to make sure your lens can handle everyday wear-and-tear and other conditions that may arise when shooting on location or in a studio. Also, if you take photos of multiple people or in various places or settings, select lenses with zoom capabilities to avoid having to switch lenses and wasting time while taking multiple setups or trips during a session.

Choose the right lighting

Light plays a big part in headshot photography. Selecting the right lighting can make or break your photo. Natural lighting is ideal, if you can get enough of it. It gives a softer appearance than harsh indoor lights.

If natural light isn’t available, invest in portable lights. This way, you can change angles quickly. Someone to assist is also useful. They can help adjust the lights and fan off camera!


Composition is essential for successful headshot photography! It creates a pleasing image and improves the impact of the photo. Here are 10 tips from a pro:

1. Follow general rules.

2. Balance the elements in the frame.

3. Make sure there’s a point of interest.

4. Utilize the rule of thirds.

5. Fill the frame with your subject.

6. Leave space for movement.

7. Pay attention to the background.

8. Use diagonals to create dynamic images.

9. Vary your camera angles.

10. Use lighting to frame your shot.

Consider the background

Take note of the backdrop for headshots. Photographers oft prefer a plain, white-walled background. Pick one with no loud patterns or blemishes. Consider textures such as brick walls, wooden door panels, or green foliage as part of your background.

Understand how to use color, shape, and line to draw attention to the facial features of your models. This can make the difference between good and great!

Consider the angle of the shot

Angle is key for headshots. Consider how the light hits your face and where you are relative to the camera. Experiment to see what looks best. Make sure the face is lit and has enough depth.

Start with shoulders towards the camera or turn body 3/4 away. Move face slighty from lens to soften shadows. Encourage your subject not to squint or make funny expressions. Keep a neutral expression, like a pleasant smile or natural look.

Consider the distance from the subject

When snapping a headshot, it’s all about giving the viewer a feel of your subject. Getting too close can be unflattering and distort features. Too far away can seem distant and disconnected. Find a comfy middle ground that still shows emotion.

Imagine you are taking a portrait of someone you know. What should be seen on their face? How far away for that emotion? How will lighting affect the pic? Asking yourself these questions will help you find the optimal shooting distance.

Choosing the right distance is essential for a great headshot. If natural pics with minimal props or background, shoot closer to create intimacy with your subject. Emphasize more background detail, back up and create space before firing with higher aperture f-stops.

Remember: choosing the right distance can make or break a headshot. Take your time to get it right!


Post-processing is key for headshots! You can adjust exposure and color balance, and more – to sharpen details, textures and the photo’s look.

Here are some tips to help you create the perfect headshots post-processing.

Adjust the white balance

Adjusting the white balance in post-processing? It’s like telling the camera what is true white. Correcting any environment temperature and color casts. Perfect white balance? It makes headshots look professional and polished.

Accurate level of white? Shoot in a studio or carefully light the subject.

Adjusting the white balance after it’s shot? Manually change sliders on editing programs like Lightroom or Photoshop. Or try presets such as Adobe Camera Raw to save time. Don’t over-correct. Subtlety is key! Simple adjustments on levels and curves bring out light and fantasy details. Making them truly stand out.

Adjust the exposure

Adjusting exposure is essential for photographers. ISO determines the sensor’s sensitivity. The aperture controls light entering the camera. Shutter speed governs how long the shutter stays open. By adjusting these settings, you can take optimal exposures and create great headshots.

Software like Lightroom or Photoshop help you get the perfect look. Contrast curves, hue/saturation, dodge and burn are ways to make your image stand out. Noise reduction is important with headshots as they often require high ISOs in low light conditions. When done correctly, you’ll have amazing headshots that make a statement.

Adjust the color and contrast

Adjusting color and contrast of a headshot is essential. Use a selective approach based on the subject’s skin tone. You want to create a flattering look and accurate representation.

Quickest way: “Levels” or “Curves”. Fine-tune shadows, highlights and midtones. Manipulate color casts and even out over-exposed parts.

Use a reference photo as a model. Pay close attention to light around eyes, nose and chin. Avoid strong light on cheeks and forehead. Aim for accurate representation considering age group and gender. Try different settings until desired result is achieved.

Client Interaction

Getting great headshots from your clients is critical! Make sure they feel comfy in their environment and with you, the photographer. That will make them secure enough to show their true personalities, which will make amazing pictures.

Here are some tips for getting the perfect headshots:

Make the client feel comfortable

Be sure your client feels relaxed during the shoot. Talk about why they’re taking photos and answer any questions. Offer advice on their outfit, accessories, hair and makeup. Your interaction will help you get a good style that shows their features, builds confidence and gives a nice final product.

Decide what kind of feel the client wants. This will help with lighting, lens and posing. Comfort is important – take short breaks when needed to change clothes, adjust hair/makeup, chat and figure out what kind of portrait they want. Use body language to make natural moments for post-production. Make sure to listen to your client – even after the session. Follow up with them about their experience and build a good relationship for future shoots.

Give the client direction

When it comes to headshots, giving direction is just as important as with any other type of photography. Getting the perfect look and feel is key. Establishing rapport helps you to guide your client and show them how to pose, which poses work best, where to stand, and how to express themselves.

For those who don’t know what looks good, offering direction can be useful. Start by making sure the client’s attire, makeup/grooming, and accessories are all ready to go before beginning the shoot. This ensures that you can focus on the camera-work, instead of worrying about details like fly-away hairs or glasses.

To give direction during the shoot, break down complex instructions into simple steps. For example, suggest a slight tilt of the head and looking slightly off camera without overdoing the eye contact. This allows the client to get comfortable while still giving you a professional-looking shot. Lastly, if you’re unsure if they are doing something correctly, have them view themselves in a mirror. This way they can make adjustments immediately, so you don’t have to worry during the camera-work.

Take multiple shots

Interacting with clients is vital for successful headshot photography. Before taking the photos, it’s key to take a few moments to make your customer feel comfortable. Ask some personal questions, like their hobbies or interests, to build rapport and trust.

Then, let them pick their favorite photo from lots of poses. This helps capture many versions of their personality, ensuring they have plenty to choose from when selecting a final image.

Final Touches

Final touches are a must for a photography shoot. As a pro, I love adding a light reflector to soften shadows, a subtle blur to the background, and adjusting the contrast.

Here are my tips for getting the best headshots with these final touches!

Crop the image

Cropping photos digitally is a great way to direct attention and make your subject look amazing! Make sure you focus on the most important elements – like glasses glimmering in light, teeth sparkling in a smile, or eyes sparkling with humor.

Remember these key points when cropping:

1. Crop for impact – cut out what doesn’t matter, to keep the overall effect.

2. Crop symmetrically – make sure all sides are even. Don’t forget to leave room around the head too!

3. Keep it natural – don’t take too much away from one side. Use tools like straightening or vignetting if it doesn’t look right.

4. Don’t over-crop – leave enough room around all edges, in case the photo is used for business cards or social media. The photo should look professional and have impact!

Sharpen the image

Sharpening an image is a crucial part of headshot editing. Software can help bring out the details and lines. Don’t get carried away with sharpening though – too much of it can make the photo look digital or smudgy.

Look into Unsharp Mask, High Pass Filter, or selective masking techniques. Unsharp Mask adjusts the Radius and Amount of contrast for selective enhancement without losing detail. Lightroom has good options for basic and advanced Sharpening as well as third-party plugins like Nik Sharpener Pro 2 and Topaz Detail 3.

Keep in mind that subtlety is key for headshots. Consider the viewing distance too – if people will be viewing from further away then High Pass Filters will give extra depth and clarity.

Add a vignette

A vignette adds a professional feel to an image. It’s a lighter center area with darker edges, mostly around the frame. This draws the viewer’s eye to the subject’s expression in headshots.

To make one, use post-processing software or an app. Dim the edges relative to the center. Adjust contrast or highlights for extra drama, but not too much. You don’t want a big hole in your scene!


Delivery is key in headshot photography. Pro photographers should package the finished headshots carefully. Create a digital and printable version. Knowing how to present to the clients is a must!

Compress the images

Compressing images is key for headshot delivery. An image compression tool helps reduce file size for easy transport. Compression tools minimize data, letting files be small but keep their integrity. JPEGmini and TinyPNG make it easy to compress images without losing quality.

Compressed images are perfect for email and social media, like Instagram and Facebook. Double check your email service’s file size limit so you don’t send too-large images. Many photographers create a web page with links to headshots, eliminating file size worries.

Upload the images

Once your session is done, decide how to send the files. Offer clients an online link that can be sent via email or a secure portal. Services like Dropbox and WeTransfer are secure for uploading images. Once ready, send them off!

Let clients know when to expect files. 24 – 48 hours should be enough. Include details in any messages if technical issues cause delays. Keep everyone informed with up-to-date, consistent communication throughout the experience.

Share the images with the client

Once you’ve finished your headshots session, it’s essential to ensure the customer gets the photos they want. Depending on their requirements and preferences, there are a few techniques to deliver the pictures to them.

One way is to give your client digital and physical copies of their photos. This could include burning the digital files to a CD or DVD and printing physical copies on quality photographic paper. There are a lot of pro photo printing businesses which provide services via online orders or mobile app, depending on the quality you want to offer your customers.

If your customers favor convenience rather than quality, you can send them low-resolution digital files through Email programs like Gmail which supports large file sharing up to 25 megabytes per attachment. Another option could be using file storage services such as Dropbox which makes transferring large files between multiple gadgets quicker and easier than email methods. It also gives an extra layer of security for both sides in the form of backups of all uploaded data files.

Whether you choose print or digital delivery methods, it’s best practice to remind customers that all digital images should be backed up regularly on external storage devices to avoid any accidental loss of valuable data when hardware parts wear out over time. When all the arrangements for image delivery have been completed by both parties, success is assured!