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Headshot Photography

Doctor Headshots – 7 Tips for Success

May 14, 2023 by

In this guide, we’ll be discussing everything you need to know about doctor headshot photography.

Whether you are a doctor looking to get some info before your next headshot photo session or you are a headshot photographer about to photograph a doctor and looking for some tips — this article is for you.

We’ll be covering the following topics (click on a bullet point to jump to that section):

Learn doctor headshots From Credible Creators
Table of Contents

What is a Doctor Headshot?

A doctor headshot is a photograph of a doctor, particularly cropped to show the head and shoulders.

These images are used for medical and healthcare marketing and branding purposes, and often appear on your website, in company brochures, or in advertisements.

doctor headshots
doctor headshot photo

7 Doctor Headshot Photography Tips

If you are a headshot photographer, here are some tips when it comes to photographing doctors.

If you are photographing a doctor, then the typical headshot photography tips apply, but let’s take a look at some specific tips based on having a doctor as your subject.

1. Determine the Goal of the Session

First ask them how they prefer to be photographed (some doctors like using props, while others do not).

If you are a photographer, knowing the goal behind the session and how the doctor wants their headshot photo to look is essential.

Just like a haircut, before the session, ask the doctor to send you some example headshots of other doctors so you can get an idea of what they are looking for.

2. Avoid Harsh Shadows

Second, avoid using single bright flashes as this can cause harsh shadows.

Remember the three-point lighting setup that involves a fill light, key light, and backlight:

three point lighting
three-point lighting setup

3. Try Different Angles

Finally, use different angles that highlight the doctor’s best features and minimize those that could be a liability.

4. Patience

Be patient! It may take a few tries before you find the right pose, but eventually, you’ll get your best photo.

Be sure to keep talking with the doctor throughout the session and let them know what you are doing. Let them know that you like to take a lot of photos and then narrow it down from there.

Without communicating this, they may think you don’t know what you are doing.

5. Look Into the Lens

Make sure that you’re in focus and look directly into the camera lens to help make a good impression before anyone has even met you.

If you are a photographer, make sure to tell the doctor this.

6. Avoid Glasses Glare

If there is too much light or glare on the doctor’s glasses, ask for them to be removed or use artificial lighting to avoid causing hotspots and reflections on your lenses.

If the doctor always wears glasses, then you will want them to wear glasses during the session. If this is the case, you will want to avoid glasses glare during your session.

7. Watch the Smile

Avoid smiling too much or looking too serious in order to help avoid a forced presence in the photo.

doctor headshot example (1)

Doctors are already extremely busy professionals who have a lot on their plates at once.

These tips can help them to get a beautiful headshot without too much hassle so that they are able to focus on their practice while still putting their best face forward.

Why Do Doctors Need Headshots?

Your headshot is the first glimpse people get of who you are professional.

If it’s professional, current, and well-lit, this will give any potential patients a good idea of what you are like as a person.

It also reminds your existing clients that you are who they first turned to for help, and keeps your practice top-of-mind.

What Should Doctors Wear in a Headshot?

Your headshot should be taken in business attire with a simple and clean-looking background, using proper lighting so that you look your best.

Your hair should be groomed and you should wear subtle make-up for a polished appearance.

doctor headshot example
using clean white background

When Should You Get a Doctor Headshot?

Your headshots should be taken before you begin your marketing campaign.

This gives you an opportunity to use them throughout the life of your practice and makes it easy to keep your branding consistent and professional.

How to Use Doctor Headshots?

Your headshots can be used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Your website
  • Direct mail pieces
  • Brochures and flyers
  • Newsletters and magazines
  • Social media

How Much Does a Doctor Headshot Cost?

This varies according to the photographer and location; however, you should expect to pay somewhere between at least $75 and $150 per session.

That’s on the very low end.

Where Should You Get Headshots Taken?

Headshots should be taken by a professional photographer who specializes in this type of photography.

This will ensure you are getting the highest quality images possible of yourself, which you will be able to use for many years to come.

Who Will Retouch My Doctor Headshots?

Your photographer will retouch the images for you before they are sent to you. At that point, all you will need to do is write your name on the back of each photo and put them in folders or albums for future use.

How Should Doctors Pose in a Headshot?

One common mistake when posing for photos is to lean in, which can make it appear as if you are trying too hard to get into the lens of the camera.

Instead, sit back and hold a comfortable, but confident-looking posture.

The photographer should be able to guide you on how to pose correctly.

doctor headshot pose

Where Can a Doctor Headshot Photo Be Taken?

While there are many great options for professional photo sessions, your office may or may not be the best fit.

Find a local studio that offers room with neutral backgrounds and lots of light, and avoid busy locations like malls and airports.

How Can Doctors Prepare for Their Sessions?

There’s no need to look worn or tired for your headshot. Eat a healthy meal beforehand, and wear comfortable clothes that will not distract from your face.

Try taking a walk before the session to ensure that you have enough energy on camera, and do not try to smile too hard as this can cause discomfort on the day of the shoot.

Where Can You Find a Doctor Headshot Photographer?

If you are looking for a photographer who specializes in doctor headshots, visit the website of your local photography association to find members near you.

Or you can ask fellow doctors where they received their headshots.

You can also do an Internet search for “doctor headshot photographers” along with the name of your city or state to find local options.

Final Remarks

We hope you enjoyed this guide on headshot photography for doctors.

This guide is also a part of our Headshot Photography Hub, so be sure to check that out for further headshot photography tips and insights.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you wear to a doctor headshot?

For a doctor headshot, it’s best to wear professional and conservative attire such as a suit, blouse or dress. Avoid bright colors and patterns, and opt for solid colors to project a trustworthy and approachable image.

Do all doctors need a headshot?

It depends on their individual needs and circumstances. While it is not a requirement for all doctors to have a headshot, it can be beneficial for marketing purposes, online presence, and professional communication.