When it comes to headshots, choosing the right size and dimensions is crucial. Whether you’re an actor, dancer, model, or business professional, your headshot is often the first impression you make.
Choosing the right crop ratio is important for ensuring that your headshot looks professional and makes a positive impact on viewers.
In this article, we’ll explore the different headshot sizes and dimensions available, and provide guidance on selecting the best crop ratio to help you put your best face forward.
We’ll be covering the following topics (click on a bullet point to jump to that section):
What Size are Headshot Photos?
In general, the best size for headshot photos are 8″ x 10″ (width x height).
Additionally, if you want to print your headshot photos, you will need high-resolution images (at least 300 dpi).
At this size, your images need to be high resolution (300 dpi minimum) and ideally at least 10 megapixels.
But the ideal size should also vary based on what you are intending to use your headshot photo for.
For example, headshot photos can be used for:
- LinkedIn pages
- Business cards
With that being said, we’ll also be diving into more specific use cases and the recommended sizes.
What Aspect Ratios are Headshots?
The aspect ratios of headshots can vary depending on the intended use and personal preference. However, some common aspect ratios for headshots include 1:1 (square), 4:5, 5:7, and 8:10.
1:1 Aspect Ratio for Headshots
The 1:1 aspect ratio, also known as a square aspect ratio, is a good option for headshots for several reasons.
First, it is a versatile aspect ratio that works well for a variety of different applications. It is commonly used for social media platforms such as Instagram, where a square image is required for the profile picture. The 1:1 ratio can also be easily cropped into other aspect ratios if needed for specific uses.
Second, the square aspect ratio provides a balanced and symmetrical composition for the headshot. This can help draw attention to the subject’s face and make the image visually appealing.
Finally, the square aspect ratio can work well for group shots or images with multiple subjects, as it provides a consistent and even composition that can help showcase each person in the photo.
4:5 Aspect Ratio for Headshots
The 4:5 aspect ratio is a popular choice for headshots, particularly for digital and online use.
Similar to the 1:1 aspect ratio, the 4:5 aspect ratio is great for social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn because these platforms use a vertical image format to display their images.
The 4:5 aspect ratio is also a very flattering crop for portraits.
Lastly, the 4:5 aspect ratio for headshots is fairly easy to compose in the camera viewfinder as the photographer has to turn the camera in portrait style and then allow enough space around the subject’s head and shoulders.
5:7 Aspect Ratio for Headshots
The 5:7 aspect ratio is also a popular choice for headshots, particularly for printed photographs.
The 5:7 aspect ratio is a common print size for headshots making it an easy and convenient choice for printing labs and photographers.
The 5:7 aspect ratio is also very versatile, just like the 4:5 aspect ratio.
8:10 Aspect Ratio for Headshots
The 8:10 aspect ratio is a classic ratio for printed headshot photographs. It’s the most common print size for headshots.
The 8:10 aspect ratio is a traditional and classic crop for headshots.
Difference Between 4:5 and 8:10 Aspect Ratio?
You may be wondering, aren’t 4:5 and 8:10 aspect ratios the same? After all, if you multiply 4 and 5 by 2, then that makes an 8:10 aspect ratio.
The difference between a 4:5 and 8:10 aspect ratio for headshots is in the relative proportions of the width and height of the image.
A 4:5 aspect ratio means that the width of the image is 4/5 or 0.8 times the height of the image. For example, an image with a resolution of 800 pixels wide and 1000 pixels high would have a 4:5 aspect ratio.
An 8:10 aspect ratio, on the other hand, means that the width of the image is 8/10 or 0.8 times the height of the image. This is equivalent to a 4:5 aspect ratio. However, an 8:10 aspect ratio is often used to refer specifically to the dimensions of an 8-inch by 10-inch print, which is a common size for headshots.
What is the Best Aspect Ratio for Printing Headshots?
The best aspect ratio for printing headshots depends on the print size and personal preference. An 8:10 aspect ratio is a common choice for printing headshots as it is a standard print size and has a similar proportion to the 4:5 aspect ratio that is commonly used for digital images.
Other aspect ratios, such as 5:7 or 11:14, may also be suitable for printing headshots, depending on the desired print size and the preferences of the photographer or client. Ultimately, the best aspect ratio for printing headshots is the one that produces a well-composed and aesthetically pleasing image when printed at the desired size.
What Should the Distance from Your Eye to the Viewer Be?
In general, you want to have your eyes lined up with the middle of the lens on the camera.
This will ensure that you are looking at the camera, not above or below it.
Now, this is just a general guideline; there’s no hard and fast rule for how far your face should be from the lens.
Best Headshot Size for Actors
For actors, the best size is 8″ x 10.”
In fact, I also highly recommend choosing a larger size such as 11″ x 14,” 16″ x 20,” 18″x 24,” or 20″ x 30.”
This is because you will need room to crop your headshot photo if an agent wants a specific shot.
Additionally, casting directors are looking to see your entire face. And certain agents may want to use a close-up of your headshot photo.
Headshots are meant to be flattering, but you do not want to seem dishonest by only displaying the best parts of your face.
By having more room for cropping down into different sizes, you can better fit the needs of the person reviewing your photos.
Best Headshot Size for Business Professionals
You can also print this headshot photo on an 8″ x 10″ sheet of paper (or any size larger), but it’s not necessary unless you plan on displaying your headshot photo in a portfolio.
Best Headshot Size for Children & Teens
The best size for children and teens is 5″ x 7.”
This will give you a more clear view of your child’s face, but it will also allow you to print larger versions if they want to decorate their room with the image.
Additionally, a slightly larger size will help you crop out any unwanted background, such as an undesirable location or item.
If a child has a very unusual head shape then I would recommend going up to 8″ x 10.”
For family photos including children, parents, and pets I recommend going with an 11″ x 14.”
This will allow you to include everyone in the photo without having too much empty space around them.
But this is only if everyone in the photo is willing to fit in the frame together. Otherwise, I recommend going with 5″ x 7’s to make it easier for you and your family members.
To further explore the subject of headshot sizes and aspect ratio, we also recommend this video by Matt Spaugh:
Best Headshot Size for Facebook Profile Photo
If you are going to display your headshot on Facebook, keep in mind the pixels for your profile photo display at 170 x 170 pixels on computers and 128 x 128 pixels on smartphones.
Best Headshot Size for Instagram Profile Photo
If you are going to display your headshot on Instagram, you should have a picture of at least 110 x 110 pixels.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to edit the aspect ratio of a headshot?
You can edit the aspect ratio of a headshot using photo editing software, such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom, or even using free online tools.
When should you edit the aspect ratio of a headshot?
You may want to edit the aspect ratio of a headshot when you need to use the image for a specific purpose or platform that requires a particular aspect ratio.
We hope you enjoyed this guide on headshot sizes and dimensions.
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.
Nate Torres is an entrepreneur, growth marketer, and photographer and writes mostly on those topics. Nate runs his own professional photography business called Nate Torres Photography. Nate enjoys learning about new digital marketing strategy and new ways to think creatively. He is also a photography speaker and author on Photofocus.