Imagine walking into a bright and spacious photography studio, nerves and excitement mingling within you.
You’re about to have your professional headshots taken, and you want them to exude confidence and charisma.
As you step in front of the camera, you find yourself wondering, “How should I pose? What will make me look my best?“
A headshot can also be used in other media, such as print advertisements and promotional material for your business. It’s important to remember that headshots are used to represent a person in a professional manner, which is why headshots should be treated with respect and care.
When it comes to headshot poses, there are some headshots that work well for certain professions, while others may not work as well.
That’s why it’s crucial to know some headshot poses that will make you more professional and trustworthy.
Here are some headshot ideas for headshots taken specifically for business purposes:
1. Classic Head and Shoulders
The head-and-shoulders shot is the most common headshot pose, and this pose is used by many professionals.
In a head-and-shoulders shot, one only shows the head of the person and some of their shoulders. This pose is great for any professional, especially if you are wearing a suit or something formal.
2. Head Slightly Down
Another headshot idea is to have your head slightly down towards your body while looking up at the camera.
While this headshot pose doesn’t show as much of the head as head-and-shoulders headshots, it still has a similar effect on your headshot. It makes you appear more approachable and trustworthy.
3. Over the Shoulder
In this headshot, one only shows the head of the person while they look over their shoulder. If you want a headshot that’s going to be more powerful and dynamic, an over-the-shoulder headshot is a good option.
It gives a bit of power and strength, especially if one has some facial hair or tattoos on their neck for a headshot.
4. Lean Head Against Something
Another headshot idea is to lean your head against something. This headshot pose will make you look more relaxed and approachable, while still maintaining a professional edge.
If you are leaning your head against something, be careful not to cross your arms because then it might appear as if you are closing yourself off from the world or that you’re being defensive.
5. Candid Pose
You might want to capture a candid headshot looking away from the camera. This headshot is great for portraying yourself as someone who’s confident and comfortable in their own skin, but it also shows some originality on your part.
When you’re taking headshots, you just have to remember that headshots are meant to portray oneself in a professional manner.
6. Use/Play With Props
Bring something into your headshot to make your headshot seem warmer and more personable. For example, you can bring a stethoscope or your glasses in the headshot.
This will make your headshot seem more personable, especially if you are a doctor or another professional using the headshot for your professional profile.
7. Leaning on Hand on Chin
In this headshot, one might want to pose with their head resting on their hand. This headshot is great for portraying yourself as someone who’s thinking and always at work.
If you’re looking for a headshot that will portray casual intelligence, then this headshot pose might be one to try.
8. Just the Head, Nothing Else
A headshot idea that works well for headshots taken specifically for business purposes is to not include anything else in your headshot beside your head and shoulders.
This headshot pose is clean and professional, which is why headshots like this work well as headshots for headshots taken specifically for business purposes.
9. Arms Crossed
While headshots with arms crossed might seem more defensive, headshots with arms crossed can make a headshot seem warmer.
In headshots like these, the head is turned toward the camera and arms are crossed or there’s one arm across your chest or stomach.
This headshot pose is good for headshots because based on a positive facial expression, it will hopefully make you appear less defensive and it will make you look more casual and “nonchalant.”
10. Hands at Hips
If headshots with arms crossed might make you appear more defensive, headshots with hands at hips will definitely make you look more casual.
In headshots like these, the head is turned toward the camera and hands are on your hips. This headshot pose is good for headshots because it will hopefully make you appear less defensive and it will make you look more casual.
11. Lean In
Headshots like the lean-in headshot, where you are leaning in towards the camera, can make headshots seem warmer.
In headshots like these, your head is turned towards the camera and your shoulders are turned slightly downwards towards the camera as well. This headshot pose is good for headshots because it will hopefully make you look more approachable and friendly.
12. Lean Sideways
Headshots in headshots like these, where you are leaning sideways towards one direction, can make headshots seem casual.
In headshot headshots like these, your head is turned to one side of the camera, and your shoulders are turned in the other direction.
This headshot pose is good for headshots because it will hopefully make you look more approachable and friendly.
- Clothing and Accessories
- Hair Proudcts and Tools
- Makeup and Touch-up Kit
- Water and Snacks
- Comfortable Shoes
- Relax and Establish Confidence: Before stepping in front of the camera, take a moment to relax and settle into a confident mindset. Stand tall with good posture, and breathe deeply to release any tension. Remember that professional headshots are all about showcasing your best self, so exude confidence through your body language and facial expression.
- Find Your Angle and Face the Light: Discovering your best angle is crucial for a flattering headshot. Experiment with different angles by slightly turning your face to the left or right, while keeping your body facing the camera. Pay attention to the lighting setup and position yourself to face the main source of light. This helps to accentuate your features and create pleasing highlights and shadows.
- Maintain a Natural and Relaxed Expression: Avoid overly forced smiles or rigid expressions. Instead, aim for a natural and relaxed look that reflects your authentic self. Soften your facial muscles, slightly part your lips, and think of something pleasant or amusing to evoke a genuine smile. Engage your eyes by focusing on a point slightly above the camera lens, conveying a warm and approachable demeanor.
- Mind Your Posture and Body Positioning: Proper posture and body positioning contribute to a polished and professional appearance. Keep your shoulders relaxed and avoid slouching. If seated, sit up straight and maintain a good posture throughout the session. Pay attention to your hand placement as well, ensuring they are relaxed and natural, either resting on your lap or subtly framing your face.
- Experiment with Different Expressions and Poses: Explore a variety of expressions and poses to capture different aspects of your personality. Start with a neutral, friendly expression and then experiment with subtle variations, such as a slight tilt of the head or a gentle smile. Experiment with different hand positions and gestures that convey confidence and professionalism. Work with the photographer to try various poses and expressions until you find the ones that best represent you.
How do You Smile for a Headshot?
When you’re taking headshots, aim for a smile that is a professional manner that portrays intelligence and friendliness. A casual smile that does not feel forced is the best.
How do You Not Look Awkward in Headshots?
When you’re taking headshots, headshots that capture how you usually look might feel awkward. If headshots like these feel awkward, try smiling more and try to portray yourself as someone who is approachable and friendly. Hopefully, if you do this then your headshot headshots will not feel awkward.
Nate Torres is an entrepreneur, growth marketer, and photographer and writes mostly on those topics. Nate runs his own professional photography business and photography blog 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.