As a therapist, having a professional headshot is an essential part of building your practice and attracting new clients.
But with so many options and tips available online, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.
Fortunately, with a few key tips, you can get a headshot that accurately reflects your brand and personality while still maintaining a professional image.
Whether you’re just starting your practice or looking to refresh your existing branding, a great headshot is an investment that can pay off in many ways, from boosting your online presence to attracting new clients.
By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to achieving a headshot that showcases your professionalism and approachability.
We’ll be covering the following topics:
Table of Contents
What is a Therapist Headshot?
A therapist headshot is a professional photograph used to represent you as a mental health practitioner.
This image will be used on websites, business cards, promotional materials, and social media profiles.
Why do Therapists Need a Headshot?
Therapist headshots are important for many reasons! Here are just four of them:
1. Establishing Credibility
You want your headshot to clearly demonstrate what you do. This helps potential clients find you and make initial contact.
It also gives them a sense of who you are as a person, helping them feel more comfortable with the services you offer.
Most people prefer to work with professionals that look professional!
The right image can encourage patients to schedule an initial appointment with you or to follow up with you after a successful session.
3. Building Trust
A professional headshot helps build the foundation of your relationship with clients if they decide to look you up before visiting you.
It gives them confidence that they can depend on you when things get tough.
4. Boosting Personal Brand Awareness Online
Headshots are also important in today’s internet-driven world where building a personal brand is more important than ever.
A great headshot can get you more referral business and clients that find you through social media.
3 Headshot Tips for Therapists
Here are some tips that can help you look your best in your therapist headshots.
1. Wear Colors that Flatter You
Saturated colors make you stand out, which is great if it’s what you’re going for.
But if you’d like to look more professional and understated, opt for neutral colors like black, grey, brown, or white.
If you wear bright colors on a regular basis and love how it looks, feel free to go for something similar in your headshots.
All of these colors look great on camera!
2. Keep Your Outfit Simple
Wearing a simple outfit with minimal accessories can help you appear professional and put together.
A solid-color top paired with jeans or slacks is a safe bet, but if you want to stand out, feel free to do so with a pattern.
Just avoid anything too busy or distracting.
3. Pay Attention to Hair and Makeup
You can have more fun taking your time with these things than you would during an in-person session.
If you’re a man, consider styling and washing your hair differently than your normal routine.
If you wear makeup on a day-to-day basis, give yourself plenty of time to do it for it to look great in the photo!
Who Needs a Therapist Headshot?
There are several types of mental health professionals that can benefit from a therapist headshot:
- Clinical Social Workers
- Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists
They all use these images to portray their work.
When Should You Get a Headshot as a Therapist?
Many therapists use headshots in their online profiles and social media.
It is becoming increasingly important for mental health professionals to have an online presence in the digital age, so it’s never too early to start thinking about how you want your image to represent your work.
You could even start by posting a headshot on your blog or website!
You should get your therapist headshots anytime, but especially if you need them for LinkedIn or to spruce up your website.
The sooner you have them taken, the more time they have to work for you.
What Should Therapists Wear In Their Headshots?
Many therapist headshots feature the therapist wearing a business suite, collared shirt or dress.
Clothing that is conservative in color and style is best for a professional-looking image.
You can also wear what you would usually wear to a session.
It boils down to whatever you feel comfortable with while also appearing professional.
What to Avoid In Therapist Headshots?
There are several things you do not want to wear when having a headshot taken:
- funny glasses
- bold colors
- trendy hairstyles
- flashy jewelry and busy backgrounds
These images can distract from your professional image.
How to Take a Therapist Headshot?
If you are the photographer, here are some tips for you.
The best headshots use natural lighting or flattering room lighting.
You want to look professional – which means avoiding red eye and harsh shadows at all costs!
Locations for therapist headshots vary widely, but a private office or neutral-colored room is often a good choice for these images.
What Type of Therapist Headshots Are There?
There are three main types of therapist headshots; in-person, studio shot and natural light shot.
1. In-Person Therapist Headshot
This style is when your photographer comes to your office or business location with all the equipment necessary for you to get a photo taken.
They’ll set up their lights, backdrop and camera while you change into your outfit and come out looking your best.
2. Self Studio Headshot
This style involves using a self-owned studio space, usually with professional lighting equipment and backdrops.
You’ll arrive early to set up the scene and select an outfit for the photo.
Selfies may also fall into this category as well!
3. Natural Light Therapist Headshot
This style is the easiest to achieve because it doesn’t involve a photographer.
The best lighting is natural light from a window, which you’ll stand near as your take your own photo with a high quality camera or smartphone.
How Long Does a Headshot Session for a Therapist Take?
It depends on how photogenic you are and your level of comfort with the process.
If you’re used to being in front of a camera, it shouldn’t take long at all.
But if this is an uncomfortable setting for you, it may take some time to get over your nerves and relax!
How to Use Your Headshot as a Therapist?
Your therapist headshots are a great marketing tool that you can use for a variety of purposes.
Here are a few ways to showcase your new photos!
1. LinkedIn Profile Pictures
Use these images as your LinkedIn profile pictures and encourage your connections to do the same.
Your profile will stand out from all other profiles on LinkedIn, especially if you choose a professional, high-quality headshot.
2. Hang Them in Your Office
Your therapist headshots are a great way to decorate your office and spruce it up without having to spend a fortune or hire a designer.
Since these photos represent you as a photographer, where you hang them is up to you!
But avoid putting them behind glass or in direct sunlight where they could fade.
Instead, find an area with bright and consistent lighting to preserve them well.
3. Your Website
You can add your headshots to your bio or about page on your website.
This will give viewers a great first impression of you before they visit your site and encourage them to learn more!
It’s also helpful for search engine results.
4. Social Media
Your therapist headshots are another great way to make yourself recognizable, especially on social media where there’s a lot of visual content.
Use the photos as your profile pictures and cover photos to stand out among other profiles!
You can also use them to create custom tiles for your Facebook page if you’re willing to spend the time and money on that.
How to Find Photographers for Your Therapist Headshots?
There are lots of ways you can find photographers to take your therapist headshots. Here are a few suggestions!
1. Word of Mouth
Friends, family members, and colleagues might know someone who takes professional-looking photos and would be willing to help you out.
Search for a small business or a freelancer on Google, Yelp, Yellow Pages, and/or Facebook to see what’s available in your area.
You can also post on Craigslist or look through profiles on LinkedIn.
3. Photograph Yourself!
If you have the equipment and skills to take good photos, you don’t have to hire someone else!
Do I Need to Sign a Contract?
You should only sign a contract if you plan on hiring the photographer for more than one session or if you want to purchase more than just your therapist headshots.
Otherwise, most sessions are no obligation and paid in full before your shoot begins.
How Much Do Therapist Headshots Cost?
Most professional headshots cost $100-$300, but prices vary range depending on where you live and the range of services you expect to purchase.
For example, if you want to buy more than just your therapist headshots, or have a longer session with an edited photo ready in time for Christmas cards, it’ll probably be more.
If you only want a digital copy of your headshots, it’ll be less.
To further explore headshot tips for therapist, we also recommend this video by the Therapist Marketing Coach:
We hope you enjoyed this guide on headshots for therapists.
This guide is also a part of our Headshot Photography Tips Resource Hub, so be sure to check that out for more headshot photography tips and insights.
How do you take professional pictures of a therapist?
To take professional pictures of a therapist, it’s important to choose the right setting, lighting, and camera equipment to capture a high-quality image that reflects the therapist’s brand and personality. Additionally, directing the therapist in terms of their posture, expression, and wardrobe can help create a more polished and professional final result.
What facial expression should a therapist have in a headshot?
A therapist’s facial expression in a headshot should convey a sense of approachability, warmth, and professionalism. A friendly smile or a relaxed but engaged expression can help clients feel more at ease and create a positive impression of the therapist.
How often should therapists update their headshot?
Therapists should update their headshot regularly to keep their branding and online presence up-to-date, particularly if there have been significant changes to their appearance or practice. A good rule of thumb is to update headshots every 2-3 years or whenever a major change occurs, such as a new office or specialization.
Nate Torres is a portrait photographer servicing the Orange County and Los Angeles areas. He specializes in portraits of individuals, couples, groups and headshots. Nate Torres is also a photography writer and content creator and educates other photographers on portrait photography, composition, editing, gear, and business. You can find his content on his personal website, social media, and YouTube Channel, as well as on blogs such as Fstoppers, Photofocus, and Imaginated. Being a former SEO consultant, Nate also teaches other photographers how to use SEO to grow their own photography business on his educational blog, Shutter SEO.