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Best angle for headshots

Believe it or not, the angle of the camera can either turn you into a double-chinny or a supermodel. Well, maybe I'm exaggerating, but the angle does play a critical role in the overall result of your image...

What is the best angle for headshot photos?

When it comes to the best angle for headshots, there is no best angle. But there certainly are better angles than others. The best photos can be taken by someone who has done this before and knows the best angles.

The best angles will depend on many factors, including the subject's pose, specific facial features, lighting setup, and the photographer's preferences. The best angle for headshots can also vary between photos and may be best for one photo and not the best angle for headshots in another.

People often ask what the best angle is for their type of face. Turns out, there isn't just one best angle for everyone! To achieve that best angle, you must consider the subject's face shape.


One thing I have noticed over my years of photographing, however, is that no matter what face shape, positioning your camera slightly above eye level tilted slightly downwards always looks the best and will slim the face a bit.

Oval face

For an oval shaped face, any angle works well because oval faces are already well-balanced. A slight turn to either side (oblique angle) usually looks great.

Girl wearing black hat and outfit.
Oval face shape

Round face

For a round face, a slightly higher camera angle works best with the face turned slightly off-center to help elongate the face. A form of side lighting can also help enhance the cheekbones and add some definition.

Guy sitting on stool with white shirt.
Round face shape

Square face

For a square face, shooting from slightly above angle with the face turned at an oblique angle can help soften the jawline and highlight the subject's eyes.

Girl against white fence and flowers.
Square face shape

Diamond face

For a diamond face, using direct face-on or slightly oblique angles will help showcase higher cheekbones. Using a camera angle that is at eye level or slightly higher is usually ideal.

Man in between two neon light strips.
Diamond face shape

Heart-shaped face

For a heart-shaped face, lower camera angles usually work well to highlight the chin and narrow lower face. The face can usually be straight-on or slightly turned.

Man wearing red shirt looking up and to the side.
Heart-shaped face

Should headshot photos be straight on?

Headshots can be straight on with the camera parallel to their face, but they are not the most preferred - aesthetically speaking.

There are better angles for headshots that work best when the subject is looking straight on (such as the above the head slightly tilting down, as discussed in the previous section). For example, it is best to have an upward gaze when photographing somebody with a broad forehead or someone with downturned lips because this makes their features appear less pronounced.

Of course, you don't want to go overboard and have the camera too high up—take some photos and find the sweet spot. The best angle for headshots, if you want to minimize the appearance of wrinkles, is to pose the head slightly turned with the chin directed towards the camera. This will sort of "stretch" the wrinkles, if that makes sense!

So, while there is no "one best angle," there are definitely recommended and common angles, with the most common one being the camera slightly above the subject facing down -- while the subject is slightly turned. This guide is a part of our Headshot Photography Tips Hub, so be sure to check that out for more headshot photography tips and insights.

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