In this guide, we’ll be discussing everything you need to know about posing for professional headshots.
We’ll be covering the following topics (click on a bullet point to jump to that section):
Table of Contents
How to Pose for Professional Headshots
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 besides 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 towards the other direction.
This headshot pose is good for headshots because it will hopefully make you look more approachable and friendly.
How do You Smile for a Headshot?
When you’re taking headshots, aim for a smile that is in 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 used to run his own professional photography business called Nate Joaquin Photography but has since focused on the marketing and business aspect of photography although he still enjoys taking photos. Nate enjoys learning about new digital marketing strategy and new ways to think creatively. He is also a photography speaker and author on Photofocus.com.