8 Tips for Looking your Best in Corporate Headshots

July 14, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Your corporate headshot defines your personal brand for how you want to be perceived. They can be used for your ID badge, LinkedIn profile photos, marketing materials, and more. So, it is very important that you put your best face forward.

A lot of people may use the terms headshot and portrait interchangeably, but they are actually two very different things. A headshot is simply that, a close-up shot focusing on the head and shoulders with a simple background. While a portrait is intended to tell more of a story and features a more decorative scene and may include a full-body image. 


For now, I am focusing on just headshots. So here are some tips for looking your best and feeling comfortable in front of the camera.


1) What to wear

You want to think about what your outfit says about your professional persona. What message do you want to convey? Trust? Authority? Creativity? Fitness? The color is also important. As a doctor, you may want to wear a white coat. If you are an artist, you may choose colors that are more vibrant. Also, consider the background the photographer may use. If possible, ask your photographer in advance so you can plan your outfits accordingly. If you can't, bring a few options to ensure you don't clash with the background. Black on black may not be the look you are going for. 


2) Posing

When you are in front of the camera, moving naturally may suddenly become the hardest thing in the world. A lot of people completely forget how they would naturally smile or sit and the pose becomes very staged. Take a deep breath and relax. Check your posture and sit tall. Take up space in the frame by creating angles, make sure your shoulders are back and chest out. Show off your neck and jaw. Also, try lowering your chin slightly while moving your face closer to the camera. It may feel unnatural at first, try practicing in the mirror before the big day. 


3) Hair

Think about how your hair will look in the shot. Think shampoo advertisements. You want your hair to be smooth, full-bodied, and neat. If you are a fan of the messy bun, try to clean up some of the straggly strands. This is not the day to test out a brand-new hairstyle. You want to be comfortable and present your best, natural self. Bring a brush, dry shampoo, or hair spray on the day to help tame last-minute flyaways. Also, don't be afraid to tell your photographer if you hate your hair a certain way. Not a fan of the side swoop? Tell your photographer. Neither of you wants to go through this whole process just to end up with photos you hate. 


4) Skin

Bright lights can make your skin look more shiny or glassy than normal. You may want to consider bringing some concealer, oil removing wipes, or quickly rinsing your face before the shoot, to help maintain a smooth look. If you are wearing make-up, you want to make sure it presents the right attitude. More natural-looking make-up tends to look best. 


5) Glasses

If you normally wear glasses, it probably makes sense to wear them in the photo. In which case, give your glasses a very thorough cleaning before your photo. It is amazing how much dirt and grease accumulate on your lenses or frames. When you are in front of the camera, push your glasses as far back as possible. Often, they will slide forward and block some of your eyes. If you only wear glasses occasionally, make the decision beforehand what makes the most sense for you. If you decide not to wear them, make sure you leave plenty of time for those pesky little marks on your nose to fade before the photo. 


6) Your best side

If you have one eye bigger than the other, a mole on one cheek, or just a side you prefer, make sure you let your photographer know. If you hate a freckle on your right cheek and all the photos are taken on the right side, you will probably never use that photo.


7) Smile

Along the same lines as tip #6, if you hate your teeth or your smile, and your photographer forces you to show off your pearly whites, chances are you will hate that picture. Maybe you feel more natural smiling with your mouth closed, that is fine. Do what feels natural to you. Again, you may want to practice in the mirror to see what feels and looks the most natural for you.


8) Relax!

Do you talk a lot when you get nervous? That makes it hard for the photographer to get a still shot. Are you a fidgeter? The photographer needs you to sit still. Take a look at some examples of headshots to give you some ideas and practice what works best for you. Pinterest is a great resource for posing ideas. Keep in mind, your photographer may need you to stay in a relatively small area. You might take all your shots sitting down, or standing up. Check with your photographer in advance to see how much time you will have and what variety of poses you can use. 


Click on the images below for examples of professional corporate headshots to help get you started. 

Men's Corporate HeadshotsPinterest posing ideas for Men's Corporate Headshots   Women's Corporate HeadshotsPinterest posing ideas for Women's Corporate Headshots


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