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Headshot photography tips

Headshot photography tips

Headshot photography , Settings and lens • 27 September 2018

Photography job attracts personalities of different age and nationalities. Research articles are written and practical blogs are listed online. The most difficult tasks even for the most experienced professionals are concentration, necessary equipment and experience. None likes himself on a picture, made too close to the face, emphasizing possible defects. When a specific image result is needed, the whole work can become a stress for both. This kind of snapshot is necessary for actors or employees creating their CV. The work should be done not just satisfying, but making people earn money with a successful image.

This process is not as easy as it may seem, that is why this article has published key headshot tips for photographers to remember and use when you are almost ready to give up.

11 best headshot photography tips:

  1. Prepare your style
  2. Help with an appropriate image
  3. Settings and lens choice
  4. Keep it simple
  5. Remember the message
  6. Lighting is important
  7. Hide the background
  8. Get crazy and funny
  9. Make good pose for photo
  10. Compliments and talks
  11. Enjoy it

1.Prepare your style 

Headshot tips

Discuss a working process and website, where it is going to be published


Talk to your model about the reason why he or she has decided to make such a picture. One of the most common reasons is social network, which is used for work, and require specific images published online to make representative of the product or service more attractive for customers. Conversation can be a good tool to relax before you start your work. Communicate on other subjects and find something in common, which will help you during the process. Everything is good, if it helps to leave stressful thoughts apart.

2. Help with an appropriate image

After specification of a reason, it is necessary to understand what is going to be needed to realize it. Some people use too many accessories or make up. Others enjoy their own clothing style and practice new fashion trends. There is a wide range of women dresses and men shirts, which are not appropriate. Clothing has to demonstrate the personality inner world, not to destroy a total look. It is important to see final results before the ending of work. This permits to learn a couple of useful advice on appearance and poses for each model.

3. Settings and lens choice

Headshot ideas

There is no secret choice of a lens, which can make the right shot. Variety of experts recommend their options, between zoom and prime lens. This equipment will require a significant investment. Such modernization will help to get closer and realize a detailed portrait even in motion. The choice should be between fifty and eighty-five millimeters for a prime lens, and from twenty-four to seventy millimeters in case of a zooming one.

Adjust shutter speed and focus to get the focal point of a model. When instead of focusing the client needs a blurred effect, then the f-stop should be set between 1.4 and 2.8.

4. Keep it simple

Headshot techniques

Just be yourself, stay authentic and highly professional

The basic rule of all headshot photo tips is being neutral and simple. This task is easy to do for both, customer and photographer. The most simple and used rule is working easy and relaxed, knowing that real personality is in front of the camera and photographer can make it pop up in a picture. Get as more information as possible about model’s life and work to choose the perfect shot.

5. Remember the message

Headshot tips for photographers

The best way to send a message is to demonstrate it

Each photo shooting process can involve everyone in a manner to forget about the message, which should send this or that image. There are no logos or signs on the image to promote specific product, but only face, which has to be used as a specific marketing tool. A slight retouch or emphasizing of facial features can be needed to improve the shot. Do not get too obsessed with post-processing activities, because the image can transform from natural to artificial in only one click.

6. Lighting is important

Professional headshot tips

More light will give significant details

Get as more lighting options as possible. Check studio, apartment or office, where the work is going to be done. Needed tools and lighting can vary, depending on location, if it is going to be in a studio or outdoors, in the morning or evening, in summer or winter. All details can play an important role if they are processed well by an expert. Natural lighting is the best option for portraits, but when you do not have it, use flashes and lamps all over the place to make the best picture. Make people look the camera lens without clipping and control all possible shadows.

7. Hide the background

Business headshot tips

No disturbing background is the optimal choice

The landscape can be more beautiful and fascinating than people, but we need to remember who has to be the star. Do not confuse this photo shooting with any other ordinary model picture. Make people move to the camera without being afraid of a too close look. This mode will help to focus on the face and impressions, instead of bricks, trees and paintings.

8. Get crazy and funny

Professional headshots

Have fun time

Not all pictures should be serious. A little joke can break the ice and help to continue working in another way. Funny faces will become a great tool to create mutual understanding. Professionals advise joking and laughing together, to make things easier. Successful images can be obtained by playing and entertaining. Try faces and masks to feel better, searching the best result. None should underestimate the power of a silly face, before you make it once.

9. Make good pose for photo

Headshot photos

Do not hesitate to do many shots 

Some people prefer to stand near the table or wall, others like sit down on an armchair or bench. Make various tries with different poses and find out the option which fits more. This is the only mode to discover new awesome pictures. Simple advice is concentration on eyes. This part of a body appears to be the most expressive and easy to capture. Use this part of a human face to catch emotion and memorize it with an image. Experienced models and famous actors already know tips for headshot photos and their best position used to get successful image.

10. Compliments and talks

Headshot pictures

Encourage in any occasion

Being a good expert does not mean that you have to be too strict, but when you see that some pose or facial expression does not fit, it is better to ask for change. Only numerous clicking will permit you to capture a unique amazing image. Adults and children are usually very nervous, thinking they fail to do a good job and this is where you could provide a little courage to them.

Use phrases like:

  • Great job, really awesome!
  • You look stunning with this clothing, seem real model with such a look!
  • Impressive picture, absolute winner, thanks to you!
  • Lovely smile, keep it!

These words are simple to say and it is a common technique to help everyone feel himself confident. Continue talking to your model about business goals and activities. This will make him/her feel the right mood. Stay positive even if the job is not that satisfying. Silence can cause more damage than wise compliments.

11. Enjoy it

Relax images photos

Get both, client’s and photographer’s satisfaction

It does not matter if the work is done by an expert or not, there are always more chances to get the ideal picture without long boring tutorials, but with unexpected digital shot. Change places, styles, poses and smiles, but keep it interesting. Avoiding these simple tricks may cause a result, which is going to look like a teenager first driver's license. Do not let your client a minimal possibility to consider that simple home phone selfie could be better and faster than a high quality picture. Amateur and specialized tips for headshot photography are essential for everyone, providing crucial guidelines.

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