Some Tips To Ensure An Effective, Professional Headshot


Portrait Final_ArticleIf you find yourself in need of a current headshot, it’s understandable you might feel the urgency to get “something” on line you can use right away.  In the short term, that may be an acceptable compromise.

It’s easy to allow an inferior headshot  to linger on your Facebook and LinkedIn profile.  If your current headshot doesn’t look professional or show you at your best, it’s time to change it.

Your website and social media page isn’t the place for a quick snap that your friend took yesterday.  It may be current, but won’t look professional. Remember, this is a photo that just about everyone who comes in contact with you will probably see.  Yes, they’re all looking at you.  A professional, flattering, effective headshot is well worth the small investment.

Here are some tips to ensure you get an effective, professional headshot:

  •   Select an experienced, reputable photographer who has a choice of backgrounds and his own lights. Portrait lighting is crucial and using it correctly separates the professional from the amateur.  A great headshot requires an expert photographer who knows how to properly light your face.  Check out the photographer’s website and ask to see sample headshot work.
  • Find out if the session fee includes basic retouching or if this will cost extra, and make sure you’ll get the final shot in different file sizes, so it can be used for web posting or printing.
  •  Drink plenty of water starting at least the day before your headshot session, as well as throughout the day of your shoot.  It’s not a myth: being properly hydrated will actually help you look better in your shots!
  •  Get a good night’s sleep before your headshot session.  Make-up and image retouching can mask only so much; they won’t hide a tired look in your eyes.
  •  If possible, schedule your headshot for a time when you can arrive a little early, and not feel rushed about leaving.  Being relaxed adds an air of composure to your portrait.
  •   For men during a late-day session, a touch-up shave at mid-day is recommended.




  •   Dress in the fashion which you feel best represents you and your business.  Make sure you bring some clothing options.  Solid colors are best.  Avoid large or bold patterns and bright colors.  They draw attention away from the face.
  •  Accessories and jewelry should be limited to small non-distracting pieces.
  •  Check yourself out in the mirror right before your session starts.  Even if you’ve hired a make-up artist for your shoot, check out the result yourself.  Confirm your tie is straight or your scarf adjusted just so, smooth down your hair if necessary. Take a moment to be sure that you look the way you want to be seen.  The added confidence of that one moment will read in your photos.

Following these basic tips will give you the headshot that’s required for today’s competitive marketplace.  It all starts with you being prepared, and the chemistry you’ll find with the right photographer.