Professional Headshot Photography: 7 Essential Tips

As any professional knows, positive first impressions are everything. The first few seconds of an introduction can be the distinction between landing you the gig or going home empty-handed. Something actors, models and serious professionals can always use to their advantage is a strong headshot. Professional headshot photography does more than just show your face; they are essential to communicating your versatility, professionalism, and highlighting the best qualities you have to offer, all in a single image. Knowing this, it is important to understand what to look for in creating your next professional headshot! Here are seven helpful professional headshot photography tips to make your next headshot stand out.

1. Perfectly Prepared
Looking great for your shoot can be as simple as getting a full night’s rest. Your breakfast should be light and healthy, nothing that will slow you down or make you feel less than your best. Your body and mind will feel refreshed and thank you for it!

2. Get Your Hair Styled
Another way to enhance the effect of your headshot is to pay attention to your hair. A good rule of thumb is to get your hair styled about an hour before your shoot, eliminating any distracting frizz or wild ends. The style should reflect elegance and simplicity. Most importantly, style yourself in a way that makes you feel confident and professional.

3. Focus on the Eyes
Your eyes are one of the most important features of your photo. A photo where your eyes are bright and sparkling will make your face jump off page. Getting proper rest, and eliminating stress will help you look relaxed and prepared. For women, natural makeup should subtly accentuate your features without drawing attention to the makeup itself.

4. Less is More
Focus on a clear, simple shot of your head and shoulders. Regardless of what other elements may be in the photo, highlighting your unique expression is the main spotlight. Your clothing should make you feel comfortable and self-assured. Choose only clothing that is of good quality, as it will reflect on your professional image. Steer clear of busy patterns or overwhelming colors that will draw the focus away from your features. Additionally, your outfit should not leave any awkward lines or indents on your skin. For women, make sure your bra is seamless.

5. Communicate Your Needs and Ideas
It’s not all about what equipment you have when it comes to getting great professional headshots. While a photographer’s setup should be fully equipped and ready to go upon a client’s arrival, that doesn’t mean you have to be voiceless. Don’t be afraid to communicate your ideas before your shoot. In fact, most photographers will want to talk with you about your headshots and what direction to move forward. You want your photos to reflect your genuine personality at it’s finest, and that means you and your photographer need to engage in a dialogue. How do you want your individuality to shine? What inspires you? How do you see yourself at your best? All of these are important things to consider when creating a professional.

6. Go With the Flow
A great photographer will follow your lead, letting even the most camera shy professionals find their moment to shine. Capturing a perfect expression is not about just holding a pose for the camera. A little playful, loose direction can be helpful in establishing comfort between you and your photographer. The results will be successful professional headshots based on excellent teamwork.

7. Ask For Natural Retouching
Retouching can be a useful tool for perfecting an image if done correctly. The goal is to smooth out small imperfections while maintaining a natural, realistic appearance of the skin. A few clicks under the eyes and on noticeably blemished areas should do just the trick. If someone tells you that they like the retouching of your photo, then it’s not a good retouching. A good retouching should be invisible.

-Lea of Le Studio NYC

Our portrait photographer gives you 7 professional headshot photography tips for looking and feeling great.

We invite you to take a look at Lea’s professional headshot photography portraits. For some ideas on what to wear for your next headshot session, visit our Pinterest page. And don’t forget to stay in touch with us on Twitter and Facebook!