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  • Writer's pictureLaura Green


Photo: Sunny from Addiction Salon

As a business owner, it can be overwhelming when you suddenly need to become the model. You inevitably will need some AMAZING images of you for LinkedIn, your business card, your website, your portfolio, or even a feature on a blog or the news. You never know when you might need to look like an expert so it’s good to be prepared when the time comes. How can you make sure you look your best in your next headshot photoshoot? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

What makes a good headshot?

A good headshot is well lit, well-composed, and ultimately tells the viewer a little bit about you. A typical headshot is usually taken in a studio environment, but it doesn’t have to be. Feel free to make your headshots tell the viewer a story. Show your expertise, throw in some variety, even bring some props if it fits within your brand. Nothing is off-limits and the more true to yourself you are, the more likely someone will connect with you & understand what you and your business are about.

Photo: Eryn from Mental Skincare

But I’m do I pose?

It is undeniably scary to be the subject of a photographer so I’m going to break down some tried and true posing techniques that will help you feel more confident, come off naturally, and make your photographer proud!

1. The Walk

A classic walk where you stand up tall and look like you were made to be there is the easiest and most classic headshot pose. It leans on the more lifestyle side of photography & adds some movement to a photograph. When you walk, your legs appear longer, you look natural, and there’s nothing awkward about it.

When you’re walking, make sure to keep whatever smile, serious, or neutral facial expression feels best for your industry, but feel free to look at the camera or off to either side. This will help give you more than one option when you or the photographer get the photos. Also, keep in mind that your hands can also do a variety of things. You can leave your hands by your sides. You can add one hand or both hands to your pocket while you walk. If you are wearing a dress, you can move the dress around. If you have a prop like a handbag or a balloon, you can hold those and move those around. The more you add movement, the more options you are likely to have when the photos come back to you.

2. The Seat

A lot of headshots have the subject sitting down. At first, you might think that sitting down can be unflattering, however, if you do it right, sitting can look official, powerful, and confident all at the same time. The first order of business is to decide WHERE you’re going to sit. Some options can include your place of business, your desk, some stairs, outdoors, or even on a stool in a studio. The location can really make a difference in the outcome of your shot and what your representing, so make sure to choose a place that makes sense for your industry.

When sitting, consider crossing your legs, leaning forward onto a desk, resting your arms on your legs, or even using the arms of the chair to look more powerful. You can also sit more casually if you sit on the arm of the chair, throw your legs over the side, or sit in front of it entirely. Again, don’t be afraid to be creative. A headshot ultimately tells your audience what kind of person you are!

3. The Prop

Sometimes props are not the right move for your business or brand. However, depending on the message you’re looking to portray, sometimes it can give your photo a unique flare and feel much more memorable. Props can vary from the products you make to the hobbies you enjoy, but I always recommend picking something that calls back to yourself or your business first and foremost.

A prop can be next to you, in the background, being held by you, or even being used by you depending on what it is. Be mindful of color choices of your clothing to make sure your prop doesn’t clash & make sure that your prop doesn’t overshadow the main subject...YOU!

4. Cross Your Arms

Crossing your arms is a CLASSIC and perfect pose for any more professional leaning headshots. It’s typically used for men, but it is definitely not exclusive. Women can use this as well to have a more corporate look. It can also be bent more casual as well by pairing it with a smile.

A cross-armed pose can show off watches and jewelry as well if that’s something you are looking to highlight with your outfit choice. This stance allows for a more confident and powerful vibe that looks very good on websites, LinkedIn, and in newspapers or magazines.

5. In-Action

It seems almost counterproductive to be doing something while someone is taking your photo, but depending on your industry, your brand, and your personality, it can be a great way to tell a cohesive story in your headshot. You can try a variety of different actions including laughing, interacting with someone, using an item of some kind, talking, jumping, dancing, or even being silly.

Poses like these can end up feeling more natural and real. They can add that sprinkle of relatability in something that might feel a little awkward during the photo shoot. Not all of these shots will come out good, but sometimes you’ll get a gem worth keeping for your many headshot purposes.

This all being said...

You can probably tell, some of these poses overlap and blend into one another. That being said, your best bet during any headshot photo shoot is to be true to yourself and be versatile. Laugh in some shots, smile in some, be serious in others and take some goofy ones while you’re there. The more you try, to more likely you are to snag the perfect shot you can use for all your headshot purposes.

If you’re looking to shoot some one-of-a-kind photos for your personal brand, small business, or employees, make sure to contact us today to get started!

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