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  • Writer's picturebonniejheath

10 things to avoid in your professional headshot photos

1. High camera angle

If the photographer's camera angle is too high, it can look like you don't have a neck. That perspective can also be perceived by viewers as submissive. We recommend an angle at the same height as the subject's eyes for the most approachable and professional look.

2. Seated posing

Usually, people have better posture when they are standing, rather than sitting. And, clothing generally lays flatter with fewer wrinkles when subjects are standing. We make exceptions to this rule when doing branding photos, but this is a good general rule for business headshots.

3. Bad posture

Our first piece of posing advice is always to take a deep breath and push your shoulders back and down. Good posture is one of the keys to a confident look in your photos and we will coach you through some tips for the best posture.

4. Patterns or logos on your clothing

Patterns can be distracting in photos. Viewers eyes are drawn to areas of the photos with the most contrast. I recommend avoiding bold patterns when you choose clothing for your headshots.

5. Poorly fitted clothing

Try on your clothes at least a few days before your photoshoot to be sure that nothing is too snug or too loose. This will give you time to go shopping, if needed.

If you want to wear short sleeves for your headshot, bring some layering clothing like a jacket. Not everyone likes how their arms look in photos.

Bring in more than one outfit option for your headshot session. It's better to have options, in case you don't like the way something appears in your photos.

6. Dressing too casually

While you don't necessarily need to dress in a suit and tie for your headshot, but you should avoid dressing too casually. We recommend dressing in the type of clothing you would wear to a job interview in your industry. Avoid clothing that's too revealing.

7. Bold accessories

Jewelry can be a distracting factor in your business headshot. We recommend having a clean neckline. If you choose to wear jewelry, pick simple and understated pieces. You can always bring it with you and ask.

8. Too much makeup

Too much makeup is not the best choice in a headshot photo. Keep your makeup simple and natural-looking. A good rule is that your makeup should look like you are going to a job interview.

We recommend working with a professional makeup artist to create a natural makeup look that will help you feel comfortable and confident.

Avoid any shiny or glittery makeup. It doesn't photograph well.

9. Too much smoothing in Photoshop

A professional portrait isn't a glamour shot. It should help you present yourself as an expert in your field. Overdoing the photoshop will take away some of your authenticity in the photos. We try to keep our retouching for professional portraits as natural as possible.

10. Not enough sleep

We understand that you are a busy professional and getting enough rest can be challenging. But, try to prioritize rest in the few days leading up to your headshot session.

For a list of the BEST ways to prepare for your headshot session, click here.



Bonnie Heath, photographer, Atlanta


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