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  • Writer's picturebonniejheath

My top three posing tips for headshots

Updated: Dec 2, 2021

Since I began specializing in headshots about four years ago, I've learned a lot about posing my clients for the most flattering photos. Posing is all about body language. Your stance and expression communicate small signals to the photo's viewers. We want those signals to be positive.

Most of the people I photograph are not professional models. Typically, my clients are a little nervous about having their headshots taken, and it helps everyone feel more at ease when I provide clear communication about posing. Here are a few of my top tips for posing.

1. Bring your face toward the camera. My first direction will always be to stand or sit up straight. (Yes, I'm the posture police!) Next, I will ask you to bring your face forward toward the camera. This gives you a great jawline. It feels a little weird and awkward, but no one wants to appear to have a double chin in photos! Additionally, bringing your face forward a little will give you the appearance of connecting to the viewer. Imagine your body posture when you are having a very good conversation. You lean in to listen and connect.

2. Relax. Take a deep breath and let your shoulders drop a little. Unclench your hands. One of the challenging things about having your photo taken is that it can be a little nerve-wracking, but you want to look completely relaxed and confident. A lot of people hold tension in their shoulders and hands. Relax them with a deep breath.

3. Bring some life to your eyes. Tyra Banks calls it a smize, Peter Hurley calls it a squinch. Basically, this is a small squint with your eyes, paired with a smile. It gives everyone a confident look. If someone's eyes are too wide open, they look surprised or frightened. Think about how your eyes look when you genuinely smile. Are they wide open, or a little squinched? Usually, if your eyes are open too wide, your smile will look fake.



Bonnie Heath, photographer, Atlanta


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