How Should I Pose for a Professional Headshot?

The most important thing to keep in mind when you are posing for a headshot is your posture! Because your headshot is how you make your first impression online, your posture is a really important way to show your confidence and professionalism. Posing with exaggeratedly good posture can feel weird at first, but that’s just because we spend so much of our time hunched over our computers or staring down at our phones. Think of posing for your headshot like a yoga class, and you will leave with a nice stretch and a great photo! We always start with having people rotate their body so their shoulders are at about a 45 degree angle. When you pose straight on to the camera, it can look a bit boring, almost like a drivers license or passport photo. Rotating the shoulders is a more interesting angle and it also helps you look slimmer. The next thing we say is sit up super straight and tall, pull your shoulders down and together in back, so you are pressing your chest forward. I always think about power posing here. Demonstrating good posture does a lot for the viewer, but it also opens you up to feeling strong and powerful, and usually ends in a better headshot! An important thing to remember when posing for a headshot is once you are sitting or standing in position, lean towards the camera a little from your hip. You basically want to bring your head a little closer to the camera than your body, because it makes sure your face is the focus and is another trick for looking slimming. We always tell people to put their chin down, so that the viewer connects with their eyes, but when you bring your chin down, make sure you press it out first, and then down, otherwise it can give the appearance of a double chin. It’s almost like doing the walk like an Egyptian dance, but it helps create a flattering headshot. All of these tips might feel weird, so we warn clients “the more uncomfortable you are, the better it probably looks!”

You can practice your facial expressions in the mirror. When we look at you through the lens of the camera, we might tell you to turn your chin or tilt the top of your head, and all of those small adjustments are to make sure your eyes appear even in the photo. Many people think that an exaggerated head tilt is a good way to pose, because for selfies it often is, but it’s actually better to have your eyes line up on the same plane. We will often tell clients to start with a serious face, and in slow motion to go to a big crazy smile as we shoot, so that you have a chance to see a range of expressions and choose which one you think is the most natural. When you try forcing a smile for too long, your face can get a little sore, so changing it up a little in between shots helps keep your smile fresh.

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