Business Headshot Photography Tips for Beginners

Photo by Emmanuel gido on Unsplash

Sometimes it feels like smartphones have replaced professional photography. However, the skill of a professional photographer is always needed for important shots, such as wedding photos and family portraits. If you are a beginner business headshot photographer, these tips will help you produce excellent headshots. 

Take charge of the session.

Most people are nervous about taking headshots because they are expected to pose. Some clients may even warn you that they are not photogenic. Often, they are just uncomfortable, and it is up to you to put them at ease. 

Sitting in front of a camera is a daunting task for many people. Most don’t know whether they should look directly at the camera, and those that do, often wonder if they are doing it right. 

Direct your clients on the best posture. Tell them when they do it right. Remember, a client’s emotions often show in the headshot. So, a little positivity will go a long way. 

Ask the purpose of the headshots.

Your client will request headshot photography for various reasons. Some people may want one to frame and display in their home or office. In some cases, especially for those in the creative industry, the headshot is an important part of their resume. 

Models and actors often include headshots in their job applications because their faces are an asset. 

Knowing your client’s expectations will help you prepare better and even choose the best angle for the headshot. For example, if someone wants a headshot for his online dating profile, he would want one that shows the best facial features and expressions. 

Link the background to the client’s profession

Professional headshots introduce members of the team to the public. Potential clients like knowing who they are dealing with, and headshots give them a glimpse of the people behind the company’s success. 

Once you know the reason behind the request for the headshot photo, you need to ensure the background is suitable. For example, a white background may be suitable for a lawyer’s headshot, while an artist or yoga instructor may prefer a colorful background. 

Suggest the ideal attire for the headshot

Since the focus of the headshot is the client’s face, it is best to avoid distractions. Your clients will appreciate receiving suggestions of the best clothes to wear for the headshot photography. If you are taking a formal headshot, official outfits are ideal. 

If possible, have jackets of different sizes for clients who walk in for a headshot without the proper outfit. If the jacket is not a perfect fit, you could always clip it at the back. 

Try taking headshots at different angles.

Did you know that small changes in a client’s posture can easily influence the quality of the image? A slight tilt in the head or a gentle smile can make a huge difference. You can also take a shot of the client turning at a 45-degree angle from the camera. 

When you take several shots at different angles, the client will have the chance to choose the best headshot. 

Don’t forget to talk to your clients through the session. Reassure them that the images are awesome, even when you know they could be better. This puts them at ease, and you might get them relaxed enough to give you the perfect shot.

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