Professional headshots are a great way for everyone in your company to showcase your best selves. There are a lot of factors you have to think about when shooting for your headshot, so it is important that you take care of these to get a great photo. While it is important to think about your clothing, hair, and makeup, you will also need to have an elegant pose for your headshot. This article will be a guide for the best poses you can use for your professional headshots along with some posing tips and examples to help you look your best.
Table of contents
- 6 Best Poses For Formal Professional Headshots
- 6 Best Poses For Casual Professional Headshots
- 5 Posing Tips To Give You the Best Professional Headshots
6 Best Poses For Formal Professional Headshots
1. The standard pose
One of the most standard poses for professional headshots has the subject facing the camera and leaning slightly forward with a straight back and having their chest 10 to 45 degrees from the camera.
This is a standard pose that works well for all types of employees in any type of industry. Even if this is the standard look, there is nothing wrong with staying safe and choosing this as it still presents you in a cheerful and formal manner.
2. Arms crossed
Crossing your arms for your professional headshots can convey a bit more charisma and personality. This pose can also create a powerful impression on the viewer.
To balance out your crossed arms, it is suitable for you to have a slight or full smile to give off a friendly, yet strong impression. This pose works effectively for lawyers and company executives.
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3. Hands at hips
Doing a pose that has your hands on your hips for your headshot can make you look a bit more loose and fun while still retaining the feeling of being formal.
When you have your hands on your hips, it gives the viewers the impression of you being hard at work. You can even try to roll up your sleeves a bit to put an emphasis on your arms.
4. Hands in pockets
Posing for your headshot with your hands in your pockets helps you look relaxed and more casual while still presenting yourself in a formal manner.
This pose can not just relax you but can also make you look more confident in front of the camera. You can do this pose if you have a full-body headshot and it allows you to have your hands in a flattering position.
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5. Angled face
Posing with an angled face means turning your head to show three quarters of your face as you are making eye contact with the camera.
To achieve this pose, you will need to stand a bit on your side and tilt your head downwards slightly to get the best angle.
6. With hands on a support
For this pose, you will require a support item in front of you for your headshot. This can be a chair back, table, or a prop where you can rest your hands and arms.
This pose can be more effective when you are positioned closer towards the camera while looking directly at it. This makes you look serious and can also give a sense of intimacy and closeness with the viewer.
6 Best Poses For Casual Professional Headshots
1. Over the shoulder
Doing an over the shoulder pose works well for a more casual headshot as it looks more candid and fun. It gives the impression that the camera surprised you for a less staged feel.
This type of pose can work well if you are looking for a more casual approach to your photos. Actors, models, and even business professionals can use this to display a glimpse of their personality.
2. Playing with glasses or other props
Playing with props like your glasses for your headshot can make you appear cool and collected. This pose can help you look thoughtful and even casual, depending on what you want to hold.
This pose can work well for designers, artists, and even thought-leaders who are known for having glasses or other specific items like phones that are tied to their branding.
3. Leaning sideways
Just like the over the shoulder pose, leaning sideways against a wall displays a more casual and candid vibe for your headshot.
If you want to make it even more candid, you can try finding an outdoor location to lean on. You will just have to make sure that what you are leaning on is clean, brightly lit, and a neutral colour so it will not be distracting.
4. Leaning in
Leaning forward towards the camera while seated allows you to look relaxed and easygoing for your professional headshot.
If your profession or position requires you to communicate this demeanour of calmness to clients effectively, like a HR professional or a therapist, then this is the pose that you should go for.
5. Tilting your head
Tilting your head a bit to the side while still looking at the camera is an effective casual pose which you can use for your professional headshot.
Having your head slightly tilted or your chin slightly directed to either side makes you appear more confident in the photo.
6. Being in motion
Having yourself look like you’re in motion shows a more casual and dynamic side to your professional headshot. This pose can be done outdoors and even in a studio.
You can have different ways of moving around like simply walking or even jumping, adjusting your hair, or shaking hands with someone. Using this pose helps you look like an active and enthusiastic professional.
5 Posing Tips To Give You the Best Professional Headshots
1. Communicate using your eyes
Whether we realise it or not, we often use our eyes as a way of communicating to people all of the time and your headshot is no different.
The way our eyes look can become such an important factor which will elevate how your pose looks for your professional headshot.
If you intend to look at the camera, make sure that your eyes get to communicate warmth and confidence. How your eyes look will offer a glimpse of your personality to interested clients.
2. Be aware of how your whole body feels
Keeping an awareness of how your body feels and looks even when posing for your headshot is a great way to feel more relaxed and comfortable during the shoot.
You should be able to organise your body in a way that feels the most comfortable to you while still maintaining great posture.
Remember to keep your back straight and your shoulders back and relaxed. Tense shoulders will make you stiff so always keep in mind to loosen them up.
3. Make sure your chin is in the best position
Keep an eye on your chin whenever you have your headshot taken. It should not be too high or too low. Lift it too high and you will end up looking down the camera. If you drop it too low, you gain a double chin.
You will need to have the perfect amount of space between your chin and your neck. It also helps to move your face forward just a bit.
If you need any help with how your chin looks, professional photographers will be able to guide you and make you feel more comfortable with how you position your chin.
4. Practice and prepare for how you will smile
When thinking about what pose you will choose for your professional headshot, it is just as important to think about how you will smile for it.
Having a great smile on a photo makes you look friendly and will more likely result in a positive response. However, it isn’t always easy to smile naturally on-demand.
You should try to prepare for your photoshoot by practicing your smile in front of your own mirror before the shoot. To practice your smile, you can try to remember a happy thought which can trigger a genuine emotion.
If you need more help to practice your smile, you can look at these seven tricks to smile great in your photos: Seven Tricks to Help You Smile Naturally and Look Great in Photos.
5. Relax and breathe
Even when you have finalised what pose you will use for your headshot, it can still be a bit nerve-wracking since you haven’t really practiced it in front of the camera.
On the day of the shoot, you can try to do some light stretching and listen to music to calm your mind and relax so that your whole body will relax as well.
When you are relaxed and breathing normally, you will have a stress-free time shooting your headshot and you may even enjoy the experience as well. You can even talk with your photographers to lighten the mood.
Our team of corporate photographers will guide you throughout the whole photoshoot process including helping you choose the best poses for your headshots.