How to Take a Professional Headshot: 6 Tips to Look Your Best in a Business Portrait
Business portraits may be the first glimpse that people see of you. How can you ensure that you put your best face forward? We explain how to look your best for your professional headshot.
When it comes to taking a professional headshot, it goes without saying that you want to look your absolute best. Your business portrait could appear not only on your company’s website, but also in magazines, business publications and on high-profile websites.
With so much riding on your business portrait, it’s essential that you prepare accordingly. There is only so much a photographer can do to make you look good.
Here are three things every man needs to know before taking a professional headshot:
- Preparing for your professional headshot should begin weeks, if not months, in advance.
- Understanding which colors and patterns work best on camera is vital to achieving a great business portrait.
- Practicing prior to the photoshoot can help you work out issues (such as angles) for the best possible shot.
Start Prepping Your Skin Weeks in Advance
Do you struggle to control your acne? Are under-the-eye bags a common issue for you? Don’t take your chances by hoping that these skin problems will magically resolve on their own.
To look your best in a business portrait, you need to get on a solid skin care routine for men. This means daily cleansing and moisturizing, the occasional exfoliation and an acne treatment system if necessary.
Need to hide your wrinkles? We’ve got you covered. Our facial firming serum for men is loaded with antioxidants and anti-aging ingredients to help you achieve a younger, more vibrant appearance.
Consider What You’ll Wear
Choosing what you’ll wear for your professional headshot should be easy, right? All you need to do is wear a nice button-down shirt with a tie and call it good.
Gentlemen, there is more to it than that.
No matter how professional your button-down shirt looks, it may appear odd-looking on camera. This is especially true with highly saturated colors, thin stripes and certain patterns.
Lastly, don’t forget to choose appropriate pants that match your outfit. Even if you’ve been told that this is a headshot, there could be photos which show some of your pants as well.
Find Your Best Angle
Unless you have a perfectly symmetrical face (for the record, no one does), you have a side that photographs better than the other. If you don’t already know your best angle, now is the time to find out.
Start by taking selfies of yourself at different angles. Move the camera from side to side, making tiny adjustments until you find the sweet spot.
It may seem silly at first, but this will pay off immensely when you’re looking through your photos and hate more than half of them.
Confidence Is Key
Walking into your photo shoot, you need to be confident and ready to smile. If you’re feeling nervous and antsy, this will more than likely come through in your photos.
By preparing for this business portrait well in advance, you can hopefully alleviate most of your anxiety. If you’re still feeling nervous, use some meditative breathing techniques to calm down and relax for the shoot.
You can also practice smiling before the photo shoot to reduce your stress and improve your confidence. According to a 2012 study published in Psychological Science, researchers found that participants who smiled while doing stressful tasks had a lower heart rate compared to those who had neutral expressions (see claim: “Participants in the smiling groups who were not explicitly asked to smile reported less of a decrease in positive affect during a stressful task than did the neutral group.”)
Go Easy on the Makeup
It’s not uncommon for men to wear makeup to hide blemishes and even out their skin tone. However, you do need to be careful when applying makeup before your professional headshot.
A tiny bit of makeup for men can go a long way. Stick to just a bit of powder to hide oily skin and keep things natural.
Also, don’t attempt to dabble in makeup for the first time ever right before your professional headshot. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s best to leave makeup alone.
Find a Great Photographer
Some corporate offices will arrange for a photographer to take professional photos of their employees at their own place of work. But if you’re in charge of your own professional portrait, it’s critical that you find the right photographer for the job.
According to a 2014 study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, variances in our facial images can significantly influence first impressions (see claim: “…despite enormous variation in ambient images of faces, a substantial proportion of the variance in first impressions can be accounted for through linear changes in objectively defined features.”)
Because photographers can dramatically change your image based on their editing skills, it’s important that you choose a highly-skilled photographer who can make you look approachable.
Finding the best photographer for the job will take time. You’ll need to comb through their work and ensure that they have the tools and experience to make you look your best.
It’s also important that you don’t attempt to take your own professional business portrait or have a close friend do it. Although it might save you a few bucks, it will come back to haunt you in the end.
A professional headshot is likely going to be the first glimpse that many people get of you. It needs to convey professionalism, confidence and trust.
Although photographers can work magic at times, it’s important to remember that they can’t do it all. It’s mostly up to you to nail your business portrait by carefully considering all the details beforehand.
With plenty of advance preparation and a few essential skin care products, you’ll no doubt nail your professional headshot and be happy with the results.