How to Get the Perfect Headshot

woman standing near whiteboard

Ah, the classic professional headshot – not just for budding actors, anymore! 

Every woman should have a high-quality headshot in her photo arsenal. 

But, that doesn’t mean just any old headshot will do. So, how can you showcase your personality and sense of style while keeping things clean and professional? Let’s cover a few tips you can use to create versatile headshots that can be used everywhere from the workplace to the web – including dating profiles – and how you can separate different styles into those two areas of your life. 

Dress for Success

Headshots have often been associated with people going to auditions, publishing their written word, or even as a networking tool to look more professional on business sites like LinkedIn. However, nowadays headshots can be used for everything from your social media pages to your dating profiles (in fact, it’s often recommended!). 

If you’re getting professional headshots, you won’t have control over every creative liberty a photographer takes. So, it’s important to focus on the things you can control, including what you wear. 

If you plan on using your headshots for both your professional and personal lives, your wardrobe choice needs to be something that works for both. Business casual is a good way to go. Try implementing things like blazers, blouses, and suits into your attire. They’re timeless and tend to look great on everyone. If you want your headshot to stand out a bit more and show off some of your personality, try some of the following tips: 

  • Pay attention to your hair and makeup
  • Use bright colors
  • Complete your look with accessories that show off your style

You should also focus on colors that complement your skin tone and hair. By paying extra attention to colors and accessories, you can say a lot about your personality while remaining professional. Remember, you have very limited space to make an impression since most headshots only show a person from the chest up. Do what you can to show the world who you are within that space by using colors and accessories that accentuate your best features. 

Let Your Smile Speak

Another thing you have control over when it comes to the perfect headshot is your expression. There are little things you can do to add personality to your photos simply by adjusting your body language or the way you look at the camera

It’s normal to feel a bit awkward or nervous in front of a camera, especially if you’re not used to getting your picture taken. You can appear more natural and comfortable if you change your mindset. Imagine you’re meeting with a close friend or family member. How would you greet them? How would you lean into a conversation with your closest friends? What do you look like when you’re relaxed at a dinner with people you love? 

By thinking about these instances, you’re more likely to shift into natural poses and let your body language do all the “talking.” 

You can use the same trick when it comes to changing your expression. Most people can recognize a “fake” smile from a real one, so don’t force it. Instead, don’t be afraid to be a little silly while you’re getting your pictures taken. Think of something that genuinely makes you laugh, or bring along a friend or family member who always puts you in a good mood. 

Different expressions and poses can be used in different settings. You might want a more reserved smile and conservative body language for networking or applying for a job, but something more open and casual for social media or a dating app. Having a variety of expressions to choose from will make it easier to choose multiple headshots to fit your needs. 

Don’t Hesitate to Edit

We live in a world where it’s perfectly normal (and very common) to “put a filter” on things. While most people can tell when you’ve used an app to adjust a photo, it can be worthwhile to do some minor retouching or enhancing with a professional editing program, like Photoshop. With a good eye for it, Photoshop can help to adjust your photos by:

  • Fixing the lighting
  • Removing blemishes
  • Adjusting the color
  • Sharpening the focus

You don’t necessarily need to be well-versed in photo editing to make positive changes. Consider working with a professional photographer or editor if you want those changes to look natural. It’s important that your headshot still looks like you and isn’t too “perfect,” whether it’s going in your professional portfolio or you’re using it as a new Instagram profile picture

Headshots are a great way to stand out in different areas of your life. Whether you’re trying to advance your career or your dating prospects, consider working with a professional photographer or taking your own headshots to use in different situations. Keep these tips in mind to look your best and feel more comfortable in front of the camera. 

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