How To Take Killer Headshots For Your Business


As a small business owner, you may find yourself in need of a professional image to use for your website, industry publications, social media platforms, and so on. Your headshot is the key to giving a human face to your business or brand.

Today I am going to help you by giving you a few tips for having a successful professional photoshoot.

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A good headshot does not only start with a good photographer although that is very important, but you also play an important part in ensuring you represent your business or brand correctly. It is a good idea to hire a professional, research their photography style, and get to know them so that you are comfortable and so they are able to help you create the image that will best represent your business or brand.

Tip #1 – Match Your Look to Your Industry

If you sell t-shirts or own a bakery, you do not need to show up to your photoshoot in a ball gown or business suit to represent your business.
It is important to match your business or brand. If you are in an industry that requires you to wear a suit the majority of the time, it is a good idea to
wear a suit in your photos, but if your business allows you to dress more casually then you should do so. Represent whatever it is that you do.

You want to keep in mind how you want your potential clients to see you. For example, I tend to photograph a lot of pastors..and what do most pastors wear? Suits. Although some put a different spin on how they wear them, they still represent what they are trying to portray. Think about what you would wear if you were going to meet a potential new client.

Tip #2 – Be Wise With Colors & Patterns

Once you have an idea of the look you want to go for, it is also important to keep in mind what colors or patterns you should wear.

It usually is a good idea to avoid wearing white whenever possible. White tends to draw the eye to specific areas because it can sometimes be the brightest thing in the photo and make the focus more on that white shirt you are wearing instead of your face. You want people to relate more to your face then your shirt. If you are going to wear white, it is best to layer it like wearing a white shirt under a darker or mid-toned jacket or sweater.

My first recommendation would always be to go with a different, preferably darker colored shirt. Its also best to avoid lighter, pastel colors as well. Make sure to wear colors that contrast your skin tone. For example, darker skin tones go well with reds, purples, or yellows, more fair skin tones usually pair with greens, blues, or even blacks. Patterned clothing is something is usually wouldn’t recommend for headshots as well, especially clothing with small patterns due to the fact that sometimes cameras have trouble picking up smaller patterns which can cause an effect that can be hard to edit, especially if wrinkles or stains show up on your clothing.
If you have to wear something with a pattern go for bigger patterns that are not “busy” because some patterns can also be distracting.

Tip #3 – Wear Clothes That Fit Well

Go for clothing that fits properly and is not baggy or too tight. When your clothing fits properly it helps you look slimmer as well.

Tip #4 – Keep Hair & Makeup Simple

It is best to keep hair and makeup simple. Less is best when it comes to this type of photography. Touch-ups can always be done in the photographer’s editing process if you feel like it’s needed.

You don’t want too much makeup or a super complicated hairstyle for your photos. Go for more of a natural makeup look, no super bright eyeshadows or lipsticks unless of course, that is what your business or brand represents,
otherwise less is best in this case.

Also, be careful if getting a haircut or new style right before a photo shoot. It’s best to get them done in advance, just in case you end up not loving your new look. That way you have more time to make adjustments or allow your hair to grow back some before your session takes place.

Tip #5 – Have a Backup Outfit

Bring a backup outfit or two. It is a good idea to have additional clothing available just in case your get there and the outfit you wanted to wear doesn’t work out or turns out to not be as flattering as you thought it would be. Its always better to be over-prepared.

Tip #6 – Practice Good Posture

One thing you definitely do not want is to be all slouched over in your photos. Try your best to sit with your back straight and shoulders back and try to remain relaxed, because you don’t want to look stiff either. Just relax and have fun, try to keep your smile natural, and for serious shots try not to scowl or just look plain mean. Even if you have to practice beforehand, do whatever it takes to have a good outcome. Your photographer will usually guide you along in these areas as well.

If you are uncomfortable in a studio setting, have your photographer
meet you in a setting where you are more comfortable, like your office or place of business, and bring a friend or coworker along to help keep you calm or tell you jokes to help you out when you need to smile on demand.

Bonus Tips

  • Just like anything else, make sure to get enough sleep the night before because that will definitely show up in your photos.
  • Don’t overthink or stress about your session.
  • Although it is very important to look the part, preparing your professional setting is easy. Just remember to make selections based on the nature of your business and the clients that you serve. Then choose colors and the fit of your clothing, make sure your clothes are ironed and maintained until the time of your session.
  • If you feel your best you will look your best.
  • As your business or brand evolves, it is a good idea to have headshots done regularly to reflect that. This helps people keep up with the progression of your business or any changes in a new direction.
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Larissa Starks
Owner at Photography by Larissa