How to Pose for a Professional Headshot


Did you know that we are psychologically geared to dislike photos of ourselves?

Besides the psychological tendency, we also have angles, lighting, and harsh camera flashes to contend with. Because of this, most people dread having their photo taken.

Fortunately, anyone can get a good photo of themselves if they know what their angles are and how to pose. Showing off one’s best angles to the camera is a winning recipe for a great photo.

Do you desperately need to know how to pose for a professional headshot? We can help.

Read on to find out all of the top tips to apply when you need to pose for a professional headshot.

Pay Attention to Your Posture

The first thing to do when taking a professional headshot is to pay attention to your posture. Headshots don’t usually include all of your torso, but this doesn’t mean that posture won’t influence the look of your head, neck, and shoulders.

Posing for any kind of photo can feel uncomfortable and put you on edge. A headshot? Even more so.

Start by relaxing your shoulders, rolling them back slightly, and straightening your spine. To get a really straight posture, try tucking your tailbone in slightly. This will automatically suck in your abdomen and elongate your spine.

Keep Your Chin Level

Besides elongating your spine, also focus on keeping your chin level. If you lift it up too much, you’ll end up looking down your nose at the camera. If it’s too tucked in, this will create a double chin effect.

Don’t Face the Camera Head On

One of the most important things to keep in mind when you pose for a professional headshot is to not face the camera head-on. This can create a mugshot effect. Head-on shots have very little movement or personality and can also feel slightly combative.

Instead, angle your body slightly away from the camera. This helps to slim your frame and add dimension to your pose.

The easiest way to do this is by standing askew from the camera and twisting your torso to face the lens.

Lean Into the Lens Slightly

Another pro tip when it comes to how to pose for a professional headshot is to lean towards the lens slightly.

This will also slim your body slightly, put the focus on your face, and make you come alive.

If you lean away from the camera, this can make your midsection seem larger, and your head smaller, which is usually not a flattering look.

Don’t believe us? If you take a look at any actor headshots, you’ll notice the subject is leaning towards the camera ever so slightly.

Relax Your Hands

If you’re feeling tense about posing for a professional headshot, ten-to-one you will start to tense your hands.

Although you won’t see your hands in the headshot, relaxing them will help to relieve tension from your frame and make you feel more at ease, which in turn will make you seem more approachable and confident in the photo.

Smile With Your Eyes

If you’re wondering how to take a professional headshot, and can’t seem to strike a balance between looking as if someone has died, or doing a strained grin—here’s a very useful tip.

Don’t just smile with your mouth. Inject a warm smile into your eyes, and then let it travel to your mouth.

This might sound corny, but it works, and no professional headshots guide would be complete without this tip.

Now You Know How to Pose for a Professional Headshot

Now that you know how to pose for a professional headshot, go get ’em gorgeous! We guarantee these tips will help you nail that professional bio shot.

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