Photographer Taking Headshot Of Woman

Six Tips For A Professional Headshot

3 minute-readPUBLISHED: June 20, 2020 | UPDATED: July 15, 2021


While looking for anything, whether it’s a house to buy, a new insurance provider or a CPA to help with taxes, the first thing you’ll always see is a headshot of the individual on their website or LinkedIn. A professional, consistent look lends credibility to a team who should be working together to make life as easy as possible for everyone involved. In the digital era, this is the first impression you have of someone. Along with having an intuitive, informative website, having an excellent photo of yourself can only help improve your engagement and capture new clients.

Here are six things to consider:

1. Find The Right Photographer

Having a headshot done should not be a painful experience. A professional photographer who has learned how to make you feel right at home in the studio can help ease any anxieties. There are a couple of ways to find the right photographer. If one of your colleagues has an excellent headshot, ask for the photographer’s info and do some online research on them. Review a handful of photographers’ websites and portfolios to find one who has work in the style that you need and reach out to your favorites to see what the possibilities are.

2. Select A Background

A great option for a professional headshot is a simple studio background. A plain white or gray background is perfect because it allows you to be the star of the photo. Studio headshots tend to be the most cost-effective way of getting a great image, as the studio is a photographer’s home base. There will be no additional fees unlike if they had to go on location to your office. ,If done well, an environmental background is another great option. If you have a beautiful office space, you might want to show it off in your headshot by utilizing it as your background.

3. Keep Team Headshots Consistent

Having consistent photos for your entire team will be a force multiplier. There’s nothing more off-putting than going to a team page and seeing a collection of photos that look like they don’t belong together. This is the attention to detail that your clients subliminally care about. Another perk to having hotshots done for your entire team is that most photographers will discount the cost of their packages if multiple people are booking all at once.

4. Know Your Expressions

Your clients are hiring you to help them succeed. Take a step back and think about the kind of people you’d like to work with and how they present themselves.

Look in a mirror and practice your smile. When you’re in the studio find something to chat and laugh about with the photographer session. Your photographer may try to have a natural conversation as you go through the shoot. This is to keep the atmosphere relaxed, but also raise the mood and energy. You don’t need to have a huge smile to show that you’re confident and approachable, but you need to be in the right mindset.

5. Decide On Deliverables

Headshots come in all shapes, sizes and crops. Before showing up for your appointment, know what you need. If you’re looking to match a style, let your photographer know and send over an example. Headshot photographers realize that the shoot is not about them, it’s about you and fulfilling your needs, so matching a style is not a big deal.

Cropping tends to change for every use and company. Your photographer may deliver high-res, uncropped images for you to use as you see fit; however, if there’s a specific size or crop you need, let your photographer know. They should be able to format the image for you.

6. Understand Your Headshot Is An Investment

The range of pricing for headshots is very wide. You can spend as little as $225 for a very basic barebones studio headshots session, though depending on the circumstance or what is wanted, the price goes up from there. The thing to understand is that a professional headshot is an investment.

You may wonder how often you should get a new headshot. While some photographers would prefer you to update them quarterly, the answer really depends on the person. On average, you can get by on the same headshots for 4 – 5 years, but if anything seriously changes (hair, clothing style, weight loss), consider doing them sooner. You want to promote a realistic version of you and not confuse people when they see you in person.

While we can’t exactly calculate the return on investment from a professional headshot, it has been said that social media profiles with professional headshots are viewed 21 times more than those without, and are nine times more likely to help you make a new connection. An excellent photo could make a big difference in the clients that you land and leads that you generate.

Patrick Nugent is a professional business headshot photographer in New York City at Camera 1.  He has been working professionally for the past 15 years and has refined his skills and expertise to provide clients with incredible imagery in an efficient and professional manner. Camera 1 is a boutique photo studio specializing in corporate headshots, events, CEO portraits and PR photography.