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A Complete Guide – Headshots

What are Headshots?

A headshot is a digital portrait which emphasizes the person. Headshots are usually used for professional profile images which mainly focus on head and shoulder of a person. The actors and models get professional headshots in their resume which shows their looks and face features according to the role given by the casting director. Sometimes headshots are only depending on the client’s demand whether it includes only head and shoulder or covering half body, with or without makeup, edit or raw image.


      Figure 1: professional headshot of a model with her natural look

The Purpose of a Headshot:

Headshots are the first impression of a person. A professional headshot in your profile speaks about you, who you are and what is your brand for. When it comes to headshot, no matter what level you are working on, its s an essential part of your growing career. A professional headshot gives a hundred percent guarantee about your seriousness when it comes to your job. Now a days, not only do business owners or public figure need professional headshots but it is necessary for everyone who wants to make their name in world. Headshots are not only your profile picture; it shows your identity which helps to open doors of opportunities for you. 


Figure 2: an example of headshot for a women entrepreneur, which shows her confidence about her business to gain trust of a customer

Benefits of a Headshot:

Your image influences your personality. With the help of headshot, you can showcase yourself in real world. Let’s be real, we human always judge people by their physical appearance first. Hence why, there is no doubt that good looking and eye-catching image of yours drive the attraction towards you. Professional headshots are an investment towards your goal to achieve in future. There is never a second chance to impress that’s why it is crucial to have an image which defines you and your interest. 


Figure 3: smiling while taking headshots makes a person look more natural and friendly


Where Headshots can be used:

In any business today, the first thing people notice is your image before scrolling through about you and your passion. Headshots can be use in any profession but when a job require face to face communication a lot i.e. doctor, teacher, actor, model, therapist, coach, trainer etc.  then professional headshots are mandatory. 

How to take a Headshot:

There are some simple tips to taking a perfect headshot.

  • The main focal point are usually the eyes and the hair. They define a person’s eagerness for the and they build a form of connection with the viewer.

  • The angles define the feel of the headshot and the way an angle is taken express connection of the person to their viewer.

  •  The difference between a professional headshots and unprofessional headshots is the lighting, when the lighting is done correctly, the person looks flawless as the skin gets definition with the removal of blemishes, due to the light. 

  • After taking a headshot, most of the time it is require to avoid heavy editing or use of an unrealistic lighting.

  • Busy or over decorated backgrounds are a big no in order to take a professional and clean headshot, usually white background is the best choice.

Is it okay to smile?

Honestly there is no such answer for that. This is totally depending on the personal choice. if you are okay with the smile, go ahead, but make sure it will genuine. Fake or forced smile disturb your appearance and make you look uncomfortable that can force your audience to think that you are unsure or bored and even untrustworthy to work with. Research says that smile makes you look younger, if that is the case then why not. Subtle smile indicates your confidence and make you look modern. Even though a simple subtle smile with or without showing your teeth is a good choice to make you attractive but even you do genuine laugh that can attract your targeted customers too especially if your brand is about joy and fun. In case you are not fully confident on your smile or you think it doesn’t convey a right thought about you, then serious shots are great option for people like you but obviously not too serious that make you look angry. 

Headshots are a simple, but necessary objective, that all people will have to check off at some point in their life. Without one, a person’s image can be distorted as they are based on stereotypes of the person’s experiences and/or education, that becomes an unrealistic standard in this day and age. 

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