Good Poses for Head Shots


Head shots are important for professionals in many careers. Not just actors, but real estate agents and high level executives also require professional head shots. Choosing a good pose is an essential element in achieving an excellent head shot that will be an asset to your portfolio or profile.

Head Shot Basics

Head shots can be focused just on the head itself or on the head and shoulders. For either type of head shot, you should wear a professional-looking, neutral outfit and pose against a neutral-colored background. The background should contrast with the color of your hair, which means a dark background for light-haired people and a light or white background for dark-haired people.

You should face directly toward the camera, although a professional photographer will ask whether you have a "good" side and emphasize that side. To avoid the high school yearbook look, look just past the camera and smile as though you were smiling at a friend or someone else you like or love.

Suggested Head Shot Poses

Good head shot poses include standing or sitting against a neutral background. The head shot can be in black and white or color; the photographer makes that determination. Props are usually unnecessary and can be distracting. It's also not necessary to pretend to be laughing or displaying any particular emotion. A natural-looking smile is the best choice for a head shot pose.

If you are slightly overweight, have your head shot taken with the camera angled from above. The act of holding your head upward will conceal a double chin and give your face sharper outlines. A slight downward tilt can create a pleasing effect for a head shot if you are slim and have good bone structure. However, sharply angling your chin downward will give you a sinister look and should be avoided.

The Head Shot Photo Session

Expect a photo session with a professional photographer to last several hours. This is because the pro will work with you to produce several shots from which to choose the best ones. She will make suggestions about how to position your head and square your shoulders to take full advantage of your looks. Over the course of a good photo session, you might take dozens of shots and hopefully become more relaxed as the photo session continues. Nonetheless, each frame will focus on capturing a full face shot. As you might expect, this process can be costly; however, a high-quality head shot can be a major enhancement to your professional image.

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