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5 Tips on Creating Beautiful Headshots

Posted by on March 5, 2021

Creating headshots might seem simple. You need only a couple of nice photographs of one person, standing or sitting. Easy-peasy, isn’t it? Although it may be true, headshot photography can be rather daunting and stressful. The person in front of the camera usually looks for tips, directions and support. What’s more, a client should feel happy, satisfied and positive during and at the end of the session. Therefore, shooting headshots can be a bit tricky. Nevertheless, there are five simple tips and tricks that could make creating beautiful headshots easier for everyone involved!

#1 Get to know your client

So, you want to offer your clients, for example, the best headshots in Toronto? Well, we don’t suggest you should make friends with all your clients, but it would be wise to have a pre-session consultation. This is the best way to find out what your client expects and wants to achieve with their headshots.

In case they want branding headshots, you might want to use specific colors that would match their personality or brand. Ask if they want something specific as a backdrop and whether they are looking for more posed or natural photos.

You can have a pre-session consultation per e-mail, but it would be better to have it in person or on the phone. Both you and your client would feel more relaxed and ready for the actual session.

#2 Make sure your subject knows what to wear

In general, neutral, solid colors usually work best for headshot photography, because they don’t distract from people’s faces. If a client wants to achieve a formal style, they should bring formal work clothes with them. To be on the safe side, a few(ironed) clothing items may be a better idea.

In case a person wants to use headshots for business purposes, they should be dressed as they would when meeting a client. It’s alright to dress or makeup nicely, but nobody should overdo it. After all, one should look as natural (and true to themselves) as possible.

#3 Start a session nicely

A general chat with a client at the beginning of the session helps them relax and become more comfortable. It doesn’t have to last long. A confident handshake, smiling face and a few general questions about how a person feels at the moment would do the trick.

#4 Be relaxed and encouraging

Not only your client, but also you should be relaxed and as natural as possible. So, before the session, take a long, deep breath and think happy thoughts.

Silence and lack of feedback can be a bit frightening for people who are photographed. You sure want to avoid that, don’t you? So, chat with a client, stay positive and tell them when they make a good pose. Help them feel free and relaxed, encourage them to be authentic.

#5 Make adjustments

When you compare an average headshot and a great one, you’ll notice there are not so many changes. As a matter of fact, the small things most often make the difference. Thus, be playful and look for a way to improve the headshots. Leaning backward or forward, a gentle smile or a slight head tilt; these adjustments could be just what you need for a perfect photo. So, ask your clients to change their position or expression until you get the perfect image.

Furthermore, never expect to get the perfect image on the first go. Maybe you should add a flash or adjust angles and lighting. Is the background too dark? Should your subject be sitted?  It’s crucial to take your time to refine the settings, until you nail the perfect shot(s). Finally, a headshot session usually lasts long enough to allow you making these small, yet important adjustments.