Getting A Good Headshot

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Getting A Good Headshot

24 May 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Many employers require headshots from their employees. It could be for the company website, for a business card or for marketing brochures. If a headshot is a requirement of a job, the employer likely will hire a corporate photography expert to take the pictures, but there are a few things the photo subject can do to ensure a great photo.


To avoid looking too stiff—or worse, like a mug shot—avoid angling both shoulders toward the camera. The photo will look more dynamic if the subject slightly angles his body so that one shoulder is slightly ahead of the other. Head position is also important. Pulling the head back is almost always a mistake because it can create a double-chin even in someone who isn't overweight. Instead, the subject should find a way to accentuate his facial bone structure. Leaning the forehead slightly out and down will extend the jawline, accentuating the angles of the face. Another way to accentuate bone structure is to look slightly up at the camera.


A company might require a certain dress code in corporate headshots, like a suit jacket or a shirt with the company logo, but if not, there are attire do's and don'ts for a headshot. Both men and women should avoid wearing white without a tie or scarf to break up the color. Clothes should be well-fitting and shouldn't bunch or wrinkle when the wearer sits down, and short sleeves should be avoided unless required by the company. Men should wear a suit in a dark color with a matching shirt and tie. The tie color should be not as dark as the suit and not as light as the shirt. Avoid small repeating patterns, like checks or herringbone, because they don't read well on camera. Women should choose a classic look. In 20 years, no one should be able to tell in which decade the photo was taken. Avoid patterns that are very bold, colorful or distracting.  


Women should wear an everyday makeup look, applied with a slightly heavier hand than usual. Avoid lots of mascara because clumps will show up on camera, and avoid very dark lipstick colors because they can look harsh on film. Choose a medium eyeliner and eyeshadow shade and wear a lip color that is just a few shades darker than the natural lip tone. Shimmery eyeshadows and heavy lipgloss should be avoided. Choose matte makeup instead because shimmer can appear wet on film.