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women wearing pink plaid blazer on white background for professional headshot

10 Best Professional Headshot Poses for Your Business Profile

10 Best Professional Headshot Poses for Your Business Profile

Make sure you look confident and approachable with these 10 professional headshot poses.

Best Professional Headshot Poses

Your headshot is one of the most important components of your professional profile. It is often the first impression that potential employers or clients will have of you, and can make a big impact on your success in the professional world. So, it’s important to get it right! Here are the 10 best professional headshot poses to help you look your best in your profile picture.

Learn about Christopher Todd Studios' headshot services.

Best Headshot Poses

These 10 professional headshot poses are a great place to start to ensure that you are putting your best foot forward in your profile picture.

1. The Classic Head and Shoulders Pose

professional headshot of asian women in natural environment

The classic head and shoulders pose is a timeless and versatile option for a professional headshot. Simply stand straight, shoulders back, and look directly at the camera with a neutral expression. This pose is great for showing off your confidence and approachability.

  • LinkedIn
  • Profile photo
  • Email Signature

2. The Slight Head Tilt

Male attorney wearing suit with red tie standing in front of building

A slight head tilt can add a bit of personality and charm to your headshot. SLight being the key word. Simply tilt your head to one side, while still keeping your eyes focused on the camera. This pose is great for those who want to appear friendly and approachable, while still maintaining a professional demeanor. This pose is suitable for both male and female headshots. One thing I've noticed photographing many peoples headshots. Be careful not to tilt your hear too much to the side as it can look unprofessional.

  • Real Estate 
  • Corporate
  • Attorney
  • Medical industry

3. The Shoulder Angle Pose

Asian male wearing suit in front of grey backdrop for headshot photo

The shoulder angle pose is a great way to add some depth and dimension to your headshot. How to pose for professional headshots, simply angle one shoulder towards the camera while still keeping your face centered. This pose is great for those who want to appear confident and approachable, while still showing off their best features.

  • LinkedIn
  • Profile photo
  • Email Signature

4. The Crossed Arms Pose

professional-internet-dating-profile-photo-session

The crossed-arms pose can give off a strong and confident vibe in your headshot. Simply cross your arms over your chest and look directly at the camera with a neutral expression. This pose is great for those who want to appear strong and assertive. Be careful with this pose, while crossing your arms say one thing be sure to have a warm genuine smile so you look friendly and approachable and not closed off. 

  • LinkedIn
  • Profile photo
  • Acting headshot 

5. The Hands-on-Hip Pose

women wearing black dress standing in front of building for headshot

The hands-on-hip pose is a great way to show off your confidence and approachability. Simply place your hands on your hips and look directly at the camera with a neutral expression. This pose is great for those who want to appear confident and approachable. 

  • LinkedIn
  • Profile photo
  • Email Signature

6. The Lean-In Pose

Example of outdoor professional female realtor headshot.

The lean-in pose is a great way to show off your personality and approachability in your headshot. Simply lean forward slightly towards the camera, while still maintaining good posture. This pose is great to look more engaged and connected.  If you want to appear friendly and approachable just do the lean-in.

  • LinkedIn
  • Profile photo
  • Email Signature

7. The Full Body Pose

female asian professional 3/4 length photo wearing grey suit

The full-body pose is a great way to show off your entire appearance in your headshot. Simply stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and pose with your arms and hands in a natural position. This pose is great for those who want to show off their personal style and appearance in addition to their professional demeanor. 

  • LinkedIn
  • Dating photo
  • Email Signature

8. The Natural-Candid Pose

corporate headshot pose of man standing in front of building wearing suit

This pose is natural looking with a candid feel. The best way to achieve this look is to slightly angle your shoulders to the camera, and look past the camera or to the side of it. This gives off the appearance of a candid yet natural look. Hands should be placed in a natural position. This pose is great for those who want to show off their personal style and appearance in addition to their professional demeanor.

  • Bios
  • Personal Branding Photo
  • Email Signature

9. The Fonzie Pose 

Professional poses for male headshot

The Fonzie pose is unique to Christopher Todd Studios. This is a great way to show off your entire appearance in your headshot. Simply put your weight on one leg or the other with a slight bend in the opposite knee. Hands can hang naturally to the side or one hand in the pocket. This pose helps distribute your weight and creates a slimming effect. This pose is one of our favorites to get the best look out of headshots for most industries. 

  • LinkedIn
  • Profile photo
  • Email Signature

10. The "Squinch" by Peter Hurley 

business photo male wearing suit outside

The squinch pose is more of a facial expression. By slightly squinting your eyes with a slight pinch you show confidence. Be sure not to wrinkle your forehead. Try practicing this one in the mirror. Can be used with any of the above poses. 

  • LinkedIn
  • Profile photo
  • Email Signature

In conclusion, your professional headshot is an important component of your professional profile, and it’s important to choose the right pose to best represent yourself. 

black women wearing yellow blazer in front of office building
black women wearing yellow blazer in front of office building

PROFESSIONAL HEADSHOT TIPS

Here are a few important headshot tips for both men and women that I have put together based on my professional experience as a portrait photographer.

Don'ts:

  1. Don't wait until the last minute: Avoid waiting until the last minute to schedule your photo shoot, as it can lead to stress and rushing.
  2. Don't ignore the background: Be mindful of the background and avoid cluttered, distracting backgrounds that take away from the subjects of the photo.
  3. Don't be afraid to take risks: Don't be afraid to experiment with different poses, perspectives, and techniques to capture unique and creative photos.
  4. Don't wear formal attire: Don't wear formal attire for a business headshot.  
  5. Don't rely on Smartphones: While smartphones have improved over the years greatly, they still will not produce a professional quality headshot.

Do's 

  1. Do Plan your outfits in advance: This will help you feel confident in your choice and come well-prepared for your session.
  2. Do hire a professional: There are so many reasons to hire the right photographer. The most important is that you get the best photo taken. 
  3. Do choose the right background: Consider choosing a background with minimal distractions.
  4. Do smile: Be sure it is an authentic and genuine smile. 
White replacement background for professional women headshot

POSING TECHNIQUES FOR HEADSHOTS

Poses for professional headshots can make or break your photo. Keep these 3 posing techniques in mind for your next picture. 

  1. Good posture- The reason you hear stand up straight and tall from photographers is that this has a huge impact on your headshot. Think of it as a puppet being pulled from the top of the head by a string. 
  2. The Chicken- As you stand up tall your head tends to go back, instead stick your head out like a chicken pecking. Lead with your nose toward the camera. Be sure to drop your chin slightly. 
  3. The Fonzie- The way you stand will greatly impact your photo. Keep your weight on one leg or the other. Face the camera at a slight angle either with your shoulders or your hips. Think of the Fonzie from the TV show Happy Days. He had a cool stance. 
White replacement background for professional women headshot
casual office attire for outdoor headshot of female wearing glasses
casual office attire for outdoor headshot of female wearing glasses

HOW TO POSE FOR A PROFESSIONAL HEADSHOT

Most people looking for professional headshots are not models.

Hiring the right professional photographer will help ensure you pose correctly.

A good photographer will help guide you in the best poses and coach you throughout the photo shoot, including facial expressions and what to do with your hands. 

It is important that the photographer creates a relaxed and comfortable environment where clients feel at ease and confident in front of the camera.

Ultimately, learning how to pose for your headshot can be taught by the photographer demonstrating the poses during the session. Think of the photographer as your facial coach and posing director. 

 

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FAQ

Some of our most frequently asked questions about professional headshot poses?

Have more questions? Get in touch with us to start planning your professional headshot portrait today.

Meet Your Headshot Photographer

Call Me Chris

I won't bore you with too many details, but I will say that I consider myself to be the luckiest guy in the world and I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to merge my passion and career.

A couple of quick things about me personally. I was born and raised in Orange County. I currently live with my family near Huntington Beach where I love to surf or be in the ocean with my boys.

My passions include art, traveling, and of course photography.

Male photographer holding camera.

Meet Your Headshot Photographer

Male photographer holding camera.

Call Me Chris

I won't bore you with too many details, but I will say that I consider myself to be the luckiest guy in the world and I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to merge my passion and career.

A couple of quick things about me personally. I was born and raised in Orange County. I currently live with my family near Huntington Beach where I love to surf or be in the ocean with my boys.

My passions include art, traveling, and of course photography.

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