How to Pose for a Headshot

If you are at the point where you are figuring out how you will pose for your headshots, you more than likely already have most of the logistics figured out. These include things such as the location where your pictures will be taken, if you will be using a professional photographer or not, etc.

These variables have a direct effect on the posing part of your headshots. For example, some people may not feel entirely comfortable in front of the camera and adding a professional photographer into the equation will only add more discomfort to the situation. Do not worry, this is perfectly normal and there are tips and tricks that will make taking headshots much easier, even fun! Not everyone enjoys taking pictures and for some people, taking pictures can even become a stressful process.

However, this does not mean that you will never get a good picture. Together, we will experiment with different poses. Along with poses, facial expressions are an important component of headshots. I can help you achieve a relaxed look if needed or help your serious side come out if needed for a professionally oriented picture. It’s just a matter of spending a few minutes together and getting to know your personality. The more comfortable you are in front of the camera, the more it will reflect on your headshot.

Facial Expressions

Let’s start with your facial expression. Practicing is essential in most fields and photography is no exception. If you are planning to smile in your pictures, practice some different smiles in the comfort of your home prior to taking your headshots.

Not only will this make you more comfortable, but you will be able to see which facial gesture you like the most. You can accomplish this by practicing in front of a mirror or using your phone to take some practice pictures. If you are aiming for a more serious and “down to business” look, you can practice that as well.

The important thing is that you have an idea of which facial expressions you feel comfortable with. The last thing you want is for your headshot to look unnatural and forced much like a child who is forced to take a Christmas picture! That is not going to do you any favors regardless of what you plan to your headshot for.


Sometimes we overlook the simplest of things that while may seem simple, have a very powerful effect on your headshots. Posture is one of these things. Things such as your wardrobe, makeup, and facial expressions are often the focus of people when they are taking headshots and posture is not their main area of concern. Your posture says a lot about you and if you are considering using these headshots for professional use, you do not want to be slouching!

The positing of your chin is also important. You do not want your chin too high or too low as this will make it seem that you are looking either down or up at the camera. Your photographer can guide you in finding the best position for you and can offer other suggestions that will enhance your headshots, such as tilting your head. Before you know it, you will find that posing for your headshot is not as complicated as it seemed, and you will look forward to taking your pictures!

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Hector Cavazos