5 Ingredients for a Flattering Headshot

What are the ingredients for a flattering headshot?  In my world photographing and filming corporate executives, managers and leaders. A world where their business acumen and confidence doesn’t always come through in the images. It’s my job to draw the best out of a professional when I’m hired to shoot a professional head shot or film a corporate video. And in the world of first impressions, whether it’s on LinkedIn or your company website, here are some ingredients for a strong headshot.

1. Hire a Professional – Do not expect to have the Forbes Magazine Cover Images from am Amateur. Besides the fact that they may be using inferior camera bodies or lenses – so much goes into creating a strong headshot. It’s the reaction you’re getting from the person you are photographing, the pose, not the smile, the natural confidence, not arrogance. It’s not point and shoot with some fancy lights and camera – there is so much more to it.

2. Get Dressed – Look the part. You should dress for your headshot as if you’re being interviewed for the job you’re in right now.

3. Practice poses – do you think the actor on the cover of that magazine just winged it. No, they know posture. They’ve been directed how to stand, where to put their hands, how to move their eyes, how to turn their head.

4. You have to take direction. Listen to the photographer. It may feel weird to move a certain way but that’s normal, you haven’t done it before – they are trying to draw an angle or a look or a feeling from you. Go with the Flow.

5. You’re your worst critic – I’ve photographed some of the most attractive professionals and they still think they do not look good on camera. In time with practice, you will feel comfortable in front of the camera. You will have experience. You will get better. You will work with better people. You will be able to afford a more talented photographer.

Trust the professionals that you hire as those that hire you trust you.


Jonathan Weiner

Jonathan is an award-winning director with expertise in producing cinematic commercial ads, corporate video productions, and various digital marketing campaigns for companies in Charlotte and across North America.