Tips on Taking the Perfect Professional Head Shot

When taking a professional head shot or corporate head shot, it’s important to look your best as you will use it in a lot of places and often for a year or two. Your head shot is one of the first things that recruiters see when perusing LinkedIn and a bad business head shot can cost you a career opportunity.


While showcasing your personality is important, this isn’t the time to represent your favorite brand on a t shirt, imitate your driver’s license photo with a sullen expression, or take a photo at your favorite bar. Your corporate head shot should be professional, friendly, and most importantly, high-quality.

Here are some tips to taking the perfect professional head shot.

  1. Wear something simple and sophisticated. Stay away from words, stripes, and loud patterns. Consider the formality of your current company or the companies you are applying to. If you work for a laid back startup, you can probably skip the full suit. If you work for a large international bank, suit up!
  2. Keep hair and makeup natural and tidy. Some lighting at a head shot photo shoot can be harsh, so wear a bit more makeup than you would in natural lighting so you don’t look washed out. Keep your hair out of your face and in a simple hairstyle that you are comfortable with. If you tend to have shiny skin, bring powder or blotting cloths to use before you take your head shot.
  3. Leave your glasses on. The number one rule of a business head shot is to look like yourself (at your best.) If you wear glasses, keep them on (but make sure to wash them beforehand so smudge marks don’t appear in the head shot.) If you typically wear earrings or other jewelry, feel free to keep your head shot look true to self. Make sure your face is the focal point of the picture.
  4. Say cheese! Smiling was proven to increase perceived competence, likability, and influence in a study from Photofeeler. No need to show all the pearly whites, but a natural smile goes a long way. (The study also showed that a visible and defined jawline also increased perception of the same qualities - avoid wearing a turtleneck or scarf if possible.)
  5. Relax. Have fun with the head shot photographer and ask for feedback if you are unsure. Most business head shot photographers are professionals and have seen their fair share of folks from behind the lens. They will be able to help calm you down and give you head shot tips during the shoot.

Professional head shots can range from super serious corporate head shots to fun startup head shots and everything in between. Remember to stay relaxed and wear clothing, your hair, makeup, and jewelry as closely to what you normally wear as possible. Try not to distract from your beautiful face and have fun with it.


Check out some head shots The Danger Booth has taken above for inspiration. Need a head shot? Find out more about The Danger Booth’s corporate head shot photo booth service for businesses and workspaces.