Professional Business Headshots or Portraits are something that we all truly need in today’s online world. They will help you stand out, stay consistent and look more professional and put together. When you are planning to get new photos taken to use for your business, you want to go into it as prepared as possible with a clear vision of the types of images you want in able to best portray your personality and your brand.

But if you have absolutely NO clue what types of images you want, that is okay too! I hope that this list will help inspire and navigate you so that you can give your photographer and yourself some direction in order to achieve the best possible images.

Think about the feel you want your photos to have.

You can absolutely just sit and smile for the camera, but going in with a plan is the first step in getting great images.
Use the following examples to help shape the feel and attitude you want to show off in your photos:

Fun/Playful | Professional | Classic | Modern | Inviting | Knowledgeable | Relaxed/Casual | Earthy | Calming | Edgy | Elegant | Artistic | Serious

professional business headshots portraits tips

Tips for choosing Clothes, Hair, Makeup and Props.
The key is to think about what will align best with your brand.

– If you know your Brand Colors, add pops of that into your outfit, props and other elements to emphasize brand recognition.

Stay Authentic to yourself in clothing, hair and makeup. Now is not the time to try something out of your comfort zone. Don’t get a haircut right before your session, especially if you are trying something new.

Looking Your Best:
– Have good posture. This is essential to exude confidence and professionalism.
– But also, Loosen Up! You don’t want to look completely stiff and awkward. We do want to see your authentic self come through.
– Get enough Sleep the night before. This avoids looking overtired and uninspired.
– Drink plenty of Water and eat breakfast. This not only impacts your skin, but your well-being. If you’re hungry, grumpy and tired during your session, we’ll notice.
– Don’t forget about your fingernails. Women, if you wear polish, is it chipped or fresh? Be sure that if we do see your nails, they are looking nice and clean. Men – this matters for you too. Make sure your nails are clean, filed and trimmed.
Glasses. If you wear them, please make sure they are clean of smudges and dust as that sticks out in a photograph and makes your eyes look unclear.
How to Pose. Your photographer will definitely help you with this. But know that people always look better slightly at an angle to the camera, no straight on shoulders. Don’t put your hands behind your back or let them both hang loosely.
Your Best Side. Not everyone has or knows their “best side”. But most people definitely have one. If you do, please let me know! Or if you are curious to find out, we can try both sides and typically you will see a difference in one. The way you part your hair and the fact that faces are not perfectly symmetrical all play a part in this.

How to Choose Wardrobe:
– Dress how you would when meeting a new client.
– On-brand colors if applicable.
– Avoid distracting patterns.
– Choosing quality, well-fitting fabrics makes a huge difference in appearing put together and professional.
– Layers and accessories are a plus and can be added and removed for variety.
– Overall, make sure you look and feel comfortable.

Props: Tools of the trade or personal items. Ex: Laptop, iPad, iPhone, notebooks, planners, pens, books, camera, artwork, flowers, mugs, seasonal items.

– Think about tasks you do for work that you’d like to incorporate that could be easy to set up and photograph. Giving a presentation, taking a phone call, writing notes, recording a podcast, hanging up a sign, etc.

professional business headshots portraits tips

Think About Image Placement Needs:

If you’re building a new website or planning to use these images somewhere on a header page, are there any specific image placements you will need? Example: You need a horizontal header image for your website with an area to place text on the left.

professional business headshots portraits tips

Don’t Stress about it!

Seriously, you’ll do great with my guidance. Practice your smile or the expressions you may want to use. Make sure they feel like you. It is important that you feel comfortable and like yourself so that the real you comes out in the photographs.
You can practice your posing if you think that will help as well. Find your “best side.”

RELAX. The photographer is there to help navigate you through the session, help you feel comfortable, confident, natural and make it fun and effortless so that you will feel proud to display these images.

professional business headshots portraits tips

Check out more about my Personal Branding and Headshot Sessions here!


Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

To book a session or just to say hi, send me an email, I’d love to chat.
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Tina Thomas is an award-winning photographer and filmmaker in Chesterfield, VA. With a passion for collaborating with fellow professionals and entrepreneurs, her years of experience in television news marketing and photography, with a keen eye for detail, allow for a laid-back approach ensuring clients feel comfortable, confident and in good hands throughout their session experience.