Dos and Don'ts for Professional Headshots Photography

| 5 min read

Your professional headshot speaks volumes about you and your business, so take a moment to reflect on your current photo. Does it showcase you in your best light? Do you come across friendly and approachable? And most importantly, is the image clear and professional-looking?

If not, well, you business might be suffering.

Whether we want to admit it or not, we tend to judge a book by it’s cover. People by nature are visual learners. If a picture leaves much to be desired, we often move on to the next. 

Don’t let this happen with your business! Use your professional headshot to your advantage by following these top dos and don’ts for professional headshot photography.

Dos for Professional Headshots Photography

To capture the “perfect” image for a professional headshot, there are a few key factors to consider before the photographer starts snapping!

Get Your Hair and Makeup Done

As a headshot is meant to put your face front and centre, it is crucial you present your physical attributes as best as you can. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should go overboard with the makeup! If you normally wear makeup, apply as normal. One note, the eyes tell all and should be focused on.

For your hair, wear it as if you were meeting the viewer face-to-face for a business meeting or interview. There’s no need to add more curls, colour, or fluff for your close-up!

The key is to accentuate your best features, while also looking natural. This isn’t wedding day hair and makeup, but instead showing the daily authentic you, with a touch of pizazz.

Smile while Taking Professional Headshots

Like the eyes, an authentic smile tells a tale. It’s up to you to decide what you want your story to be. If you are proud of your smile, by all means, say “cheese”. But, if you feel you need to force a smile, don’t! 

Try practicing in a mirror until you are happy with the result. It may help if you schedule your headshot session during a time of the day you are at your best. The camera captures more than just an image—it captures your authentic self. Your viewers will be able to pick up on your vibe and emotion, even with a picture!

Look Professional

By looking professional, your business will too! Through your smile, eyes, clothing, and position, portray yourself as a confident and knowledgeable member of the business world. Professional business portraits do not have to be boring or stuffy. But they shouldn’t be a picture of you on the beach on your last vacation, or a cropped shot of you in a family snap. 

Wear Appropriate Clothing 

This should be without saying but wear nice clothing for your headshot! While the end result will focus on the upper portion of the body such as the shoulders and head, be sure your attire is appropriate, clean and wrinkle free.

If you have a business that involves suits and ties, then ensure you wear your Sunday best. If you are promoting a business which sees a more casual uniform, then go in that direction. Remember you are promoting YOU when choosing a professional headshot.

Consider the Background

When in-studio, your photographer will suggest which of the available backgrounds would work for the photo. If you have your photographer come to your office or another location, be sure you choose a room with plain walls or a simple background. The key here is to have a neutral background that doesn’t distract the viewer from looking at you.

Your photographer will have ideas to work with once they become more familiar with the location. With all of the backdrop possibilities for business photography in Toronto, the sky is the limit!

Find the Right Headshot Photographer

Before deciding on a photographer, make a list of questions to help base your hiring decision on. Ask if they are experienced with taking professional headshots as some photographers only concentrate on one or two types of photography. 

Don’ts for Professional Headshots

When you think of a headshot, what comes to mind? If the social media selfie is the first thing you think of, you really need to follow the suggestions below for what NOT to do for a professional headshot.

Don’t Dress Uncomfortably

Be sure to leave the tight shoes and uncomfortable clothes at home and wear a suitable outfit to the photo session. Even though the headshot won’t actually show your body or feet, like your smile, the camera will pick up on any tension felt. You may want to take a few different outfits to try on for the photoshoot. 

Don’t Wear Excessive Accessories

A professional headshot is a picture to promote your business, not a chance to highlight the latest fashion trends. A classic and simple collection of small earrings, necklace, or scarf is all that is needed. Too many accessories can divert the viewer’s eyes and attention away from the task at hand—promoting your business!

Don’t Use Poor Lighting

Regardless of the direction you or the photographer want to take the headshot session, proper lighting is crucial for any portrait. Poor lighting can cast shadows across the face in places where shadows shouldn’t fall. Depending on the lighting, one may also come across as unapproachable as the facial expression can be distorted. 

On the other hand, too bright of a light can also wash out a person making them look ill and frail. 

Don’t Use an Overly Creative Pose

The purpose of the business headshot is to invite people to do business with you, so be yourself. If you have to prop yourself up or sit in an uncomfortable position, it will come across as awkward on camera. Forget about everything you have seen on social media and listen to your photographer for direction on posing. 


Work with Bonnie Dickson Photography for Professional Headshots in Toronto

Avoid the pitfalls of a headshot session gone wrong by putting your trust, and face, in the talented hands of Bonnie Dickson Photography. As one of the top business headshot photographers in Toronto, Bonnie has the expertise and knowledge to ensure your professional headshot will do the talking for your business. Ready to take your company to the next level? If you are searching for “business headshots near me”, contact Bonnie today to help you make a strong first impression with your professional portrait!