What Makes A Good Professional Headshot?

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Have you lost a job or looking for a better one and you need to update your CV? Or do you want to promote your business and you need a good portrait of yours to appear on your website? Do you want to be active on LinkedIn but don’t know how to start? Or do you just want to update your profile on your social media pages? Well, in any of these cases, what you need is a better professional headshot!

So what is a good professional headshot?

A lot of photography studios have good offers for a professional headshot or maybe you have a photographer friend who can click one for you. The first thing you will need to consider is your personal branding. What image are you trying to portray? Like most of our projects, the first thing we ask our clients is the objective of the output. If you will use the headshot for a new job application, you would consider the industry you are applying for. You can use a colored background if you are applying for a job in the creative industry. However, that would look too informal for other industries. Most applicants use their passport photos on their CVs and it is too plain. Passport photos are for passports and government IDs only. It doesn’t show your character or the personal brand you want to portray.
If you are planning to put that headshot photo on your website to promote your company or product, it will be helpful to incorporate that in your photo. Here is Petra Carvalho Ndebele and she is a health coach. We incorporated the following props for her photos.

Here are the photos we have taken for Apex Medical Clinic.

And here are photos we have taken for Best Luxury Properties.

You can opt for a plain background or with your workplace background similar to the headshots we have done for Holborn Assets, Truelux Group, Abela and Co and for these other business people.

What should you wear?
If you are going for a professional look, a suit and tie for gentlemen and a blouse that is not too revealing for ladies are our suggested outfits. If you want a less formal look, guys can lose the tie and unbutton the top one on their shirts. For the ladies, a little bit more make up will help as you do not want to look drab on your portrait. Wear bright colors like reds and oranges if you are feeling confident or if you believe it is part of your personality. Bright colors have different effects to the viewers though. Red can exude power and confidence but can be intimidating to others. We suggest sticking to neutral or pastel colors. Do not wear flashy jewelry like a chunky necklace and dangling earrings. You would want to have a headshot photo that you can use for a few years and which you can use for personal social media channels or you can submit to the press when required.

How should I pose?
Shake your body to get rid of any stiffness you feel before the shoot. Pose with your shoulders at an angle. Lean on one leg. Enjoy the shoot and just be yourself. Lastly, trust your photographer because it will help a lot to get the best portrait of yourself.

Melrish Perez

Melrish Perez

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About Melrish

Melon here! My husband and I founded The MelRish Studio in 2009. I’m a photographer, filmmaker, entrepreneur, traveler, wife, mom, and a follower of Christ. This blog is my musings about our adventures, growing our team, the events and brand stories that we tell, and the lessons we learn along the way.

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