May 17, 2024

Need the Perfect Headshot? Tips from a Headshot Photographer

Is your current headshot outdated? Does it fail to effectively capture your brand? Perhaps it doesn’t stand out from the crowd the way you want it to? It’s time to invest in a professional headshot.

But how do you get a headshot that makes a lasting impression, reflects your unique expertise, and opens new doors? Here are expert tips from a seasoned headshot photographer on capturing the perfect headshot.

A woman gets her professional headshot taken by a headshot photographer in a studio

Defining Your Brand: Who Are You Professionally?

This is the first step to taking the perfect headshot. By clearly defining your professional brand and understanding the nuances of your industry, you’ll be better equipped to collaborate with your headshot photographer and create a portrait that truly captures the authentic essence of who you are in your field. So before booking a headshot photography session, ask yourself these questions:

What is my industry?

Consider the specific industry or niche you operate in. Different sectors often have varying expectations and norms when it comes to professional imagery. For instance, a corporate executive in the financial sector might lean towards a more traditional, polished look, while a creative entrepreneur in the tech industry could embrace a more contemporary, edgy aesthetic. Discuss these details with your headshot photographer to ensure you get the perfect headshot.

What is my role?

As any experienced corporate photographer will tell you, a friendly, approachable headshot might be right for a customer-facing position, while a CEO’s headshot might convey more authority. Think about the primary traits people need to associate with your role to end up with the perfect headshot.

What are my qualities?

Your professional brand is a reflection of your expertise, experience, and the unique value you bring to your field. It’s the essence of what sets you apart and makes you memorable. Take some time to reflect on your career journey, your accomplishments, and the qualities that have contributed to your success. What are the keywords or phrases that best describe your professional persona?

What is my desired personal brand?

What values, skills, and personality traits define you? Are you a confident leader, a creative visionary, or a trusted advisor? Identifying these core attributes will help shape the direction of your headshot photography session, ensuring it aligns with your desired brand and resonates with your target audience.

Conveying Your Brand Identity Through Headshots

Once you’ve established your professional brand, it’s time to translate that into a visually compelling image. Here’s how to make choices that support your professional goals:


Your outfit should be professional, well-fitting, and free of distracting patterns or logos. Choose colors that flatter your skin tone and convey your desired brand image. Consider bringing a few outfit options to your session. Your headshot photographer can help you decide what looks best on camera and aligns perfectly with your brand. Consider these tips when choosing your wardrobe:

    Hair and Makeup

    Your headshot should showcase a polished version of your everyday self. While keeping it professional, do your hair and makeup in a way that makes you feel confident and emphasizes your best features. If you don’t usually wear much makeup, a little definition around your eyes and lips will make a big difference on camera.


    The location and backdrop can also play a significant role in shaping the overall mood and tone of your professional headshot. A simple studio background is a timeless option that keeps the focus completely on you. However, you could consider an outdoor location or subtle office setting if it aligns closely with your profession. Make sure any environmental background is uncluttered and complements your overall brand message.

    Posing and Expression

    Practice smiling naturally in the mirror, noting what feels most genuine. Think about the kind of poses that align with your brand. While your headshot photographer will guide you, consider these examples:

      Close-up headshot of a man with a genuine smile, photographed by a headshot photographer to convey approachability

      The “X” Factor: Going Beyond Standard Headshots

      Now let’s take it to the next level. Here’s where those exceptional business headshots come from:

      Authenticity is key:

      If you hate stiff poses, don’t force it! Find a headshot photographer who can capture genuine expressions.

      Think about the whole picture:

      Your headshot shouldn’t exist in a vacuum. Does it match the tone of your website and social media profiles? A consistent image builds trust.

      Tell a subtle story through props:

      A lawyer holding a well-used book, a designer flipping through a sketchbook – these simple elements speak volumes without being cheesy.

      Invest in a skilled branding photographer:

      A great headshot photographer knows how to use lighting and posing to make you look your best. Do your research and look at their portfolio to see if their work matches the branding you want to convey.

      Black and White or Color?

      Both can be effective! For best results, consider where the headshot will be used because some platforms work better with black and white headshots, which add a classic touch.

      Craft the Perfect Headshot with Courtney Criddle Photography, Your Headshot Photographer Near West Chester, PA

      At Courtney Criddle Photography, we understand that your headshot is a powerful investment in your personal brand and professional journey. With years of experience in the industry, we’ve honed our skills in capturing the essence of each client, translating their unique stories and personalities into visually compelling professional business portraits.

      Whether you’re looking for a traditional corporate look or a more creative, boundary-pushing approach, we’ll work closely with you to ensure your vision is realized. We aim to create a headshot that not only looks stunning but also authentically represents who you are as a professional, leaving a lasting impression that opens doors.

      We proudly service clients all over Montgomery County, PA, Delaware County, PA, Chester County, PA, Lehigh County, PA, Lancaster County, PA, and beyond from our headshot studio near Downingtown, PA.

      Ready to invest in a headshot that will take your brand to new heights? Contact us today to schedule your session.



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