6 Posing Rules for Better Headshots

There are many reasons why you might need headshots taken. You might be an aspiring actor looking to build a portfolio, or you might need Washington DC corporate headshots to get good pictures of yourself for your business cards, website, and other promotional use. Whatever the reason, there are a few ways you can prepare yourself so that you can get your best pictures.


Unless you model for a living, chances are, when you first walk in to take your headshots, you will probably feel a little awkward and unsure of how to stand or look. The photographer will probably give you some directions, but the rest will be up to you. You can prepare for this like you would for a job interview or a speech. Namely, you should know what you’re doing before you get there.

Pose Your Head

The first thing you should practice is making sure you keep some space between your chin and your neck. Extend it out a little bit, even if it feels unnatural. If you don’t keep enough space there, it can look like you have a double chin. When you’re working out how to hold your head, think about what your eyes are saying. People engage with each other's eyes, so make sure yours are communicating the message that you want to send.

Pose Your Body

Good posture conveys confidence to your audience, so when you’re getting ready to build your headshot portfolio, practice keeping your back straight and your shoulders back. Also, make sure your body is never turned fully towards the camera. It’s much more flattering if you’re at a little bit of an angle.

Pose Your Hands

It’s hard to know what to do with your hands during those three-quarter length shots. Make sure you don’t make a fist, since that doesn’t look too appealing. Instead, make sure you place your hands so that your fingers point up if they’re above the waist and point down if they’re below the waist. Also, make sure that they’re relaxed and that none of them are too rigid.


For that matter, your whole body should be relaxed and you shouldn’t be breathing quickly or holding your breath. Do whatever you need to in order to get in the right frame of mind before or during the shoot. Sometimes doing yoga or stretching or doing other warm-up exercises can help, but you need to make sure you don’t look stiff in your pictures.

Have Fun

It might seem tough when getting your Washington DC corporate headshots, but having fun is often the most important part of a photoshoot. Your emotions often show in the picture, and you want to come across as a fun, pleasant person. Lots of people will listen to music before or during the shoot for this reason, and it’s one trick that you might try. Besides that, if you remind yourself that you’re ready for your photoshoot, you might just actually enjoy it.

Tim CoburnComment