How to Take Headshots in Photography

Headshot photographs, photos in which only the face and part neck of a subject is visible, are used for passports, business cards, advertising media etc. There are certain things that a photographer has to keep in mind before a perfect headshot photo can be taken. For instance, positioning both the camera and the subject correctly is very important and then the importance of lighting the subject properly is of pivotal importance as well. Here is what a photographer must do in order to provide clients with perfectly taken headshot photos.


  • 1

    In a headshot, only a part of the neck is visible. Ask potential models to closely observe a few flattering headshots so that they can minimise any flaws which may become visible in the headshot. Moreover, you will want the model to choose the wardrobe and makeup carefully so that you have more chances of taking a perfect headshot.

  • 2

    Make sure that distance between the camera and the subject is at least 10 feet. From this point, you can zoom in the camera to take the headshot. In photography, this technique is especially useful to prevent barrel distortion; a phenomenon is photography which occurs if you shoot a subject from a very short distance.

  • 3

    Erasing harsh shadows is another step towards taking a perfect headshot. To accomplish this, consider making light incident on the subject from various different angles. It is a proven fact facial shadows can be reduced a great deal by using two lights, focused on the subject’s face from two angles opposite to each other.

  • 4

    For subject who tend to develop a double chin when sitting in a straight up position, the best way to take a perfect headshot is to ask the subject to keep their chin lifted just a tiny bit. Moreover, make sure that you closely lookout for any facial flaws such as scars on the skin. You would want to edit such photographs before printing them.

  • 5

    The eyes of a subject wearing contacts may appear distorted in the camera. Ask the subject to remove the lenses before taking the headshot. The same goes for eye glasses as well. Before you take the shot, focus your camera on the subject’s eye.

  • 6

    Explain to the subject that you would want to touch-up the digital image just a little bit so that any wrinkles or blemishes can be removed before the photograph is printed. Using an image editing software, you can easily remove such flaws from headshot photos.

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