Tips to Get A Great Men’s Headshot

Nowadays everyone needs a headshot.  LinkedIn, Facebook, and company websites put your image out there.  You want to put your best face forward…LITERALLY!

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you get the best men’s business headshot possible.

1. Tweezers and trimmers are your friends. A few days before your session you should spend some quality time with a mirror and a set of tweezers to make sure that your eyebrows are well-shaped and trimmed.  Then get real close to the mirror and check that you don’t have any stray nose hairs coming out.  You do NOT want these fellas to make an appearance in your headshot!

The Phillips Norelco nose hair trimmer can make the job much easier, it even does eyebrows. Be sure not to leave this manscaping until the morning before your session because you might have some temporary red irritation from plucking/trimming.  If you aren’t comfortable doing this yourself, your local barber or salon can take care of it for you.

2. Visit your barber or stylist beforehand. Usually we look our best when we have recently had a haircut.  Don’t do a drastic change, you still want to look like YOU. Just have the barber or stylist clean up your look.  If you have a beard, don’t forget to have them tend to that as well. Going for the clean shaven look? Have your barber give you a close shave with a straight razor. If a visit to the barber isn’t in the cards, bring a razor and shaving cream with you to the session or give yourself a shave right before you go to the studio for the shoot. Make sure to use aftershave to cut down on skin irritation.

3. Check yourself out. Take a moment in front of a mirror to see if everything looks in the right place.  Do you have anything in your teeth? Is your shirt tucked in?  Is your hair the way you like it? If you are wearing a tie in your headshot always take the time to double check that it is nicely tightened and centered.  Once you enter your session, be sure to ask your photographer to confirm if the tie is in the right orientation.  A tie that is not tightened and off-center looks sloppy.  In head shots, a Windsor knot looks the best. It fills up the area where the collar buttons the best.  If you don’t know how to do a Windsor knot these videos will walk you through step by step how to do a double Windsor and half Windsor knot. When picking a tie for your shoot make sure you pick one that isn’t too busy a pattern and that the widest part of your tie matches the widest part of your lapel of your jacket. If you have gained or lost weight take this opportunity to get a new coat and shirt that fit you perfectly. Clothes that are too tight restrict your movement while posing and ones that are too big can make you look disheveled.

4. Sit up straight.  You want to look confident in your headshot.  The easiest way to do that is by making sure you are exercising good posture.  Even if the photographer asks you to lean forward, keep your back straight and your shoulders down.  Bend at the hips instead of hunching over. 

5. Avoid a Double Chin.  Sometimes when people try to sit up straight they draw their chin back into their neck.  This gives the unflattering appearance of a double chin.  For a defined jawline, push your forehead out towards the camera and then just a little bit down.  Practice this move at home in the mirror to see the difference.  You don’t want to push your chin out TOO far or it just looks weird. It feels really strange, but it looks great!  

6. Try different smiles. During your session try a variety of looks.  Start with your traditional big picture smile, then switch it up to serious, then smile but with your mouth closed and no teeth showing at all.  Then a little bit of teeth showing.  Then a great big toothy grin.  If you have a gap, or crooked or missing teeth, don’t be afraid to smile with your teeth showing.  Your photographer should know different techniques to minimize attention on these areas while still maintaining the approachability that a full smile results in.

7. Trust the photographer. When you sit down, or stand up, for your session the photographer is likely to tell you to turn your head and body in ways you think can’t possibly look good.  Surprisingly though, what feels totally strange actually looks great in a headshot.  People have the tendency to lean back away from the camera, this leads to the photographer seeing right up your nose. That’s why they tell you to lean forward.  So just know you are in good hands and that the best way to get a great shot is to listen to what the photographer tells you do do and to trust that he or she know what they are doing. Their job is to make you look your best.

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