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7 Key Elements of a Professional and Effective Business Headshot

| Duane Furlong |

A headshot is a professional photograph of a person’s head and shoulders that is often used in business settings, such as on a website, business card, or LinkedIn profile. A good headshot is one that accurately represents the person and helps to convey their professional brand. In this article, we will explore what makes a good headshot for business and how you can get one that will help you stand out.

Proper lighting

Good lighting is critical for a great headshot. The right lighting will help to bring out the subject’s features and create a professional look. Ideally, you should have a mix of natural light and artificial light, with natural light being the primary source. The lighting should be bright enough to highlight the subject’s face, but not so bright that it creates harsh shadows or overexposes the photo.


The composition of a headshot is just as important as the lighting. The subject should be centered in the frame, with their head and shoulders taking up most of the space. The background should be simple and not distract from the subject. Some common backgrounds for headshots include solid colors, such as white or black, or textured backgrounds, such as a brick wall or wood paneling.

Professional attire

The subject’s attire should be appropriate for their profession and the image they want to convey. For example, if the subject is a lawyer, they should wear a suit and tie. If they are a creative professional, they may opt for a more casual look, such as a blazer and dress shirt. Regardless of the profession, the attire should be clean, wrinkle-free, and well-fitting.


The subject’s expression is one of the most important aspects of a good headshot. A neutral expression is typically best, as it conveys professionalism and approachability. A smile can also work, but it should be genuine and not forced. The subject should look directly at the camera and maintain eye contact with the viewer.

High resolution

A high-resolution image is essential for a good headshot. The photo should be sharp and clear, with no pixelation or blurring. High resolution allows for the photo to be enlarged and used in a variety of settings, such as on a website or in print materials.

Post-production editing

Post-production editing is the process of enhancing the photo after it has been taken. This may include color correction, skin smoothing, and other adjustments to improve the overall look of the photo. However, it’s important to keep the editing minimal, as over-editing can make the photo look artificial or unnatural.

Professional photographer

Finally, a good headshot is best taken by a professional photographer. A professional photographer will have the experience and equipment necessary to create a high-quality image. They will also be able to provide guidance on attire, expressions, and other important aspects of the headshot.

In conclusion, a good headshot for a business is one that accurately represents the subject and helps to convey its professional brand. Key elements of a good headshot include proper lighting, composition, professional attire, expressions, high resolution, minimal post-production editing, and a professional photographer. By taking these factors into consideration, you can ensure that your headshot will help you stand out and make a positive impression on potential clients and business partners.

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