Headshot Photography

Headshot photography is the most demanded service that photographers can offer in 2021.Almost every profession needs a headshot photography service like if you are working in corporate.

In 2021 almost all small to big corporations have their business website where they are adding their employees professional images. It is to gain the trust of clients and provide a personal touch to their new customers.

What is Headshot?

Headshots photos mean focus over the face. Headshot photography normally used for profile photos over the websites, Online Profile, Social Media Profile etc..As per research 80% people are using it for their professional profiles like LinkedIn.

While the remaining 20% are using it for personal use most of the time to get more visitors and followers over Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many more. Most of the headshots you will find on corporates’ websites provide a company’s team details for marketing and trust gain purposes.

It is not only business professionals who are using the headshot photography services but actors and models also using the same services for their profile pictures.

Headshot Photography Tips

Headshot Photography Tips

Let’s discuss in detail how to get a great headshot photograph in 2021. Here we will also discuss some professional headshot photographers, companies and prices for the same that you need to pay.

Before you start with photography of your client you must sit with him. During the time you can discuss and need to understand the requirement and the purpose of the headshot photography that they are looking for.

It is the most important part before starting with a photography task.It will give you an idea of what equipment that you need where to shoot the images like in a studio, outdoors or any other specific location.

Headshots V/S Portraits

Headshots V/S Portraits

Many people mix up headshots and portraits at the same time. But there are lots of differences between headshot and portrait photography. Basic difference is that in portrait photography most of the time focus over the face only while in the headshot not focus on the face only but also focus over the shoulders as well.

Even if you find the background and location also different from portraits in comparison to headshots. The headshot location must be a studio or office location or they are using normally one color simple backgrounds.

While in portrait you can use any outdoor location with many fancy backgrounds you can use according to your choice. For portrait photography you can also use the outdoor nice location like a garden or a famous place which is not possible with headshot photography at all.

Professional Backgrounds

Professional Backgrounds

Before you are starting a headshot photography for your clients you should prepare some background as per the requirement of photography and discussion. With headshots, the background is the important part of the photography.

As I have mentioned, you can not use any background or location for the headshots. So in this case you can use any one color backdrop like white, navy blue or dark grey to keep it simple & look professional.

On the other hand you can also use the client’s office as background to show the office as well. Many people prefer that the office must be in the background so clients can understand the premises and how professional they are.

You can also take headshots in the client office with a blur background or the office as well. If you check many professional websites you can find the same idea as well. So you can choose the location as per the client’s needs.

Suggest What to Wear

Discuss with your client what to wear during the photography. Inform them to wear professional clothes like one color shirts or jackets etc. For many years I have seen that some corporations are providing clothes with company logos as well. So you can suggest your clients to wear those kinds of clothes as well.

It will look more professional and a great idea to post it over LinkedIn or any professional profile.

Hiring a Makeup Artist

Hiring a Makeup Artist

Before you start with photography you can suggest your client to hire a makeup artist to get nice simple shots. So makeup artists can make the proper makeup, hide the defects of skin etc.

Well at the end everything depends on the client’s budget as well. If the client has a low or limited budget so you can also use software like Photoshop for the photo editing as well.

Good Composition

Good Composition

Headshots are very simple so you have to follow all the criteria that are required to get high quality images. So not just to focus on the face only. but also have to focus over the backgrounds, clothes, locations, lightning, camera, lenses etc.

While you are choosing the locations or background, you must keep in mind that your photography should be outstanding. Focus on small and each subject to get professional headshot photography for your clients.

Make your client relax

Make your client relax

When a person does not feel good or uncomfortable you may not get the right expression for the photograph. During the photography, discuss some general or funny topic which makes your client relax and get a nice photograph in a short time.

Photography Equipment

Jewelry Photography kit

Like you are choosing the perfect, background, location etc you also need to select the correct lightning, camera, lens, tripod.

Before you start with headshot photography you must select the right equipment to get professional images. You can also check the famous photographers’ images and blog what equipment they are using or suggesting for the same.

Let’s discuss it one by one in detail to get you a basic idea.

Best Lens For Headshots Photography

There are many lenses available in the market and photographers are using according to their budget and requirement. portrait-length lenses are the best for headshots photography which comes with a focal length of 50mm for full-frame. These kinds of focal length lenses are more gratifying for headshots.

We will discuss some lenses in detail and I’ll also suggest, according to my experience, which one is the best lens for the headshots.

In the year of 2021 I would suggest two most favourite lenses: Nikon 50mm and Canon 50mm f1.8. These both are great lense for headshot photography. With those lenses you can get fast portraits that give you a required distance between you and your clients. Both lenses are under 200$ only. Let’s discuss the specification in detail so you can have an idea of why it is the best lens for headshots.

Best lens for headshots Canon

1.Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens

It comes with 50 millimeter focal length and max aperture of f/1.8. It has super spectra coating applied to get the natural shots and maintain natural color in low light conditions as well. The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM comes with a low cost and prime lenses.

2.Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM
Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM

The Canon RF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM has an amazing combination of optics, advanced features and performance with robust design. EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM is an L-Series medium-telephoto lense. It is the first 85mm L-Series lens with an advanced optical formula which helps to get crystal clear stable images for the headshots.

The EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM has features included a large f/1.4 large aperture which results in a superficial depth of field for a nice blur background. It is the ideal lens for consistency to get the sharp results.EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM comes with a stabilizer system that helps to get multiple steady images in very short time. Because of the image stabilizer the EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM also helps minimize the requirements of the tripod.

Best lens for headshots Nikon

We have discussed the Canon lenses now let’s talk about the Nikon as well. I have two choices in the Nikon as well.First one is Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G and Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G. Both are best for headshots in 2021. Let’s talk in detail about features.

1.Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G
Nikon 50mm f/1.8G AF-S NIKKOR

AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G from Nikon is the ideal lens for portraits or headshots. It comes with a 50mm focal length which is suited to many other photography as well. It is specially designed to work in low light as well.

It provides an amazing coating to get a perfect contrast, accurate & sharp images during the shooting. Moreover it has a very silent motor which allows you to take fast images.

2.Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G

The Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G is the most ideal lens for headshots and portraits shots in the year of 2021. It comes with 85mm f/1.4G slightly long focal length and quick design completed by a rounded nine-blade diaphragm.

Best Budget Tripods

There are many tripods available in the market which you can purchase according to your choice. Here I have suggested some tripods that will help you to get the most beautiful headshots. Let’s discuss one by one in detail.

1.Manfrotto 290 Xtra Carbon

The 290 Xtra’s height is 165cm to get a great headshot or portrait photography. It is also a robust tripod to work in studio or out of studio as well. It comes with carbon fiber legs which are able to support up to 3.4 pound weight attached to the head.

2.Hama Action 165 3D Camera Tripod
Hama Action 165 3D Camera Tripod

Hama Action 165 3D Camera Tripod minimum high is 61cm and maximum 165cm. Which you can use for any type of photography but ideal for the headshots. You can use this pripod in any weather for your photography. It is the right choice for indoor as well outdoor photography. The 3D tilt head allows you to get the outstanding images of headshots and portrait photography.

Headshot Photography Lighting


Once your client is ready to shoot, adjust the light above the eye level or you can adjust over the head as well. If you are shooting out of the office or studio you can also use the natural light as well. You can use the large soft lights while reflection must be under the client face and opposite of main lights.

You can also block the light to make shadows darker and more outstanding images. For the place one black piece of black card in front of the light. This black card will absorb the light and create nice simple dark clear cut images.

Female Corporate Headshots

In 2021 women are serious about their career and will make their position as compared to male. Nowadays many females are in the position of CEO, director and president for the companies.

While you are shooting the female corporate headshots you must take care of some tips or rules.. Use the light makeup over the face to provide a nice professional look. Must wear a professional dress instead of wearing the routing clothes at the time of photography.

So wear the solid color like a navy or dark blue color or black color combination. You can try some images with tied up hair and some with it down. While you start a shoot with down hair please brush your hair to look perfect.

If you are wearing the glasses please include it during the headshot photography. Before doing that also make sure that glasses are clean and clear. In case you are wearing a temporary base only and don’t want to use it during the photography, remove it before the minimum of 30 of photography.

Female sitting pose

You can do the two types of headshot photography. For the male you can shoot in the standing position while for the female you can shoot in the setting positions. It is not compulsory but you can do something different as well. Moreover you can also tell all male/female images in seating positions as well.

The advantage of sitting poses that clients may relax some time instead of standing positions. While clients are relaxed you will get nice smile images in a very short time.

Professional Headshot for LinkedIn

Professional headshot for LinkedIn

In the year of 2021 LinkedIn is the biggest platform of professionals. Most of the company’s Owner, Founder and high post decision maker is there to introduce their services, company and products. As per one research in the year of 2019 shows that 72% people are posting their professional headshots over the linkedin profile.

If you have a nice camera mobile you can start to take images for the linkedin as well. For that you have to wear professional clothes like a blazer etc. Now with a nice background or simple one color background you can take the images or ask someone to shoot the few images as well.

Now check all images on the phone or from the computer and select some images and start to edit it properly like skin retouching, color adjustment, brightness etc. If you don’t know how to edit the image you can hire freelance photo editors or photo editing companies as well.

After doing all kinds of required editing over the images you can directly upload it to your LinkedIn profile.

On the other hand you can also visit the local studio and make an appointment via call or online websites. Simply you can open google and type headshot photography near me and you will find out many headshot photography companies and photographers.

How to Start a Headshot Photography Business

Nowadays every company has its own website and almost everyone is adding their team headshot poses over it. Most of the professionals are also available and using the social media platform like LinkedIn to get branding and business. All these people need good or high quality headshot poses.

Photographers must get in touch with these people in two ways. First of all, photographers must contact them via email, social media like twitter, linkedIn and Facebook. You can show them how headshot photography will help them.

On the other hand as a photographer you can start your website and do some social media and register with google my business so people get to know about your photography.If some one type headshot photographers near me and you must be there on top of google page.

Editing Headshots

After doing headshot photography the next step is photo editing. For photo editing you can do it by yourself if you are not in a rush. Another option is you can hire a professional photo editing company to work on your behalf while you can focus on your main area of photography.

It will be a great idea to hire a photo editing company for your photo editing work. You will be able to focus on your photography and you can deliver their image on time as well without spending any time for photo editing jobs.

During the photo retouching services editor will focus on skin retouching, Color Correction, Teeth Whitening, Eye Brightness, Sharpness, Clarity, Hair and Eyelashes etc.. It makes images look professional.

Headshot Photo Size

So at the time of editing what should be the size of professional headshot photography which looks perfect over the websites and social media. Well there is not any fixed size for the same but I would suggest it must be 8″ X 10″ size technically.

Portfolio Headshots

First impression is last impression and your portfolio is the front face of your business. As a photographer you must include professional or business headshots in your website’s portfolio section. While someone is looking for a headshots photographer they will be impressed with your work.

So before adding business headshots into your portfolio you must edit and ask your client to allow you to add it in your portfolio as well.

Business Group Photo

Business Group Photo

Why is something a business group photo required instead of individual business headshots? While you are shooting in corporate specially big size teams so at that time you are not able to take individual images. At the same time you have to take a business group photo which is a bit more challenging than an individual.

In the business group photo you have to set up more lights, a large background, setting arrangement, photography area etc. Which is more challenging than individual business headshots.

Business Headshots Pricing

What do you think that price should be charged for headshot photography? Well there is not a rule or a fixed price for the headshot photography. It depends on which city and country you are and what local photographers are charging for the same.

Normal costs are starting from 75$ to up to 1000$. Cost also depends on people, requirements, location etc.

Ronald Jonas
About Author Hi there, I’m Ronald Jonas – A Photography Specialist, Blogger. Portland, Oregon Area, USA.