Photo by Spencer Selover from Pexels

By Maris Ava Cruz

Whether you are just stepping into the professional world or you’ve been working for a while, having a great headshot is important. It’s often one of the first things employers will notice on your online hiring profile.

However, getting the perfect headshot can be a tricky process. What should you wear? Where should you take it? When should you update it? We’ll be answering these questions and more.


Half of the work is making sure you’re ready for your photoshoot. You can’t just roll out of bed and show up to a studio!

Picking an Outfit

Everyone knows you shouldn’t wear your pajamas to take a headshot, but there’s also a fine line between dressing well and overdressing. You wouldn’t want to wear a ballgown or a black tie tuxedo; this would be overcompensating.

As a general rule, if you wouldn’t wear the outfit to work, you shouldn’t wear it for your headshot. That means slacks, button-up shirts or blouses are the best way to go. Avoid wearing too much jewelry or distractingly bright makeup.

Finding a Location

As tempting as it may be to use that cute photo of you at the arcade for a headshot, busy backgrounds should be avoided. Brick walls or, if accessible, plain cloth backdrops are the best for professional photos. A simple background will guide an employer’s eye to you as opposed to all over the picture.


You’re all prepared and ready to take some photos, but the work isn’t over yet. Make sure you keep in mind the following tips as well.


As touched on in our post about beginner photography, lighting is important. To get the best lighting on your face, position a small light around three feet away.

Make sure you are well lit, but not blown out. If you’re outside, make sure you’re not squinting into direct sunlight or in shadows. Your face is what employers want to see, not just the great outfit you picked out.

Angles and Posing

This may seem like an unimportant detail, but make sure your headshot is shot straight on. Avoid looking up or down into the camera, and pose naturally. Keep your arms at your sides and smile naturally.

A headshot should also focus on your face. Avoid full body shots or wide shots that show lots of background. As a general rule of thumb, headshots should be shot from the shoulders up with a focus on your face. 

After the Shoot

Even after you’ve been hired, it’s important to keep your headshot up to date – you never know when you might move jobs or simply need a new one.

If you have distinct facial hair in your initial photo, update your headshot when you shave. If you dye your hair, get a noticeable tattoo or piercing, or even if it’s just been a little while, make sure to keep your photo relatively recent – no older than a year or two.

This can sound like a daunting task, but when you’re ready to get your headshots taken, contact the 1893 Brand Studio. Our Multimedia Team is ready to take charge and help you show your best side to employers.