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Posing For Your Headshot

I'll be directing you throughout the entire time you are behind the camera. I'll teach you certain poses and will ask you to move in certain ways to produce poses naturally. My philosophy is that poses are necessary, but also overrated. I often capture my best shots in between poses, like the moment after you relax from a pose or the moment after you adjust your shirt and look at the camera. Fleeting moments are my favorite and work much better than rigid poses. BUT, poses are a necessary part of the process and there are some very classic poses that generally look awesome for headshots. Let's take a look at a few of those.

The Head-On Headshot

This is a very neutral and versatile look. Square your shoulders and align your neck and head so that your entire body is facing head on at the camera. Sit up straight, jut your forehead slightly forward, and bring your chin slightly down. Arms should rest naturally and we'll cycle through big smiles, soft smiles and neutral expressions.This posture will give off a confident yet relaxed vibe that will surely reflect in the photo.

3/4 Pose

The 3/4 pose is great for creating more dynamic shots as it allows you to show movement in the photo without being too busy or distracting. To achieve this pose, tilt to one side so that only two thirds of your body are visible. Place your hands on either side and tilt your chin down slightly while smiling naturally. This angle allows you to show off some emotion while still keeping things professional and polished.

Profile Pose

I usually only recommend profile poses for character shots and specific types like royalty or quirky characters. For this type of shot, turn directly sideways so that only half of your face is visible and keep both arms close to your sides with palms facing outwards towards the camera. Avoid any heavy expressions as casting directors want to see a neutral expression when looking at profile shots.

Hand Placement

You might be thinking... "What do I do with my hands!" Here are some options

  1. Straight down, relaxed

  2. Arms crossed

  3. Hands on hips

  4. Hands in front pockets

  5. Hands in back pockets or adjusting your coat tail

  6. Hands adjusting clothing or your hair on your face

Final Thoughts

Like I mentioned earlier, poses are overrated. What I like to do is set my subjects up in a pose and then ask them to explore the space with their body and find the freedom to play around and move. The best poses are the ones that are not planned and instead come from natural reactions, so please be open to having fun with me in the room. Let's tell each other stories and talk and I promise that feeling playful and comfortable in the room will result in your best shots.


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