7 Professional Poses for Your Headshots

One of the reasons you may feel nervous in front of the camera is because you just don’t know how to pose. What do you do with your hands? How do you smile? Do you look at the camera or away? Figuring out how to position your body can seem overwhelming.

That’s where a professional photographer comes in! They can help you pose, as well as coach you through different expressions and positions to get the most out of your session.

To ease your mind about getting your headshots taken, we’ve put together a list of seven poses that will help you look professional and put-together, whether you’re searching for your dream job or looking to advance your career.

The two-thirds turn
Sometimes directly facing the camera can feel a little stiff and unnatural. The two-thirds turn allows you to shift your upper body a little away from the camera and can help you relax and feel more comfortable in front of the camera. This pose also has the added benefit of giving you a slightly slimmer profile.

Tilt your chin downward and bring your ears forward
This is a small thing, but it can make a huge difference in your headshots, especially in closeup images. Tilting your chin just slightly downward can eliminate the appearance of a double-chin (a common issue regardless of size or weight), while bringing your ears forward will keep you from pointing your chin at the camera. You may feel a little like a turtle poking its head out of its shell, but the results are well worth it!

Pop your arm out
In a natural stance, most people let their arms hang at their sides. While this may be a comfortable pose, it can make your arm and your body appear bigger than they are and can even make you look awkward and uncomfortable. If you lift your arm out away from your body or rest your hand on your hip, your arm will appeal smaller and you’ll look more natural.

Hide your hands
No, this doesn’t mean put your hands behind your back. But your hands are nearly the size of your face and can be distracting if they take up too much space in photos. To avoid your palm or the back of your hand showing up in your headshots, you can keep your hands out of the shot, like on your wait, or pose with one hand behind your head for a more casual look.

Shift your weight to your back foot
Standing stiffly straight doesn’t look good for any body type. Instead, put one foot farther back and put your weight on that foot. The result is a comfortable, natural-looking pose that aligns your hip and shoulder and naturally turns your body a little away from the camera. This is also a great pose to start with where you can easily incorporate some of the other posing tips we’ve suggested.

Cross your arms
You may feel that crossing your arms gives you a distant or uncaring appearance, but if you pair this pose with a laughing smile, you can look both professional and open at the same time. You want to appear approachable in your headshots, but you also want to look serious and business-minded, and this casual pose is not only comfortable, but it also gives off an air of professionalism that can result in the perfect LinkedIn profile photo.

Practice perfect posture
Slouching doesn’t look good to potential employers. Try to stand as straight as possible without looking too stiff. And don’t force it! If you have back problems or feel uncomfortable with a perfectly straight back, talk to your photographer about posing in ways that are more natural and easier for you. After all, their job is to help you get photos that reflect your genuine personality and show off who you are!

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