How to Pose for a Professional Headshot: Top Tips and Tricks for a Flattering Appearance

Acing the perfect pose can make all the difference when it comes to corporate headshotsLinkedIn profile pictures, or headshots for entrepreneurs and freelancers.

In this article, we’ll share top tips and tricks for posing in a way that flatters your appearance and showcases your professionalism.

The Importance of Posing in Professional Headshots

headshot posing

Mastering the right pose can elevate your professional AI headshots by:

  1. Enhancing your best features: A well-executed pose can accentuate your best features while minimizing any imperfections.

  2. Conveying confidence and approachability: The right pose can project an air of confidence and approachability, essential for making a strong impression.

  3. Creating a consistent brand image: A well-thought-out pose can help you create a cohesive and professional portrait image across various platforms.

Top Tips and Tricks for a Flattering Pose

1. Practice Good Posture

Stand or sit up straight with your shoulders relaxed and your chest open. Good posture is essential for projecting confidence and making a strong first impression.

If you haven’t been to a professional studios for headshots before, you can practice your posture with an iPhone at home.

You can read this ProPhotos article where we have shared practical tips to capture the perfect headshots effortlessly with an iPhone.

2. Angle Your Body

How to Pose for Professional Headshots

Avoid facing the camera directly, as this can make you appear wider and less dynamic. Instead, angle your body slightly, with one shoulder closer to the camera. 

This creates a more interesting and slimming effect.

The good photographer expertly captured professional corporate headshots, conveying confidence through subtle body language and avoiding a forced smile, presenting a polished whole body image.

3. Position Your Head

Tilt your chin slightly down and forward to elongate your neck and accentuate your jawline. This creates a more flattering and engaging appearance. Be careful not to tilt too far down, as this can create unflattering shadows.

4. Make Eye Contact

eye contact during headshot

Maintain eye contact with the camera, as if you’re engaging in a conversation with the viewer. This helps to create a sense of connection and approachability.

Elevate your professional headshot by making eye contact—a subtle yet powerful move that exudes confidence and helps avoid the dreaded double chin.

5. Relax Your Facial Expression

Aim for a natural and relaxed facial expression. Soften your forehead, and allow your mouth to settle into a comfortable and genuine smile. 

If you’re struggling to achieve a natural smile, try thinking of something amusing or happy to help relax your face.

6. Use Your Hands

use hands for headshots

Incorporate your hands into your pose in a natural and unforced way. Place them on your hips, in your pockets, or resting on a prop, such as a table or chair.

This can help you feel more at ease and create a more dynamic and engaging image.

7. Dress Appropriately

Choose an outfit that aligns with your personal brand and the context of your business headshots. 

For tips on selecting the perfect outfit, refer to our guide on choosing the perfect outfit for your professional headshot session.

Also, try to choose a clean and well-fitted professional outfit to feel confident during your headshot session, and consider angling your body slightly away from the camera for a dynamic and engaging headshot pose.

Whether you are doing a headshot session in a studio or at your home, you must dress appropriately. Yes, it is possible to do headshots at your home. If you aren’t familiar with this, you can learn more in this article.

8. Rehearse and Experiment

Before your photo session, practice posing in front of a mirror to see which angles and expressions work best for you.

Experiment with different professional headshot poses and expressions to find the most flattering and authentic look.

Related Article: If you are a real estate professional, we have also written a detailed guide on how to find the best real estate headshots near you.

Common Posing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Avoid common posing mistakes by following these tips:

  1. Looking too stiff or unnatural: To avoid looking stiff or unnatural, try taking a deep breath and relaxing your muscles before the photo is taken. Focus on maintaining a comfortable and confident stance without forcing your posture or facial expression.

  2. Forgetting about your lower body: Don’t neglect your lower body while posing. Shift your weight to one foot and bend your knee slightly to create a more dynamic and natural-looking pose.

  3. Over-posing or over-smiling: Keep your pose and facial expressions natural and authentic. Over-posing or forcing a smile can make you appear insincere or uncomfortable in your headshot.

  4. Not considering the background: Be mindful of the background when posing. Ensure it complements your outfit and overall look without distracting from your face.

  5. Ignoring the photographer’s direction: Listen to the suggestions of your headshot photographer and guidance, as they have the experience and expertise to help you achieve the best possible result.

If you want to capture the best headshot, do not make these headshots mistakes at any cost.


Mastering the art of posing is crucial for creating a flattering and professional business headshot. 

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to capturing the perfect shot that showcases your best features and conveys your unique personality.

Don’t forget to pay attention to other important aspects of your headshot, such as lighting and wardrobe.

By combining these elements, you’ll create a professional and engaging headshot that sets you apart and boosts your online presence.

For more tips on professional headshots, be sure to explore the resources available on

Frequently asked questions

What is the proper way to pose for a headshot?

The proper way to pose for a headshot includes maintaining good posture, angling your body slightly, positioning your head to accentuate your jawline, making eye contact, and having a natural facial expression.

How do you look good in a professional headshot?

To look good in a professional headshot, practice good posture, find your most flattering angles, use natural and relaxed facial expressions, dress appropriately, and pay attention to lighting and background.

How should I pose for a professional photo?

Pose for a professional photo by standing or sitting up straight, angling your body and head, making eye contact with the camera, maintaining a genuine and natural smile, and incorporating your hands in a relaxed manner.

How do you smile for professional headshots?

Smile for professional headshots by relaxing your facial muscles, softening your forehead, and allowing your mouth to settle into a comfortable, genuine smile. If needed, think of something amusing or happy to help achieve a natural smile. 


I hope you may have learned how to pose for a professional headshot with this informational article. Do share this with others who might be find it beneficial.

Julian Sarokin

About the author

With years of experience building artificial intelligence startups, coupled with a passion for photography, Julian has made it his mission to streamline the process of getting the perfect headshot.

Julian Sarokin

Julian Sarokin

Entrepreneur, Photography Lover, AI Expert

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