How to Take a Good Headshot

There are two parties who might be looking to learn how to take a good shot and this time on the Frank Frost blog we are going to cover it for both! So if you’re an amateur photog just getting started or someone looking to get your best photo yet – this blog will answer it all!

How to Take a Good Headshot as a Photographer

Eyes on the Prize

The most important part of a headshot are the eyes. That’s what people instictively look for first. With that in mind, make sure you’re capturing your subjects eyes in the most crisp, captivating way. This will establish a powerful connection with the viewer and that’s what the subject wants.

Know Your Angles

Angles will change the entire vibe of photo and the subject. Shoot from a slightly higher angle to make the eyes appear bigger, the face more delicate. If you shoot from a lower angle upwards it puts the focus on strength, power, accomplishment. Know what your subject is going for (it’s not as easy as Women get X, Men get Y) and remember theses angles are minor differences in degrees thank make all the difference.

Lighten Up

In close up headshots, the subjects skin is the central feature. Capturing the look without any blemishes can be crucial. To do this use a soft diffused light that will add definition without highlighting imperfections.

Know Your Lens

Any photographer worth their salt knows the power of a lens, but assuming you’re just getting started or trying to take a friends headshot here’s what to know. Avoid mid to wide angle lenses for headshots. Instead, opt for a lens that will slim the subjects face. Pure numbers we’re talking a lens of 90mm and above.

Be Their Guide

Perhaps the most crucial part of taking a good, no a great headshot is the expression. As the photographer it’s your guide to bring the right look out from the subject. It’s more than just ‘Look here, smile!’ (though those are both useful at times). Most subjects won’t know how to strike a pose, but you might be able to coax the right one out by engaging in conversation that mimics it. Ask a serious question to get a thoughtful look, make jokes to get a natural smile. 

How to Take a Good Headshot as the Subject

OK, so what if you’re the one getting the headshot taken? No worries! Trust your camera man and follow these tips to get a great headshot!

Practice Your Facial Expressions

If you know you got a headshot coming up, practice your facial expressions in the mirror. Are you looking for a serious shot or more upbeat smile? Think about things that make you smile while watching yourself in the mirror, you might not realize just how you smile! Do the same for serious or contemplative.

Speak Through Your Eyes

When folks look at your headshot they will be looking to your eyes. So make sure you’re looking to the camera and projecting the presence you wish to give. Sitting and staring lifelessly at the camera lens will give a lifeless photo, so really be present and attentive.


Headshots don’t need to be exhausting! Take a breathe and relax, you’re getting a photo taken,  not doing a huge presentation! When you’re calm, you’ll take way better photos!

Pay Attention to Your Position and Posture

Don’t sit or stand face on towards the camera. When you’re posing square to the camera it flattens the image and takes away from potential depth and vitality that can be had.

Speaking of positioning, while you’re sitting and posing, pay attention to your posture to ensure you’re not slouching. Not only will poor posture be bad for your back, it can ruin the best photos! 

Hand and Arm Placement

“What do I do with my hands?!?” How often have you said this when getting your picture taken? It’s totally normal, as you freeze in position to take a picture you begin to notice and think more about what individual parts of your body are doing more than you ever would naturally. Again, take a breath and calm down. You’ll find your natural place for your hands when you’re not focused so intently on it – and maybe with a little help from your photographer!

Well there we go, we hope this little blog helps you take or pose in the best headshots you’ve ever had! Looking for a photography studio in Albuquerque to take your company’s headshots? Give Frank Frost Photography a call!

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Frank A. Frost, Jr.

Master of Photography

Photographic Craftsman

Certified Professional Photographer



Albuquerque Photographer / Albuquerque Family Photographer
Albuquerque Senior Photography / Headshots Albuquerque
Albuquerque Family Photography / Albuquerque Senior Photographer




7400 Montgomery Blvd NE Albuquerque, NM 87109