Portraits have a diverse range of options to serve their clients. The professionals, as well as individuals, might use professional Headshots as one of the types of portrait photography. Professional Headshots can be used by artists to sell their services like that of actors and musicians. It can also be used by the photography enthusiast to meet their creative ends. However, the question remains, how to take professional headshots? Headshot photography is an absolute form of art, skill, creativity, and technicality combined. These four bases are the pillars of a charming yet elegant looking Professional Headshots. Professional Headshots are the most basic portrait crops available. Its sole function is to only focus on the subject. Keeping this in view, it isn’t all about the poser or the subject. Proper lighting, appropriate camera settings, and suitable shooting locations also affect the nature of Professional Headshots.

Some clients are naturals.

Tips for Professional Headshots:

Headshot Photography, as stated earlier finds great importance in both professional and commercial use and personal use. Therefore, selecting the right option according to your need is very important. It is one of the fields that require constant learning and improvement. Even a professional is always an amateur in this field because of the latest innovations and changing market trends. These life-changing tips will not only help you in polishing your Professional Headshot skills but will also provide a great understanding of Headshot Photography

Know your market and area of focus. – This tip goes for both the professional and personal use of portrait photography. Always know your market and the brand. Dress and invest accordingly.

Pick a suitable location to get your Professional Headshots done. – Outdoors, indoors and Studio is the options in this regard. Pick what suits your need the best.

Hire a professional Portrait Photographer. – Hiring a professional photographer might cost you many bucks; it is worth the investment rather than switching to cheaper quality headshots.

Always invest in the lighting. – Lighting is a tool that can make your picture speak for itself. So always take extra care of the right lighting methods.

● Use the right equipment with the correct technical settings, manually selected. – Having the camera manually set allows for the photographer to take into account the natural surrounding of where they’re shooting. This will not only enhance your portrait quality but will also have a beneficial effect on the nature and perspective of the Professional Headshots.

Capture multiple Professional Headshots – It’s important to have a variety of options to choose the best.

Pose in a classy and elegant Posture. – Make no mistake. Models are looking to you for direction on how to pose. It will help you in overcoming the camera shyness and loosen up to deliver the best you are capable of doing.  

Camera settings for Professional Headshots:

Camera settings are what that makes a photographer “Professional.” You can always buy expensive lenses, cameras, and equipment but as long as you aren’t concerned about the camera settings, your photographs don’t matter to anybody. On the other hand, the average quality camera equipment can deliver the best results with the right technical settings. In short, camera settings by the shooting mode is the main difference between an amateur and a professional photographer. Professional photographers should remember that it is best practice to adjust the camera setting manually, adjusting for the environment around you. It provides you complete control over the capturing quality and exposure to produce an excellent quality image of the subject. These settings can include adjusting ISO according to the requirement, aperture length, and modification of autofocus points to a single one.

Technical Camera Settings for Professional Headshots:

  1. Set ISO to 100 with a Shutter Speed of 1/60 sec – 1/200 sec.
  2. Set the AF points of the camera to a single point, close to the eyes of the subject.
  3. Aperture length should always be set at f/8. As it will not only provide you the sharpest quality image but also provides you with a freedom to stop down at f/11 if needed.

Where to take a Professional Photo?

Locations for perfectly toned Professional Headshots are significant. These locations can not only affect your overall lightning and decoration, but also, they can change the perspective of the Professional Headshots or Portraits altogether, if not used appropriately. Then the question arises, Where to take professional headshots? There are many ways to shoot your desired Professional Headshots. These locations can be outdoors in the fields, or indoor in your own house. For some, the studio would also be the priority. It all depends on your needs and the way you want your photograph to be conceived by others in the market. Therefore, to accomplish the task, a photographer like all the other artists, have to do its homework. One of which includes the selection of locations.


Indoors are the best option to opt for Professional Headshots when you like to add soft texture to your photographs. That means indoor headshot photography is best for your creative desire, casual photographs and personal projects that don’t have to do anything at a commercial level. Still, there are ways through which you can always add a professional touch to your indoor professional headshots through various editing tools.


Outdoor locations go both ways, for professional headshots and personal projects. They can offer a variety of unique, natural and authentic backgrounds like brick walls, greenery, and staircases, etc.  to your headshot photographs. Also, outdoor locations also offer the best natural lighting setup for your Professional Headshots but through some Modifications and with the help of Artificial Lighting.


Studios are best for the commercial use of your Professional Headshots i.e., Gigs.

Best Lighting Setup for Headshots:

Lighting is the core of photography. Without it, photography and filmmaking are a field of no beneficial use. Best lighting setup for Professional Headshots usually consists of the use of two studio lights with a softbox providing diffused vital light. If you don’t possess a studio kit, off-camera flash can also work correctly, but the softbox remains a necessity. Two light sources are always better than one as they can minimize the shadows and enhance the image quality of the subject. However, one light source can also do the very task but with the use of reflectors.

Setting up the exposure from the very beginning is a pretty helpful technique in this regard. If the image is too light, you can quickly reduce the power output, and if the image is too dark, you can increase the power output.

The 3-step best light setup for professional headshots can be made using this procedure

Step 1: Setting the Lights.

Use of at least two studio lights placed left and right, facing the subject is always suggested to get the maximum quality of the image. There’s a technique called, “One light Wonder.” In this technique, only one soft light source is kept in front of the poser with two reflectors — one under the face of the subject and one in front of the primary light source. The purpose is to lessen the shadows forming to provide the best quality and clear professional headshot.  

Step 2: Reflectors Adjustments.

In this step, the adjustment of the main light source is made to meet the different requirements of the clients. Usually, the light is positioned slightly above the eye level of the poser so that shadows form under the chin, hiding their double chin and adding to the detail of the portrait. Then reflectors under the face of clients are moved carefully to brighten the shoulder, head and chest area.  

Step 3: Additional modifications.

Step three is for some additional adjustments that can vary client to client. Moreover, if the lightning isn’t helping the quality of image, other lights to the number of four are added in this step.

A professional headshot lets the interviewer see You.

What Should You Charge for Professional Headshots?

Professional Headshots can range from 100 USD to 1000 USD. It all depends on the skill, and talent you possess in Headshot Photography. Usually, low-level professional headshots are done in even $75, but some of the globally recognized photographers will charge $1000 for a single Professional Headshot. It is all about the type of quality you want. The typical rate for a single professional headshot can be estimated at $500. This fee also includes pre-production and post-production process — similarly, $100 to $200 for each additional Professional Headshots and that too including post-processing.

When it’s time to edit those photo’s be efficient with time as well in How to Edit Photos in Less Time.

Summing it Up:

Headshot Photography isn’t a piece of cake. It requires skill, hard work, talent, and sufficient technical knowledge to excel in the field of Professional Headshots and Portrait Photography.  It surely is an excellent investment for perfectly toned and exceptional looking personal and professional headshot photograph collections.

Vatt’s Tech selection of discount photography equipment helps photographers get the most out of their subjects.

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