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Common Posing Mistakes in Headshot Photos and How to Fix Them


common posing mistakes in headshot photos

In today's digital age, headshot photos have become an essential part of our personal and professional lives. Whether it's for a job application, a social media profile or an email signature, headshots play a significant role in how we present ourselves to the world. However, many people make common posing mistakes that can negatively impact the quality and appeal of their headshot photos.


In this blog post, we’ll explore some of these mistakes and offer practical tips on how to avoid them to ensure you always look your best.


  1. Lifting Your Chin Too Much: Many people instinctively lift their chins too high, thinking it will minimize the appearance of a double chin. However, this can backfire by obscuring your jawline and blending your face into your neck. Instead, opt for a subtle adjustment - Lift your chin just a tiny bit and gently push your face forward towards the camera, resembling the movement of a turtle pushing his face out of its shell. This technique defines your jawline and creates a more flattering angle for your headshot.

  2. Hands on Hips: The classic"hands on hips” pose can look great in full-body shots but is often problematic in headshots. Since traditional Headshots crop above the elbows, placing your hands on your hips and creating “wings” with your arms can make you appear wider than you actually are. To maintain a casual vibe while avoiding this pitfall, Keep your hands in your pockets. If you're attire lacks pockets, imagine they’re there and allow your arms to rest naturally against your sides, this will help you appear more relaxed proportionate in your headshot.

  3. Turning your body too much: One of the most frequent mistakes people make in headshot photos is turning one side of their body too much towards the camera. This can strain your neck which creates unflattering lines and makes your neck muscles too prominent. You can also create an unflattering illusion, making your head look very small compared to your body. To remedy this, just try a subtle adjustment - micro turn. This subtle pose adds dimension to your photo without distorting your proportions.

  4. Awkward arm and hand placement: When it comes to posing for a headshot, many individuals struggle with the conundrum with what to do with their arms and hands, especially if they’re standing vs sitting. This often leads to the “fig leaf”pose where hands are held together in front of the lower body. To combat this awkwardness, consider the “hands in your pockets” approach mentioned earlier. This relaxed stance can instantly make your headshot look more natural.

A well executed headshot can make a powerful impression and convey confidence and professionalism. By avoiding common posing mistakes like turning your body too much, placing your hands on your hips, lifting your chin excessively, or resorting to awkward arm positions, you can ensure your headshot photos showcase your best self. Remember, subtlety and a relaxed demeanor often yield the most appealing results. So, the next time you find yourself in front of the camera, keep these tips in mind to capture a headshot that truly represents you in the best light.


As a virtual headshot photographer and coach, I guide you every step of the way in how to help you pose to highlight your favorite features.


I’m committed to helping each and every human get the very best shot!


Ready to get started and look your very best in a headshot? Contact Me!

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