What are the best head poses for corporate, business or even family photography?
In this article, I share five of my favorite poses, including basic options for beginners as well as more advanced ideas for experienced photographers. I also share a handful of my favorite head-up tips in case you need a little extra guidance.
By the time you’re done, you’ll have a bunch of poses that you can use in your private sessions. Save it, print it, or even store it on your phone – that way, if you’re on a shoot and struggling to guide your client, you can stand out examples of headshot photography and capture some beautiful results!
Headshot Basics: Getting Started
Every great headshot starts with the same basic characteristics.
First, ask the person you are looking at to return their shoulders and push their chest out.
Then direct your subject to lean on his forehead. In other words, they should always keep their forehead tilted Ever so little toward the lens (with their face slightly pushed forward). Note that the slope of the forehead can be subtle, and you should take care to ensure that it looks natural.
Check out the two pictures below:
For the left photo, I asked my subject to keep her head straight. And for the right image, I asked my subject to do the front. Can you see the difference? The right shot is more attractive, dynamic and has additional depth.
Note that you will almost always need to adjust the subject after he tilts his forehead. Most people tend to bend a lot or lower their chin a lot, so ask them to make slight adjustments until you find the perfect angle.
Then pursue one of these career modes:
1. Crossed arms
This first pose comes from traditional head shots, and it’s very easy to pull off: cross arms pose.
Of course, this pose is not original, but by simply changing the position, asking the subject to add a slight tilt, and relieving the tightness in crossed arms, this pose can feel surprisingly modern. Plus, sometimes a classic headshot is just what a customer wants!
In the example below, the person leans back slightly into the brick wall while clenching his arms and maintaining an upright posture. When I ask women to do this pose, I would encourage them to hold their arms loosely; Otherwise, the injection can feel stiff and cold. Guys have a little more room to keep the arms taut, but be sure to avoid the same intensity.
You can always use the site to create different moods. For example, the shot below builds on the well-lit location to add warmth:
Since the subject is a woman, I asked her to add a slight hip tilt and shoulder drop closer to the camera. My goal was to soften the position of the crossed arms, which can sometimes feel too harsh.
Many customers want a Lifestyle Feel in their heads – and the easy way to get that more relaxed and casual look is to bring the subject outside and have them lean against the wall.
For example, a slight bending into a wall or handrail can make a shot look more natural than a solid backed photograph. And the wall will add context to the shot, plus the wall texture can add a bit of personality to an otherwise cute photo.
In the example below, the subject is leaning against a wall. The texture of the wall adds interest, and the slant softens the situation for a natural look. We didn’t want the picture to look very Informal – the subject is lawyer – so the client stuck to a suit jacket, which contrasts nicely with the wall.
Note: Although the subject should be inclined, it is still important for him to maintain good posture. Ask them to lean on the bottom half while keeping their entire backs from slouching against the wall. Instead, they can bend gently with one shoulder to maintain balance while maintaining an upright posture.
If the subject starts to look a little stiff, tell him to “shake it off,” take a deep breath, and settle back into the position. Sometimes, they just need a break from every situation!
Here is another example of a tilted head injury pose:
In this case, he wanted the subject to look casual – while also appearing polished and professional. The subject leaned one arm against the railing for a casual feel, but the pretty clothes and straight posture kept the shot feeling relatively practical.
(In this case, the cross-arms position could have created an image too formal for the client’s needs, but the tilt was perfect.)
3. Sit upright
Sitting positions work well for head shots, and you actually have a few options to work with. For example, you can ask the person you are looking for to sit on a flight of stairs with their hands on their knees:
Ideally, the knees are slightly higher than the hips, which can easily happen on stairs. In the example above, the subject is sitting on steps, putting his hands on his knees while maintaining an erect position (very important!). If you are not careful, the sitting position may seem too casual – but the palms of the hands and an upright posture help to avoid such a problem.
Alternatively, you can ask your subject to position themselves symmetrically to the camera before bending slightly forward, with legs separated and hands folded together. This is a very popular pose with men, and it works especially well for medium formal photo sessions.
I also like to use seated positions when working with multiple head subjects. In this following example, I asked people to sit on different stairs (my goal here was primarily to balance their height differences!):
In the photo above, the subject on the top step is leaning slightly against the railing, which helps show off a slightly larger portion of his torso. His arm is resting casually over his leg (similar to the famous male pose I just discussed). The front subject is tilted back and to the left, which helps unite the two subjects. Since these two men are business partners, it was important to maintain a sense of camaraderie in their situations.
4. Walking theme
I the love Head walking poses, and here’s why:
- It softens the subject’s body if it’s a little rough in front of the camera.
- It encourages a more natural expression because you can chat with them while they are walking.
- It creates a sense of movement that translates into a deeper connection to the viewer.
Plus, it’s easy to do a walking head, especially outdoors. Just find a nice background, take a few steps back from your subject, and ask them to walk towards you. As they progress, shoot a series of shots (the camera’s burst mode can be useful here, but is not necessary).
Since you don’t have a great deal of control over the background with a walking subject – it will constantly move, after all – I recommend using a longer lens and a wide aperture to blur any background distracting elements.
And, as usual, encourage your subject to maintain good posture while walking (and if possible, tilt their forehead forward!).
5. Make a pause
This is where modern headshots get in on the fun.
You depict a subject, often of their work – and you have the opportunity to express something about what they do and/or what their character looks like.
If they make a product, ask them to show you one (and take a picture!). If they do some kind of training, ask them to do a little of what they do. If they have a hobby, ask them to bring some equipment, wear a uniform, etc.
With this type of fluid placement technology, it’s not so much about giving detailed directions; Instead, let the subject do its work. Keep the camera in standby mode, take some pictures in the head Full of of personality.
For the images below, I gave my subjects the freedom to do whatever they wanted. Then, I took a few more frames, as the final photos were essential to capture the movement and activity, Plus It has amazing expressions.
Poses the best blow to the head: the last words
We hope you now have some poses to use for your next photo shoot! Of course, always make sure the pose you’re using is a perfect fit for the client’s interests (and don’t use these pose ideas as substitutes for getting to know your client either!).
Now to you:
Which of these headers are your favourite? What do you plan to use? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
inspiration – inspiration