Choosing Your Headshot Photographer

So, you’ve decided to update your headshot. And although you’re wondering if you’d rather visit your dentist than sit in a studio to have your photo taken, you realize a current headshot is the right thing for you and your business. Besides, at least you don’t have to have it done twice a year like your dental checkups. 

So how do you choose a photographer that’s best for you? Likely you’ll start by checking with friends and colleagues. If you like one of their headshots, chances are you might be happy with the photographer they used. But if you’d like to give it a little more thought and make an informed decision that’s best for you, read on.

Define Your Purpose and Style

Before embarking on your search for a headshot photographer, take some time to define the purpose and style you want to convey to the viewer. Different industries have different expectations for headshots. For instance, creative professionals might want something more artistic, while corporate individuals may lean toward a classic and formal style.

Research and Review Portfolios

Once you have a clear idea of your desired style, start researching photographers who specialize in professional headshots. Look for those with extensive experience, as well as a diverse portfolio that showcases a range of styles and poses. Pay close attention to the lighting, composition, and overall quality of their portfolios. How do their photos make you feel?

Read Reviews and Testimonials

Customer reviews and testimonials are good resources when evaluating photographers. Check online reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, or the photographer’s website to gauge the experiences of past clients. Positive reviews that highlight not only the quality of the photographs but also the photographer’s professionalism, communication skills, and ability to make clients feel comfortable are good indicators.

Check for Specializations

Headshot photography can vary based on the purpose and industry. Some photographers may specialize in headshots for actors, while others may focus on corporate headshots or branding portraits. Look for a photographer whose specialization aligns with your needs. Specialized photographers often have a deeper understanding of the specific requirements and can deliver more tailored results.

Interview Potential Photographers

Once you have narrowed down your list to a few potential photographers, reach out to them for an initial consultation. This can be done in person, over the phone, or through video conferencing. Use this opportunity to ask questions about their experience, approach to photography, and the process they follow. A professional photographer should be approachable, attentive to your needs, and willing to answer all your questions.

Discuss the Creative Process

During the consultation, discuss the creative process in detail. A good photographer will seek to understand your goals and preferences, offering suggestions and ideas that complement your vision. They should be able to guide you on clothing choices, background options, and other elements that contribute to a successful headshot.

Consider Studio versus Outdoor Shoots

Decide whether you prefer a studio setting or an outdoor location for your headshot. Studio shoots provide controlled lighting and backgrounds, resulting in polished and professional looking images. On the other hand, outdoor shoots can offer a more natural and relaxed vibe. The choice depends on your personal style and the image you want to portray.

Assess Communication and Professionalism

Effective communication is vital throughout the entire process, from the initial inquiry to the delivery of the final product. A professional photographer should be responsive to emails, calls or messages, and keep you informed about the progress and timelines. Clear and open communication helps ensure both parties are on the same page, and result in an enjoyable experience.

Review Pricing and Packages

While pricing shouldn’t be the sole deciding factor, it’s essential to understand the photographer’s pricing structure and what is included in their packages. Some photographers offer different tiers of packages with varying services, such as the number of final images, retouching options, or additional prints. Ensure the package you choose fits your budget and meets your specific requirements.


A high-quality headshot is an important cornerstone to a strong and compelling personal brand and an investment in your professional success as it can help open doors and create opportunities. Finding the right photographer to collaborate with should result in a headshot that exceeds your original expectations. 

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