corporate headshot on gray background of attorney Joy Longnecker
Marketing and Branding

How To Choose The Right Headshot Photographer

Choosing the right headshot photographer is crucial for anyone who wants to make a lasting impression and stand out in their business industry. A professional headshot is a vital marketing tool for business owners and employees alike. With so many photographers out there, it can be overwhelming to know where to start and how to choose the right one.

A man in a suit standing in front of guitars.

As a professional photographer myself, I have photographed photographed countless business professionals and have seen the impact that a great headshot can have on their careers. In this blog, I will share my expertise and provide tips on how to choose the right headshot photographer. From researching their portfolio to considering their personality, I will cover all the essential aspects to help you make an informed decision.

Whether you are a seasoned pro or just beginning a business career, these tips will help you find the perfect photographer to capture your unique personality and make a lasting impression in your industry.

Experience Photographing People

Before hiring a photographer, do your research to get a sense of their experience. A photographer who specializes in landscapes, or products may not have the same skills and expertise as a photographer who has experience working with people. It’s important to consider their experience working with people in front of the camera.

A great headshot will convey your professionalism and capture your personality in an appealing way. By choosing a photographer with the right experience, you can trust that they will provide value to your headshot needs.

executive portrait of Lametra Scott in a white lab coat and red shirt in front of cubicles

A Great Portfolio

One of the most important things to consider when choosing a photographer is their website portfolio. A great portfolio should showcase the photographer’s skill and expertise, and give you an idea of what you can expect from your final images.

A photographer may have amazing work online but can they work with a real person in front of the camera? Models are trained to look good, everyday people are not, and that will show in their work. Do they have the ability to capture a variety of expressions and moods? Do they offer a unique style that appeals to what you want in your headshot?

Sara Estes sitting on a table in an art gallery in a black jacket with a floral scarf

Be sure to choose a photographer who edits and retouches in a way that is appealing to your needs. You want your headshot to look like you at your best. A great headshot photographer should be able to strike a balance between natural and polished.

When reviewing a photographer’s work, pay attention to the quality of their images. Look for sharp, clear photos with good lighting and composition. Be sure that their style and quality of work align with the look and feel of what you want in your headshot. Take the time to review and compare multiple photographers before making your final decision.

A Personable Personality

When choosing a headshot photographer, it’s important to find someone who has a personable personality. This means that they should be easy to talk to and make you feel comfortable during the photo shoot. After all, the more relaxed you are, the more natural your expressions will be, and the better your headshots will turn out.

A personable photographer will be able to put you at ease and help you feel confident during the shoot. They should be able to give you direction on how to pose and what expressions to make, while still allowing your unique essence to shine through in the photos.

environmental headshot of man in dark suit with red tie and handkerchief

Your headshot is often the first impression that people will have of you, so it’s important that it accurately represents your personal brand and identity. A good photographer will take the time to understand your goals and work with you to create a look that matches those goals.

The right photographer will be able to adapt to your suggestions and be open to your feedback. Call the photographer to determine if they are friendly, easy to communicate with, and personable. Communicate with them on the phone to see how they respond to your questions, This will give you a taste of how easy it will be to work with them in person.

Good Client Reviews

As a photographer, I know that good client reviews are essential to building trust with potential clients. It’s important to look for positive feedback from previous clients. Search for the photographer’s name on review websites like Yelp or Google Reviews. These sites allow clients to leave detailed feedback on the final product, the photographer’s communication skills, and their overall satisfaction.

Find client reviews on the photographer’s website or on social media pages. Many photographers will showcase testimonials from satisfied clients, which can give you an idea of the quality of their work and the level of customer service they provide.

executive headshot of Mark Robbins in brown striped suit, tie, light blue shirt standing in lobby

When reading reviews, it’s important to keep in mind that everyone’s opinion is subjective. If you notice a consistent pattern of positive feedback, that is a good indication that the photographer is reliable, professional, and produces high-quality work.

Professional Photography Equipment

As a professional headshot photographer, I know that the right equipment can make all the difference in creating the perfect shot. A professional photographer will use high-end gear. Here are some of the key pieces of equipment that I use to capture professional headshots but if you want to learn more check out my gear page.

Camera and Lens

A high-quality camera and lens are essential for capturing sharp, detailed images. I use a full-frame Canon gear with different focal-length high-end professional lenses. For headshots, I tend to use a 70-200mm lens to create a shallow depth of field, which helps to blur the background and draw attention to the subject’s face.


Lighting is another critical component of headshot photography. I have designated studio strobe lighting and several mobile strobe kits for shooting on location. Working with high-end flash equipment allows me complete control over the light source. On location, I tend to mix available light to create beautiful lifestyle imagery that infuses elements of color and tone. Mastering a three-dimensional effect always adds depth to the image, and that is what makes my work stand out.

Backdrops and Props

I prefer to shoot lifestyle-driven headshots that provide more creative imagery for my client but I also have a variety of solid, textured, or patterned backdrops that fit most pro headshot needs. If I don’t have what you are looking for we can get it. Having the right equipment is crucial for creating professional-looking headshots.


Professional photographers should offer some level of retouching to your final images. Be sure to ask questions about their process. Using the professional tools of the trade is the key to your headshot looking like a professional shot versus one that you did yourself.

A woman in a business suit sitting at a table.

Pricing Details

Pricing is an important factor to consider when choosing a photographer and the devil is in the details. While it’s tempting to go with the cheapest option available, keep in mind that quality and experience often come at a cost. Choose a photographer who not only fits your budget but who offers a fair price for their services while delivering high-quality results.

Headshots are generally offered as priced packages and can range from basic to premium. When comparing pricing, it’s important to look beyond just the cost. Consider what is included in each package, such as the number of outfit changes, the length of the session, proofs, the number of final images, and retouching.

A man in a blue shirt sitting on a chair.

The cost of a headshot session will vary depending on the photographer’s experience and expertise. A more experienced photographer is likely to charge a higher rate, but they may deliver better results. A less experienced photographer may offer lower rates but may not have the same level of skill or knowledge.

Most photographers offer additional services such as hair and makeup upon request. These are generally added as an additional cost. You can save money by showing up with your makeup done in advance of the shoot. Call and ask questions to ensure you understand the details of package pricing before you commit.

Final Thoughts On Headshot Photography

A great headshot makes a great first impression showcasing who you are in your profession. You need a new headshot that will last for years. If you need to know how to choose the right headshot photographer, consider these factors and you will be able to find one who will meet your needs and expectations.

corporate headshot of executive Alex Arnet in a blue suit and vest photographed on a gray backdrop

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