65+ Tips for Male Professional Headshots

June 10, 2024 -





Male Professional Headshot Tips - Tech Cloud Ltd

Men often overlook the importance of their appearance. However, when it comes to male professional headshots, it’s crucial to ensure you look your best.

As one of the most reputable image editing companies in the US, UK, and Europe, we regularly post-produce numerous headshot images.

What we know from our headshot retouching clients is that they are often unsatisfied with their raw headshot photographs. This is why in this article we will provide practical tips on:

  • What outfits to wear for a male headshot
  • Skincare and hairstyle for headshots
  • Best male headshot poses and expressions
  • How to Prepare and More.

Whether you are looking for tips for professional male business portraits, author headshots, LinkedIn professional headshots, or for your resume and portfolio, you will find them here. Let’s get started:

Understanding male professional headshots

What is Male Professional Headshots - Tech Cloud Ltd

Male professional headshots are professional portraits that focus on the face and head. They are intended to project a professional image, with different types of headshots catering to specific industries and purposes.

Professional male headshots serve as powerful tools for making a positive impression and advancing one’s career.

Regardless of male or female headshots, the true purpose of a professional portrait is to capture an individual’s unique personality, confidence, and professionalism in a single, impactful image.

It should also convey approachability, trustworthiness, and competence. Unlike other portraits, such as full-body shots or group photos, male headshots zoom in on the face to highlight facial features, expressions, and individuality.

There are different types of professional male headshots, each serving a specific purpose. Commercial male headshots are often used for advertising and marketing purposes, while theatrical male headshots are geared toward actors and performers.

Corporate male headshots, on the other hand, are commonly used for professional profiles and business-related endeavors.

Whether it’s for actors, models, professionals, or entrepreneurs, a well-crafted male headshot can make a lasting impression and open doors to new opportunities.

Male professional headshots tips

When it comes to creating a professional image, every detail counts, and that includes your professional male headshot. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your male professional headshots.

Clothing and styling

Clothing and styling for male professional headshot - Tech Cloud Ltd

When it comes to male professional headshots, the attire you choose can make a significant impact on the overall impression you convey. As a male professional, it’s essential to strike the right balance between looking polished and approachable.

The key is to select clothing that is appropriate for your industry and highlights your best features. You can use LinkedIn and other professional platforms to know what type of clothing the top people in your industry wear.

1. Dress code: Choose attire that aligns with the expected dress code of your professional field. For example, a formal suit may be more appropriate for a corporate executive, while a collared shirt and slacks could work well for a software engineer.

2. Color selection: Opt for solid color, preferably in neutral tones like white, navy, light blue, or gray. These colors are timeless and won’t distract from your face.

3. Avoid busy patterns: Steer clear of busy patterns, stripes, or loud prints, as they can be visually overwhelming in a headshot.

4. Fit and tailoring: Make sure your clothing is well-fitted and tailored to your body. Avoid anything too loose or baggy.

5. Fabric quality: Choose high-quality, breathable fabrics that won’t wrinkle or distort the camera. Natural fibers like cotton or linen can work well.

6. Crisp cuffs and collars: Pay attention to vuffs and collars. Ensure your shirt cuffs and collar are crisp and neatly pressed.

7. Complexion flattering: Choose colors that flatter your complexion and bring out the best in your features.

8. Create visual interest: Create contrast by pairing a lighter-colored shirt with a darker jacket or tie to create visual interest and definition.

9. Trial run: It’s a good idea to try your preferred attire a few days before the photoshoot. In this way, you will know what looks good and what should be changed.

Posing and facial expressions

Posing and facial expressions for professional male headshots 1

Posing and choosing the right facial expression is crucial for a professional-looking male headshot. It can help to convey the desired mood, personality, and character of the individual.

10. Avoid rigid symmetry: Symmetrical poses can appear rigid and unnatural. Aim for slight asymmetry in the body and head positioning to create a more dynamic and engaging composition.

11. Confident posture: Stand tall, with your shoulders back and head held high. Avoid crossed arms or other closed-off body language, which can make you appear uncomfortable or unapproachable.

12. Manage nerves: If you are feeling nervous or self-conscious, try placing a hand in your pocket or resting it on a prop. Avoid slouching or leaning forward, which can give the impression of insecurity.

13. Experiment with poses: Don’t be afraid to try different poses and expressions, such as turning the body slightly to one side or tilting the head to find the one that best represents you.

14. Relaxed shoulders: keep your shoulders relaxed and slightly lowered, as this can help convey a sense of confidence and ease, rather than appearing tense or guarded.

15. Appropriate expression: The pose and facial expression should be appropriate for the industry the individual is in.

For example, a corporate headshot may require a more formal and serious expression, while a headshot for an actor or creative professional may benefit from a more relaxed, expressive pose.

16. Genuine smile: A genuine smile is always more appealing than a forced or fake one. If you naturally smile with your mouth closed, keep it that way while photo shooting. Try to think of something that makes you happy, or relaxed and let your natural smile come through.

17. Avoid intensity: Steer clear of overly serious or intense expressions, which can come across as intimidating or unapproachable.

18. Eye contact: Try to maintain eye contact with the camera to create a sense of connection with the viewer.

19. Be authentic: Authenticity is key in a headshot. Don’t try to be someone you’re not, as it can come across as insincere.

20. Relaxed jaw: Keep your jaw relaxed and avoid any clenching or tensing, as this can create a strained appearance in the headshot.

Hairstyles and hair care tips

Hairstyles and hair care tips for male headshots - Tech Cloud Ltd

The hairstyle and overall hair presentation can play a significant role in ensuring professionalism.

When preparing for a headshot session, it’s essential to consider the latest trends in men’s hairstyles while also maintaining a look that is timeless and appropriate for the intended use of the image.

21. Polished and refined: Choose a hairstyle that is easy to style and maintain, yet still looks polished and refined.

22. Photogenic styles: Styles like short textured comb over, side-parts, and neat quiffs tend to photograph well and translate effectively in male professional headshots.

23. Stylish but not overpowering: Aim for a style that is stylish but not overpowering. While it’s important to stay current, steer clear of hairstyles that may quickly become dated or appear attention-seeking in a professional headshot.

24. Controlled and tidy: Ensure the hair is clean, free of flyaways, and styled in a deliberate, controlled manner. Use a small amount of high-quality styling product to tame any unruly strands.

25. Complement face shape: Determine the subject’s face shape and choose a hairstyle that compliments it. For example, a side-part can help balance a round face, while a slicked-back style can accentuate a strong jawline.

26. Frame the face: Test different ways of framing the face with the hair, such as brushing it off the forehead or leaving a few strands falling naturally.

27. Appropriate length: Opt for a length that is neither too short (which can appear harsh) nor too long (which may appear unkempt). However, if you always keep your hair long, don’t try to change it before the photoshoot.

28. Maintain color: If you have colored or dyed hair, make sure the roots are touched up and the color is applied evenly. Uneven or obvious regrowth can be distracting in a headshot.

29. Fresh haircut: Get a fresh haircut a few days before the headshot session to ensure the style looks its best on the day of the shoot.

Skin care tips for modern business portraits

Skin care tips for male headshot - Tech Cloud Ltd

A healthy-looking complexion can boost the appeal of your male professional headshot. Incorporating a few simple yet effective steps can help ensure a flawless, camera-ready appearance for your headshot or corporate portrait.

With this approach, you can present yourself with confidence and project an image of professionalism, vitality, and authority in your business portraits.

30. Consistent cleansing routine: Before a few weeks of male headshot photography sessions start a consistent morning and evening cleansing routine using a gentle, non-irritating face wash.

31. Exfoliate regularly: Use a gentle exfoliating scrub or chemical exfoliant (containing ingredients like alpha-hydroxy acids) to be used 1-2 times per week.

32. Hydrate with lightweight moisturizer: Use a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer formulated for men’s skin to support proper skin hydration.

33. Address skin concerns: If you have any skin concerns, such as acne, redness, or uneven tone, recommend targeted treatments or products to address those issues prior to the portrait session.

34. Increase water intake: Increase your water intake in the days leading up to the professional portrait session to keep the skin looking plump, radiant, and healthy.

35. Get quality sleep: Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night before the male professional headshot session.

36. Limit caffeine: Try to limit your caffeine intake before the headshot session to avoid any noticeable jitters or red eyes.

Grooming tips for male executive headshots

Grooming tips for male executive headshots - Tech Cloud Ltd

As the face of a business or organization, the male executive’s appearance must project an image of confidence, competence, and professionalism.

A comprehensive grooming regimen and paying close attention to the finer details can ensure your headshot reflects the level of care and attention you bring to your leadership role.

37. Groom facial hair: Ensure that your facial hair, whether it be a neatly trimmed beard, mustache, or clean-shaven look, is well-groomed and aligned with the desired professional image.

38. Trim and file nails: Ensure your nails are cleaned, filed, and trimmed prior to the headshot session.

39. Address visible hair: Address any visible ear or nose hair, as these can be distracting in close-up headshot images.

40. Avoid skin irritation: Stay careful to not get any razor burn or cut on your face before the male professional headshot session.

41. Maintain your usual look: Don’t try to change your look before photo shooting, such as shaving if you always keep a beard.

Watches and accessories

Male Headshot Tips with Watches and accessories - Tech Cloud Ltd

Carefully selected watches and accessories can improve the overall appearance of your male professional headshot.

Whether it’s a sleek, minimalist timepiece or a sophisticated pocket square, the right accessories can help the subject project an image of confidence, success, and sophistication.

42. Accessorize with care: Try a classic, high-quality watch that complements your personal style and the overall tone of the portrait. Avoid overly flashy or ostentatious timepieces that may appear gaudy or distracting.

43. Position the watch properly: Position the watch on the wrist in a way that is visible and easily legible in the portrait. Avoid having the watch face obscured or partially hidden.

44. Add a coordinating pocket square: If you choose to wear a suit or jacket, choose a neatly folded, coordinating pocket square to add a sophisticated finishing touch.

45. Enhance with classic cufflinks: If appropriate, use simple, classic cufflinks to enhance the overall polished appearance of your dress shirt.

46. Personalize with a lapel pin: You can use a small lapel pin or boutonniere to add a touch of personality to your attire.

47. Choose complementary glasses: If you wear glasses, ensure they are clean, well-fitted, and complement the subject’s face shape and overall look. Avoid anything too bold or distracting.

Personal branding

Mental preparation is essential for good headshot - Tech Cloud Ltd

A professional headshot is more than just a simple portrait – it is a strategic tool for communicating an individual’s personal brand and unique value proposition.

For male professionals, the headshot serves as a visual representation of their expertise, personality, and leadership qualities, providing a critical first impression to potential clients, employers, or industry colleagues.

48. Define personal brand: Define your personal brand, including your core values, key strengths, and the unique qualities you want to convey through the headshot.

49. Align appearance: Ensure your grooming, attire, and overall appearance are aligned with your brand identity and the desired professional image they wish to project.

50. Embrace authenticity: Embrace your authentic self. Allow your unique personality and leadership qualities to shine through in the headshot.

51. Maintain consistency: Strive for consistency in your headshot with any other visual brand elements, such as your professional website, social media profiles, or marketing materials.

52. Balance professionalism: Ensure the headshot maintains a professional tone while also reflecting your individuality, avoiding overly formal or stuffy appearances.

53. Tell a story: Use your headshot to tell a compelling narrative about your background, expertise, and professional aspirations.

Mental preparation

Mental prepared male in headshot - Tech Cloud Ltd

Capturing an impactful, professional portrait requires more than just physical grooming and styling. The subject’s mental state and overall mindset can also play a crucial role in the final outcome of the portrait.

For male professionals, ensuring they are mentally prepared and confident can help them project an image of authority, competence, and self-assurance.

54. Prepare mentally: Try positive self-affirmations leading up to the professional male portrait session. It can boost your confidence and shift your mindset to one of self-assurance and professionalism.

55. Visualize success: A few weeks before the photoshoot, start visualizing yourself as being relaxed, confident, and poised in the professional male headshot session.

56. Practice mindfulness: We recommend you engage in a brief mindfulness meditation or deep-breathing exercise immediately before the session. This can help you feel grounded, present, and focused.

57 Be authentic: Stay true to yourself and your style. You want to capture your genuine, professional persona, not a forced or unnatural version of yourself.

58. Stay active: Incorporate exercise into your daily routine. It will help you feel better, look better, and stay energetic during the session.

The importance of headshots for male professionals

A professional headshot is an indispensable tool for male professionals seeking to establish their personal brand, advance their careers, and make a lasting impression on potential clients, employers, and industry peers.

In today’s digital age, where online profiles and virtual interactions have become the norm, a high-quality headshot can be the deciding factor that sets a male professional apart from the competition.

Beyond its practical applications, a professional headshot also plays a crucial role in building trust and credibility.

In many industries, a professional, confident headshot can convey a sense of competence, reliability, and attention to detail – qualities that are highly valued by those seeking to do business with or hire skilled professionals.

A thoughtfully curated headshot can help male professionals project an image of success, authority, and approachability – traits that are often associated with effective leadership and strong personal branding.

Moreover, Investing in a high-quality headshot that reflects your personal brand and professional aspirations, can help you unlock new opportunities, strengthen your reputation, and position yourself for long-term success in your chosen field.

Choosing the right photographer

Selecting the right photographer is essential to ensure your headshot effectively represents your personal brand, industry expertise, and leadership qualities.

Here are some tips for choosing the right photographer for male professional headshots:

59. Evaluate the photographer: Thoroughly review the photographer’s portfolio to assess their technical skills, creative vision, and experience in capturing male subjects.

60. Prioritize relevant experience: Prioritize photographers who have a proven track record of working with male professionals and understand the unique requirements of this market.

61. Assess production capabilities: Inquire about the photographer’s equipment, studio setup, and overall production capabilities.

62. Research reputation: Research the photographer’s reputation within the industry and among their past clients.

63. Workflow and timeline: Understand the photographer’s workflow and timeline for delivering the final headshot images.

64. Consider pricing: Evaluate the photographer’s pricing structure and any package options they offer, ensuring they align with the client’s budget and expectations.

Editing and retouching for professional headshot photos

Image post-production is often necessary to bring out the best in your professional male headshots. Editing techniques such as image retouching can be valuable in removing visible imperfections and enhancing finer details.

Here are a few editing and retouching techniques used for professional male headshots:

  • Skin Smoothing and Blemish Removal
  • Color Correction and Balance
  • Lighting Adjustments
  • Facial Feature Enhancements
  • Background Cleanup
  • Unwanted object removal
  • Exposure correction

Often professionals don’t have the time to edit the headshots themselves. Other than that professional image editing requires exceptional skill that requires extensive training.

Therefore, many businessmen and corporate executives choose commercial image editing companies to ensure the best possible professional portraits.

Examples of professional male headshots

Here are some examples of well-executed male professional headshots:

Professional male headshot Examples - Tech Cloud Ltd

For more examples check our comprehensive article on professional headshot examples.

Final thought

A professional headshot is an investment in your personal and professional growth, and it’s worth taking the time to get it right. The key to a great headshot is to align your headshot with your personal brand and the expectations of your industry.

Follow the tips we have shared with you and put your best foot forward. take the time to get it right. With the right approach, you can enhance your online presence, boost your credibility, and set yourself up for success.

FAQ on male professional headshot

1. What do men wear for a professional headshot?

For a male professional headshot, A neutral, solid-colored shirt or suit in shades of blue, gray, or black typically works best. Avoid busy patterns or overly casual attire.

2. How should a man pose for a headshot?

We recommend Maintaining direct eye contact with the camera, keeping the shoulders relaxed, and incorporating a slight head tilt or subtle smile.

3. What is an acceptable professional headshot?

A professional male headshot should feature a clean, well-lit background, a sharp focus on the face, and a polished, confident expression. Your attire should be appropriate and the image should reflect your personal brand and industry.

4. Do you have to wear a suit for a professional headshot?

While a suit is not always necessary, it can convey a more formal, corporate look that may be appropriate for certain industries or roles. However, a well-tailored, collared shirt can also work well for a male professional headshot.

5. What makes a bad headshot?

Poorly lit, out-of-focus images, unflattering angles, distracting backgrounds, and unnatural expressions or body language can all contribute to a bad professional headshot.

6. Should you smile in a headshot?

A subtle, natural smile works well for most professional male headshots. However, a neutral expression might be better for some industries or leadership roles.

7. What color is best for headshots?

Neutral colors like blue, gray, or black are suitable for professional men’s headshots, as they allow the subject’s face to be the focal point. Avoid bright colors that can be distracting.

8. Should you show teeth in a headshot?

Showing a natural, genuine smile with teeth can create a friendly, approachable look. However, if you always smile with your mouth closed, don’t try to forcefully put on a grin.

9. Should I wear black for a headshot?

Black can be a suitable color for a professional headshot, as it tends to be a classic, neutral tone. However, other neutral colors like navy, gray, or white are also good options.

10. How much is an average headshot cost?

The cost of a professional headshot photo shoot can vary widely. Typical costs can range from $100 to $500 or more for a single headshot session.

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Liam Barnard is a freelance writer and independent blogger who dives into digital marketing, tech, and business communication. Based in Melbourne, he’s a digital marketer by day and a sci-fi binge-watcher, travel enthusiast, and guitar strummer by night.

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