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Good Professional Head Shot

Bad Head Shot

Unless you are a professional model, chances are you aren’t comfortable having a good professional head shot made.

Mike Winslow

Your Professional First Impression

Jim Rohn, philosopher, entrepreneur and motivational speaker made this statement, (paraphrased), “People aren’t supposed to judge you by the way you look, but they will!”.


Human beings are built to size each other up quickly. These first impressions are influenced by a number of factors, such as facial shape, vocal inflection, attractiveness, and general emotional state. People tend to get attached to their initial impressions of others and find it very difficult to change their opinion, even when presented with lots of evidence to the contrary – Psychology Today.

Everyone using LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or any other media that includes a profile to build their business or career should be interested in a great first impression.

Bad Profile Head Shots

Below I’ve taken some screenshots to demonstrate what a good professional head shot is NOT. (If you happen to know these people, I will make them an incredible deal on their next portrait session.)

bad head shot

Residential Real Estate Specialist

First impression: Standing at the urinal in the men’s restroom at a strip club.

bad head shot

Devoted Wife and Mother

First impression: I’m impressed!

bad head shot

Brand Evangelist…

First impression: This guy/gal needs a brand evangelist.

bad head shot


First impression: Why are you having your picture made at Denny’s?

bad head shot


First impression: Ugh. This is the worst one yet. The on camera flash is burning his retinas. The head tilt is toward the camera closest shoulder most commonly (but not always) used when posing women. The white balance is all fucked up and what is all that shit in the background?

This head shot is so bad, I can’t give this guy a break. I’ll charge him double.

Good Professional Head Shot

A good professional head shot requires skill, equipment and communication with the model (that’s you) beginning with a conversation (preferably) over the phone or in person to discover your intent for the images. It helps if I know your profession, target audience, your experience, your personality, concerns, and your likes.

During our conversation I hope to discover if you plan to use the image on a bill board (for an insurance or real estate agent), maybe print or social media of some kind, could be match dot com, you might need an image for “extraction”, a decent obituary photo (just in case), and I’ve had several requests by honorees like retired military and alumni who find themselves needing a good professional headshot.

Good Professional Head Shot Samples

Bad Head Shot

Portrait Portfolio

We’ve all seen the head shot where there was an attempt to crop the ex out of the picture. Those are probably the worst. Click here to see samples of good professional head shots in my portrait gallery.

I’m just about out of time and I imagine you are just about out of patience. Thanks for stopping by. You may not be a model, but if you are in the market to create a good first impression with your portrait or head shot I’d love to talk with you. You’ll be treated like a model and I’ll make you look like a model.

Your friend,

I’d love to hear your comments in the “Leave a Reply” box below.