• Gwendolyn Houston Jack

7 Professional Poses for Your Headshots

Updated: Jan 29


Tour guide Sharona D. demonstrates one of the seven professional poses.
Professional pose: crossing the arms

One of the reasons you may feel nervous in front of the camera is because you just don’t know how to pose. What do you do with your hands? How do you smile? Do you look at the camera or away? Figuring out how to position your body can seem overwhelming.

That’s where a professional photographer comes in! They can help you pose, as well as coach you through different expressions and positions to get the most out of your session.

To ease your mind about getting your headshots taken, we’ve put together a list of seven poses that will help you look professional and put together, whether you’re searching for your dream job or looking to advance your career.

The two-thirds turn

Sometimes directly facing the camera can feel a little stiff and unnatural. The two-thirds turn allows you to shift your upper body a little away from the camera and can help you relax and feel more comfortable in front of the camera. This pose also has the added benefit of giving you a slightly slimmer profile.

Professional headshot of B. Washington with the two-thirds turn professional pose.
Two-thirds turn professional pose

Tilt your chin downward and bring your ears forward

This is a small thing, but it can make a huge difference in your headshots, especially in close-up images. Tilting your chin just slightly downward can eliminate the appearance of a double-chin (a common issue regardless of size or weight) while bringing your ears forward will keep you from pointing your chin at the camera. You may feel a little like a turtle poking its head out of its shell, but the results are well worth it!

Pop your arm out

In a natural stance, most people let their arms hang at their sides. While this may be a comfortable pose, it can make your arm and your body appear bigger than they are and can even make you look awkward and uncomfortable. If you lift your arm out away from your body or rest your hand on your hip, your arm will appeal smaller and you’ll look more natural.

Hide your hands

No, this doesn’t mean putting your hands behind your back. But your hands are nearly the size of your face and can be distracting if they take up too much space in photos. To avoid your palm or the back of your hand showing up in your headshots, you can keep your hands out of the shot, like on your waist, or pose with one hand behind your head for a more casual look.

Shift your weight to your back foot

Standing stiffly straight doesn’t look good for any body type. Instead, put one foot farther back and put your weight on that foot. The result is a comfortable, natural-looking pose that aligns your hip and shoulder and naturally turns your body a little away from the camera. This is also a great pose to start with where you can easily incorporate some of the other posing tips we’ve suggested.

Cross your arms

You may feel that crossing your arms gives you a distant or uncaring appearance, but if you pair this pose with a laughing smile, you can look both professional and open at the same time. You want to appear approachable in your headshots, but you also want to look serious and business-minded, and this casual pose is not only comfortable, but it also gives off an air of professionalism that can result in the perfect LinkedIn profile photo.

Professional headshot of master barber Clarence H., who's demonstrating the bring the ear forward professional pose.
Bringing the ear forward is one of 7 professional poses.

Practice perfect posture.

Slouching doesn’t look good to potential employers. Try to stand as straight as possible without looking too stiff. And don’t force it! If you have back problems or feel uncomfortable with a perfectly straight back, talk to your photographer about posing in ways that are more natural and easier for you. After all, their job is to help you get photos that reflect your genuine personality and show off who you are!


These are tried and true poses that work for every professional. The G Photography New Year New You Headshot special is the best time to put your best face forward. Click the link to schedule your appointment: schedule a headshot session.


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