2.5+ Million Headshots Generated (And Counting)

What Is a Headshot & Why You Need One for Your Career

In today’s fast-paced business world, we meet and interact with more people than ever on a daily basis. But in contrast to the face-to-face handshake deals of the past, most of our business is now conducted online. 

From virtual conferences to remote job interviews, in many fields, your online presence is just as important as the quality of your work. How do you distinguish yourself as a leader, grab the attention of recruiters, or land potential clients when you’re just another anonymous voice behind a screen?

You just need a high-quality professional headshot. That random selfie you took in your car won’t cut it anymore.     

Headshots in the 21st Century

If the thought of getting dressed up and sweating under hot studio lights doesn’t appeal to you, don’t worry. With modern technology comes modern solutions. Thanks to recent advancements in AI technology, you can have your professional headshots done within a few hours—without leaving the house. 

Later, we’ll talk more about the process and advantages of getting AI-generated headshots from a service like Portrait Pal, but first let’s break down what makes a good headshot and why you need one for your career. 

What Is a Headshot, Exactly?

A headshot is a professional photo of you from the shoulders up that you can use wherever you may need to share it for business. You may use it to accompany your bio on a company website, portfolio, articles or other publications. 

These days it’s essential to have a high-quality photo for your LinkedIn profile, Instagram, or other social media platforms. You may find it useful to keep a few different headshots in various styles, to separate the image you want to convey for business from the one you share with family, friends, or any other social groups you take part in.   

Headshot Basics

The details of the headshot may vary depending on your industry, personal style, and where you’ll be using the photo. But in general, the background is neutral and well-lit, and you should be wearing solid colors in professional or basic styles, and minimal makeup.

A headshot isn’t the time to glam it up, even if you’re using it to audition for acting gigs. You don’t want to use fancy filters that may distort your features or “correct” your flaws. 

Of course you should look neat and put together, but there’s no need to strive for perfection. Ultimately, a headshot should bear a strong resemblance to how you look in real life. It’s a statement about how you want to be perceived in the world.     

The “It” Factor

While the overall look of a headshot is standard, the distinguishing feature that should stand out the most is you. If it’s done well, the viewer’s focus should be drawn to your face, your unique features, the sparkle in your eye, and offer a glimpse of your personality too.  

In short, the purpose of a headshot isn’t just to make you look good (although that is a bonus). It’s about capturing your essence—all those indescribable qualities that make you who you are. 

Is it possible to do all this with a single photo? It’s a challenge, but yes, it can be done. And the entire process is much less complicated than it seems.   

Why You Need a Headshot for Your Career

For First Impressions

While it’s true that looks aren’t everything, humans are visual creatures by nature. We take in so much information in our daily lives, and our brains can only retain so much to store in our long-term memories. 

The moments that tend to stick are the ones that we associate with more than one of our senses. Your memory might be triggered by a unique scent, such as your grandma’s famous cookie recipe, the rough texture of an old blanket or a favorite song. 

Although “meeting” people online has become more common over the past few decades, whether it’s for work or social reasons, the people you meet are much less memorable when you have no idea what they look like. This is why you need a headshot—it gives you control over the image that sticks in someone’s head when they can put a face to your name. 

For Lasting Impressions

The above is why every social media platform, every website, virtually every memorable advertisement features photos rather than just walls of text. It’s also why you should have a high-quality photo of yourself ready to share in any professional environment. 

You can make sure that a recruiter or potential employer has a strong first impression based on a photo that shows you’re confident and capable, approachable and trustworthy. A good headshot can give your career a boost and help you reach your goals. 

Add it to your virtual business card to hand out at networking events. Post it on your LinkedIn, personal website, or any other professional platforms that you participate in. Making a name for yourself in your field takes time, but the more you can put yourself out there, the faster your trajectory will be.    

Traditional vs. AI Headshots: Pros and Cons

In the past, the ability to get high quality headshots was limited to those who had the budget and resources to hire a professional photographer. The process also requires advanced planning, but if you do go down that route you’ll have the assurance and personal guidance by someone with the expertise to make sure the headshots look sharp and bring out your best qualities. 

If you find a good photographer whose work you admire, you’ll most likely be happy with the results. After a few weeks of waiting patiently for the photographer to develop and edit your photos, you’ll have five to ten high-resolution shots that capture your best features and let your personality shine. 

But now there’s another option for getting professional headshots, and this one is more accessible for those of us with a smaller budget or bigger time constraints. Or maybe you just live in a small town without a photo studio or an experienced photographer. 

AI-generated headshots are an appealing alternative for anyone who doesn’t have the time, money, or patience to organize a professional photoshoot. This efficient and affordable service can help level the playing field in today’s cut-throat job market, giving everyone an equal chance to reach their career goals. The first step is crafting an impressive resume, which should be accompanied by an impeccable headshot.

Still torn between whether you should get your headshots done the traditional way or try an AI-headshot generator? Let’s break down some of the biggest differences between the two services, so you can decide which one will work best for you.  

Traditional Headshots

Speed

If you need your headshots within a day or even a week, traditional headshots are not the answer. Aside from the time it takes to research and make an appointment with a photographer, travel to the location and sit for the photos (which will take a minimum of two hours), you’ll also have to factor in your prep time. 

You’ll need to choose appropriate outfits and make sure your hair and makeup are done just right. A photoshoot isn’t something you can just squeeze into your lunch hour. It can take hours or days of planning and preparation to make sure you look polished and professional for your headshots. Then you’ll need to wait at least a week or so for the photographer to develop, edit and print the photos for you.

Pricing

As mentioned earlier, hiring a professional photographer is prohibitively expensive for the average person. Depending on the number of shots or locations you agree on, you can expect to pay from $250 to $1,000 or more just for the photoshoot.

Additional expenses you should also consider are the cost to rent a space if you want your photos to be in a specific environment. If you don’t have a business suit or other professional clothing, you might have to go and buy a new outfit or two. And you may need to pay another professional to get your hair or makeup done for the occasion. 

Versatility

Usually for traditional headshots, you’ll have the chance to bring a few different outfits to change into, so you’ll have a few looks to choose from for the final photos. The photographer will provide some different background options using photo backdrops or a few outdoor locations. 

But when it comes down to it, you won’t have too much flexibility to change things up too much at a professional photoshoot. You won’t have time to drastically change your hair or makeup mid-shoot, and you can’t swap out different backgrounds or clothing through post-editing as easily as you can with AI headshots. 

AI Headshots

Speed

You will be amazed at how quick the turnaround time is for producing AI headshots. The prep time on your end just depends on how long it takes for you to choose and upload several photos you already have. No need to do your hair and makeup, as that will all be generated as part of the process. 

Your new headshots will be created and sent to your inbox within a few hours (or even less) of placing your order. So if you need high-quality photos quickly done quickly, AI-generated headshots are the best option by far.   

Pricing

If you’re working with a limited budget, AI-generated headshots are a clear favorite in the cost category. Depending on the package you purchase, you can get a nice variety of different shots starting as low as $29, and even the premium features and add-ons won’t set you back as much as professional photos.

Another way that you save money with AI headshots is that you don’t have to invest in any new clothes or expensive hair stylists. Various outfits, backgrounds and hairstyles will be automatically generated, making the whole process much more affordable and less stressful overall. 

Versatility

You won’t get nearly as much variety in your photos if you go with a traditional photoshoot. The main reason is that changing clothing and backgrounds takes a lot of time, and most professional photographers charge by the hour. 

That can be fine if you just want a basic look for your headshots, but if you want to get more creative or have the flexibility to use your photos on various platforms, using an AI headshot generator will provide the versatility you need and all the variety you want. 

They will offer dozens, even hundreds of options for outfits, backgrounds, and different styles that you can mix and match with the click of your mouse. You can even refresh your look in previous photos rather than ordering a whole new batch. The possibilities are truly endless! 

Final Thoughts

If you’ve never considered getting a professional headshot before reading this article, by now you probably understand why it’s almost as important to your career as building a resume. A clear, high-quality photo is one of the most powerful ways to level up your image and make a lasting impression on recruiters and decision-makers in your industry. 

Maybe you have considered getting headshots before, but were never quite sure how to make it happen. Or maybe you’ve taken some steps to research the process, but then realized you didn’t have the funds to hire a photographer or the weeks of planning it takes to prepare for a studio photoshoot.  

Thanks to recent advances in AI technology, almost anyone with a phone or computer can get their headshots made within a few hours. If you’re interested in learning more about this type of service, or you’re ready to jump in and order your high quality AI headshots for a reasonable price, contact the specialists at Portrait Pal today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Everyone Need a Headshot?

Even if you don’t work remotely, a lot of business networking and most job searching is done online these days. Your online presence is important for any career, and no matter how isolated you are, you’re likely to have one. 

When you have a professional headshot available to post anywhere your name appears, such as your company’s website or social media profiles, you’re taking control of that image. It’s the first impression people will get when they connect your name with your face—don’t you want to make sure it’s a good one?

How Much Do Headshots Cost?

The cost for headshots can vary widely depending on your needs and the type of service you use to get them done. Professional photographers may charge anywhere from $250 to $2,000 for a photo session, while AI headshot services are usually priced between $20 and $100.

What’s the Fastest Way to Get My Headshots Done?If you need a good quality headshot quickly, you should probably use an AI headshot-generator like Portrait Pal. You’ll just need to upload 6-16 photos of yourself that you already have, submit your preferences, and your fresh set of headshots will be sent to your inbox within a few hours maximum.

The Definitive Guide to Modeling Headshots

When working as a model, headshots are everywhere. They are one of the single best tools you have to market yourself, which is especially important in the modeling industry. Whether you work for an agency, or are freelancing on your own, the headshot you choose is one of the most important decisions you can make to further your career. 

What Are Headshots?

Headshots are like the calling cards that models use when trying to gain work. They are professional photos of the head and shoulders, and are often placed on a “comp card,” which acts as a model’s resume. This comp card includes the headshot as a large photo, three to four smaller photos, your measurements, and all your contact information. 

Headshots are essentially the first thing that gets shown to potential creative directors or photographers. They also help you stand out after an audition, once your resume has been placed into a pile of others. 

Having a good headshot as a model is a great way to show off your abilities. It is an awesome opportunity to share the kind of work you would like to do, as well as showing the range that you have on your comp card. 

Comp Card Formatting

In the modeling world there are no strict formatting requirements for a comp card, but it’s a great idea to base your own after agencies that you admire, or after the models that work out of a particular place that you aim to work with. 

The only hard and fast rule is that the largest image should be your headshot. This should be a standard head and shoulders photo of you. You can then also include three to four other pictures that show some additional range, such as full body images or additional headshots featuring other angles and poses. 

It’s also really important to include your information. Make sure that your name, the contact details for your agency (if you have one), your email or phone number, and your measurements are all on your comp card for convenience. 

You should have both a physical comp card to give out at auditions and a digital comp card. You never know when you might meet someone in the industry worth showing your work to, and with your digital comp card available you can send them your contact details with no fuss right then and there. 

How to Take a Good Headshot as a Model

Taking headshots as a model requires some thought. Most models are already quite adept at taking good pictures and have several photos to choose from already. The difficulty lies in picking the right photos to make a cohesive comp card that shows off your capabilities and range. 

1. Choose Your Type

There are lots of different styles of models out there. Picking which of those styles you are going to focus on is an important choice. You might want to lean into some of your natural features. For example, you may have particularly bouncy hair due to some errant curls, or perhaps you have a distinct physical feature like a long nose or strong jawline. 

Remember that there are all kinds of physical beauty, and many creative directors love unique features to be highlighted in their shoots. You may have freckles decorating your skin that makes you perfect for a particular clothing shoot, or just the right boy next door look for the next sporting goods campaign. 

Leaning into the features that make you uniquely yourself is a great way to highlight the differences that will make you stand out in a sea of faces. Choosing the headshots that highlight those features can be an excellent way to help creative directors find the looks they are searching for. 

2. Use Emotion in Your Shoot

When you are taking your headshots, don’t just go for a blank, neutral expression. Don’t forget, these headshots are supposed to show off who you are and help you match to specific roles as a model. 

Much like actors need to create the emotions they are trying to portray for their characters, models also have to show the emotions they want to achieve for their types. If you want to model for a specific shoot you can also do some research into the company and look at the types of models they have cast in the past. 

Make sure to practice your facial expressions before the shoot. You can practice in the mirror, or try your looks out on friends and family. You should try to create a connection between yourself and the person viewing the photo, so that the photo seems more dynamic and has a lasting impact on the viewer. 

3. Vary Your Makeup

It’s a good idea to have a range of makeup looks on your comp card, to show how you look both with natural features and a bit of glam on. You can use your side profile photos for the natural look if you want to be considered for beauty shots, and should wear heavier makeup in your main headshot. 

Keep in mind that regardless of what job you are going for, a bare-faced look is often an essential requirement. This is particularly true for modeling agencies, as they want to be sure of the features they are working with. So it’s worth taking the time to do a low/no- makeup look, even if you are mainly looking for work where this is uncommon. 

4. Plan Your Outfit

Even if it might seem like you are the star of the show, it’s important to think about what you will wear in your headshots. Make no mistake, every little detail of your headshots will be considered when going through your application, so put some serious thought into your wardrobe when planning your photoshoot. 

As a general rule, it’s best to steer clear of black and white. White tends to wash out most people, and drain the color from the skin and hair. Black can create artificial shadows by drawing light away from you. 

You should avoid wearing anything that displays a brand logo, as well as anything that has a busy or vibrant pattern. This will help to avoid drawing attention away from your face, or inspiring any competition in the industry. 

However, make sure to pick clothing that suits your coloring. You should go for bright or vibrant solid colors that suit your skin and hair and bring out the color of your eyes. This helps to brighten your face and make you seem more awake, while also showing that you have a good sense of style. 

Choosing the right background for your headshot can also be an important consideration, as it can change the overall tone of the picture and impact the quality of the lighting or draw attention away from the focus of the photo. Try coordinating the background to the color or theme of the shoot for a cohesive, professional look. 

5. Quality over Quantity

Your comp card should only have a maximum of five photos. This helps to ensure that you don’t overwhelm the creative directors with photos, or use photos that are too small and don’t adequately show off your abilities. 

Your modeling portfolio can have more pictures in it, but you should ensure that each one of them is of the same high quality as your headshot. You want to always show off your best work, so update your portfolio often, and remove any older work that doesn’t represent you anymore. 

The most important thing is the quality of the photos, so it’s a good idea to get your pictures professionally taken. Many modeling studios use commercial-grade cameras and equipment, so they are looking to ensure that you’ll photograph the same under their cameras as the pictures they are looking at. 

How to Find a Photographer

Finding a professional photographer can be a bit of an ordeal so here are some of the best tips and tricks for how to get in touch with someone who can work magic for you and get you the best professional headshots for your modeling comp card. 

1. Referrals

Many photographers work through referrals, so try asking your modeling friends to find out who they used for their headshots. Almost every model will have used a professional photographer for headshots at some point, even if they now get them taken at their modeling agency. 

It can also be a great idea to do some research on the photographers that work with brands or models that you admire and would love to work with in the future. These photographers are likely to have some inside knowledge on the best theme for your shoot, and may be able to help guide you in the right direction. 

2. Decide on a Budget

Professional photography definitely has a high cost associated with it. However, as a model, it is a bit of an entry requirement so it is something you just have to bite the bullet on. Most professional photographers cost anywhere from $400 to $1500 for one session, but this can change depending on the length of the session, the number of looks and pictures, the amount of post-session editing required, and the experience of the photographer. 

If you do decide to go with a specific photographer because they are associated with a brand that you really want to work with, you can expect that cost to go up a significant amount. 

3. Discuss Preferences

Once you’ve gotten in touch with a photographer, it’s important to have an in-depth conversation about what you both want from the session. The photographer might have specific requirements like working from a particular place like their studio, or hard limits on the amount of time they have to work with you on certain looks. 

You should also be very clear about how many looks you hope to get from your session, and how you want your photos to be retouched or edited after the session is over. This may require an additional fee, so it’s important to discuss the details before starting the shoot itself. 

AI as an Alternative to Traditional Photography

Most models work as contractors, with each shoot as an individual contract that they get paid a set amount for. This means that the amount the model gets paid per year varies depending on the amount of work they are able to get. 

It can be quite frustrating to come into some money through modeling work, only to have to turn around and spend it all on updating your headshots. So using AI as a lower cost option for headshots is a great choice, particularly for freelance models who don’t have an  agency to help them out with the cost of headshots. 

AI image generators can be used to create headshots through using a variety of your pre-existing photos. It learns your unique face through an algorithm, then uses that data to create new images for you. 

As a model, you likely have hundreds of photos of yourself from different angles. Uploading these photos into an AI image generator can help you to create high quality, professional headshots to include on your comp card. 

However, you also have to worry about protecting your personal data as a model, particularly images of yourself. Your personal images are your way of making money, so you need to be really careful with the AI image generator you select. 

Portrait Pal

Portrait Pal is a great choice for an AI image generator as a model. They can guarantee your privacy, because they delete all images of you after generating your headshots. This ensures that no photos of you can even be leaked onto the internet without your permission. 

Portrait Pal is also great because it is an inexpensive option for getting a load of high quality images. The basic bundle provides 20 professional images in five different poses, with five background and outfit options. 

You can also choose to upgrade up to 100 images to create a whole portfolio of headshots to select from. This is an excellent option for models just starting out who need a wide variety of images to show their range, and to get plenty of options for their comp card.

The Ultimate Guide to Acting Headshots

Getting an audition is often thought of as the hardest part of being an actor, and feeling like you are just going through the prime years of your career unnoticed can be a really difficult part of trying to get your “big break.” 

Taking a great headshot can be an exhausting task, not to mention nerve-wracking. These headshots are likely to make or break whether or not you will be considered for roles, and taking a good one takes a lot of time, effort, and some camera magic. 

For those who feel like taking their own pictures isn’t their best strength, headshots can definitely be a source of stress. This blog will help you to work through the most common issues with headshots, as well as show how you can help yourself to produce the best industry photos you can, and put your best foot forward when looking for work as an actor. 

What Are Acting Headshots?

One of the absolute most important parts of getting noticed as an actor is having a good headshot. Headshots are the first impression you give to everyone important in the industry, and are thought of as an unconventional resume. 

Your headshot will be the first thing that anyone in the industry sees of you, and could be given to anyone from a casting director in your first indie film, to an agent you want to represent you. Or you might just pass it around to advertise that you’re looking for work. 

Headshots are usually a portrait photo of your face, taken from the shoulders upwards. You should aim for a nice face-framing look, with good lighting to highlight your features and let the casting directors see what you are working with. They can either be a digital thumbnail, or can be a physical copy handed out, usually formatted in the 8 x 10 inch size. 

It’s also a good idea to prepare some additional high-quality photos of your whole body, taken in several professional outfits and settings, in case they are ever requested. This helps to show the directors some range you can cover as an actor if they are looking for a particular role or situation. 

It is important to use a photo that has been taken expressly for the purpose of being a headshot. This isn’t the time to use a cropped group shot, or use a photo where you’re having a lot of fun or wearing creative makeup. Remember that this photo is a representation of your professional self as an actor, so choose a photo that you feel will both represent yourself and entice casting directors to choose you for a role.  

Headshot Formatting

The next step after you have had some fantastic photos taken of yourself is to ensure that they meet the stringent requirements for headshot formatting. There are different standards for printed headshots compared to digital versions:

Printed:

  • 8 by 10 inches in size
  • Color printing 
  • Include your name on the front
  • Be printed in portrait (vertically) as a general rule

Digital:

  • Digital photos should be compressed to reduce their size, in jpeg, .pgn, or .jpg format. Occasionally a .tiff format may be acceptable. 
  • High resolution photos (300 dpi) should be used so the photo is versatile as either a small or larger image. 
  • There should not be a name on your digital image. 

You should also attach your traditional written resume to the back of your headshot. This ensures that your resume and headshot won’t be separated from each other, and gives casting directors an easier time when considering your application. 

Your resume should be reduced down to the same size as the headshot so it fits nicely on the back, and stapled directly to the photo. You want to ensure a professional, tidy presentation to make a good impression. The sharper  ends of the staple should be on the resume side of the headshot, to keep the headshot looking neat, and it should be stapled on all four sides to keep it in good condition. 

How to Take a Good Acting Headshot

A good acting headshot will be an accurate representation of what you look like. If all goes well, you will be meeting the casting director in person after all, so you need to make sure that when you meet they’ll recognize you from your headshot. 

There are several different things to consider when taking your headshot that may influence how it turns out. This includes lighting, the camera you use, the time of day you take it, but also the background of the photo, what you wear, and how much makeup you use. 

1. What to Wear

Choosing an outfit for a headshot is a bit like choosing an outfit for a job interview, but you don’t know which company you are applying for. Try to ensure you have a simple outfit  and remember that you are the highlight of the photo, not what you are wearing. 

To this end, the best bet is to wear solid primary colors, avoiding busy patterns or large statement pieces. Pick shades that go well with your skin tone and that look good on you. Make sure you feel confident in what you are wearing, but that it doesn’t take attention away from you. Avoid flashy jewelry or anything that can pick up flashes of light from the camera. 

As a photography hint, avoid wearing black or white. Black absorbs light from all wavelengths, so it tends to create shadows in the photo and can even create the illusion of absorbing light. White tends to wash out most people, although if it’s a color that looks great on you, by all means wear it. 

Wearing clothing that suits the type of role you normally audition for can also be a good strategy. For instance, if you are often cast as a high school kid, wearing clothes that suit that age can show that you can pass for a teen. However, you want to make sure you tailor the rest of the shoot to match the clothing. 

2. Background

The background for your photoshoot will have a major influence on the feeling of the shoot. As a general rule, using a simple background with a good, well-lit environment will give you the best picture. 

Choosing a background can help you tailor your shoot to the kinds of roles you are looking for. For example, if you want to work as a crime drama lead, having a headshot with a darker background will help lend a gritty, dramatic flair to your image. 

On the other hand, you need to ensure that the background is not too distracting from your actual photo. Make sure that you still stand out against the background, and that all of your features are visible so the casting directors can see what you have to offer. 

The background for your headshots can be outside or inside. Outdoor environments may help to lend a softer quality to the lighting of your photos, but are often more difficult to work with and can be susceptible to sudden changes in the weather. 

Studio photoshoots are generally preferable because they are more consistent, and can be done at any time of day. It is worth noting that if you are taking your own photos, then you will have to find a suitable place with a nice source of lighting and an uncluttered area to take your photos. 

3. Posing for Your Headshot

Arguably the most difficult part of taking a good acting headshot for most people is having the right pose. Most people feel a lot of stress about taking these photos and that stress tends to manifest into tension in the face that can show up in the photo and make you look less than your best. 

You should try and relax as you pose. This will help to reduce the tension in your face and let your natural features show. You should also try to present your best facial angles and good posture, to get the nicest looking photo. 

There are three main photo angles that are used for headshots. These are:

  • The classic: head straight on, facing the camera. This angle allows the camera to see your whole face, and is generally thought of as the most common headshot pose. When in doubt, this is a great headshot for a beginner. 
  • The lean: slightly leaning in towards the camera. This angle feels like you are including the camera in a conversation, and lets you be a bit more dynamic in your headshot than the classic, while still showing off most of your face and features. 
  • The backwards glance: looking over the shoulder. This pose is flirty, mysterious, dynamic, dark, or edgy. It can be whatever you make of it. Although it comes with some drawbacks in that it can hide much of your face, it also provides an element of storytelling, and can be a way to stand out in a stack of other headshots. 

The poses you choose should make the photo feel fluid and dynamic. You should avoid poses that make you appear to be alone, so no selfies. Think of your photo as capturing a moment of you acting in real time, then take several shots until you get one that feels just right. 

Is It Worth Paying a Photographer for Acting Headshots?

Ultimately, it is completely up to you whether you try to take the perfect acting headshot yourself or pay a photographer to help you. However, it’s usually recommended to get some help with your headshots. 

Don’t forget, these headshots are going to be doing a massive amount of the work to get you acting gigs. It is important to invest in them, but the amount that you are able to afford as a struggling artist may vary. 

How to Choose a Photographer

If you choose to hire a photographer, then making sure you pick someone you trust, and who is right for you is important. The best way to find a good photographer is to ask around your local community for referrals.

Many of your actor friends likely have headshots of their own. Ask to see them, and ask them about their experiences with getting them done. You can also use online tools like social media to look up your favorite photographers and see if the work they do is in line with your vision for your headshots. 

How Much Does a Photographer for Acting Headshots Cost?

The other very important consideration when choosing your photographer will be the cost. Depending on where you are in your career, you may have more or less resources  at your disposal for headshots. 

Acting headshots usually cost anywhere from $400-$1500 per session. This is based on a variety of factors, including the experience of the photographer, the number of looks you would like, the length of the session, or the amount of retouching done to the photo after the session has ended. 

You should also keep in mind that this likely doesn’t include additional costs, such as hair and makeup for your photoshoot, photo formatting, printing costs, and any editing that may need to be done. 

You should have a conversation with your photographer before the session that outlines what you expect, and what services they do or don’t provide, as well as what the total cost will be. 

Using AI headshot generators instead of traditional photographers

In this day and age there is an alternative to the traditional photographer for new and experienced actors who need headshots. This is utilizing AI technology to create your headshots. 

There are several pros and cons to using an AI headshot generate to create your headshots compared to a traditional photographer:

Pros

  • The cost of AI headshots is far less expensive than a traditional one, and can be done from the comfort of your own home. 
  • The process of creating AI headshots is also much faster, with AI headshots being ready in hours, compared to the weeks needed to find and coordinate with a photographer. 
  • You’ll get a large collection of photos to choose from, compared to the two or three photos typical of a traditional photoshoot. This means you can pick and choose the best photos for each of the roles you are applying for. 
  • AI can use editing software to help create high quality photos that make you look professional and polished without you needing to learn difficult retouching software. 
  • Some companies offer a money-back guarantee for AI headshots. 

Cons

  • AI requires lots of pictures of your face in order to accurately render  your image. So be prepared to take lots of pictures from several different angles in order to get the best headshots. 
  • You need to follow the instructions of the AI generator to get the best images, or else the photo can come out looking a bit strange, which is not what you want from a professional representation of your brand. 
  • You need to be careful when choosing the AI service to ensure that you have full control over the privacy of your pictures. 

Portrait Pal

Portrait Pal is an AI generator that creates headshots perfect for your acting needs. It uses an AI algorithm called stable diffusion that learns your face from many different photos, and then produces a new image that looks just like you. This means that the AI photo will resemble you exactly, so long as you use enough good photos. 

The best photos for Portrait Pal are a mix of selfies, candid shots and clear portrait photos. This allows the AI algorithm lots of different data from which to learn how to create a good photo of you. 

The best part about Portrait Pal is the pricing. For the starter pack, you get 20 high quality photograph headshots in only two hours. These will include five different poses, as well as five outfits and backgrounds. All of these photos will cost $35 (on sale—the regular price is $59). 

There are many more options available for more photo packages at Portrait Pal, but for acting headshots, this should be plenty of photos for you to start passing out to your contacts in the industry. 

The most important detail, and what makes Portrait Pal so unique and trustworthy, is that they delete all of your photos immediately after the images have been generated. The images are not stored in any capacity, and your privacy is guaranteed. 

So for amazing headshots that will wow casting directors and agents alike, without all the hassle of preparing for photoshoots and paying top dollar for photographers, give Portrait Pal a try today.

11 Best Backgrounds for Professional Headshots

Imagine you’re showcasing your best smile, and every strand of hair is perfectly in place. Yet, in the background, we see your unmade bed and that pile of laundry that demands attention. Is this really the first impression you want to give a potential employer?

While it is crucial to look neat and well-dressed in a professional headshot, choosing the right background is just as paramount. We’ll guide you through the importance of choosing the right background, give you some ideas for backdrops, and touch on how you can utilize an AI headshot generator like Portrait Pal to create the perfect professional photo.

Why Backgrounds Matter

The background sets the tone and context of your photo, subtly communicating aspects of your professionalism and attention to detail. For example, a minimalist background can convey  seriousness and confidence, while a backdrop with office elements can give the impression of innovation and entrepreneurship. 

Aligning the background of your professional headshot with the industry you want to reflect allows you to reinforce your professional identity and create a theme that goes beyond simply appearing professional. Whether you’re in the corporate world aiming for a traditional look, or wanting to stand out in a creative field, by carefully choosing the right background for your professional headshot, you ensure that every aspect of your image works together. 

The background helps you communicate aspects of your profession, your personality, and has the potential to enhance the overall first impression someone may have of you. 

While we hope that our skills and experience are sufficient to secure the next job, appearances play a significant role when it comes to being noticed. Superficial judgments of physical and digital appearances can keep you from even getting to the interview stage, even if your skills make you the perfect candidate for the job. 

Besides looking clean and professional, choosing the right background can be the deciding factor in making a powerful first impression. To help you succeed and create a lasting first impression, we have compiled the 11 best backgrounds for professional headshots.

The Best Backgrounds for Professional Headshots

1. Outdoor and Nature Backgrounds

Chances are, there is a park or garden somewhere close to your home. Urban greenery can give your headshot an approachable and refreshing element. A natural background is commonly associated with down-to-earth characteristics, approachability, and openness—all qualities that are appreciated in creative and client-facing professions. Using the natural light can enhance your complexion and create a warm atmosphere, making you appear lively, healthy, and balanced. 

2. Industrial and Corporate Backgrounds

A background that showcases a scene appropriate for your profession provides context about your role and expertise. Choosing a background such as a factory, laboratory, or tech space, can be highly effective in highlighting your professional experience. 

If you’re familiar with production settings, manufacturing, logistics, or engineering, a factory or building background gives a sense of your hands-on experience within your headshot. A backdrop in a technology rich space may demonstrate innovation, which makes it perfect for developers, entrepreneurs, and IT professionals. 

Choosing a laboratory background can highlight your healthcare, research, and scientific expertise. These corporate backgrounds can accentuate your professional credibility by giving future employers a chance to visualize you in your element.

3. Office Environments

An office backdrop also gives future employers a chance to imagine you in your element, ready to dive into business challenges. If your background is a boardroom, or even a desk with a chair and a computer, your professional headshot can convey your competency and experience in the business world. 

Individuals in professions in which the office setting is their day-to-day workspace, such as consultancies, corporate roles, or administrators, can benefit from an office background in their headshot—it creates a convincing narrative for the viewer.

4. Skylines and Cityscapes

If you’re aiming for a dynamic and energetic vibe, a cosmopolitan backdrop will give your professional headshot the X-factor required to stand out. A background of a bustling city and skyscrapers suggests that you are an engaged individual, which can be an advantage for urban professionals. 

By showcasing geographic locations, professionals in fields such as finance, marketing, or architecture can give viewers the opportunity to connect with them before the first meeting.

5. Bookshelves

There is no better way to convey sophistication and intelligence than a backdrop featuring books. Libraries are the perfect setting for professionals who want to highlight their knowledge, thought leadership, and authority in their professional headshot. 

An orderly arrangement of books can also demonstrate your attention to detail and organization, giving your headshot a sense of depth and scholarly edge that is perfect for academics, authors, librarians, or consultants. If you can find a library that features large windows, the natural light can give your face a warm glow that shows your approachability and empathy, highly sought after qualities.

6. Backgrounds with Art

For some industries, a background that features art complements the headshot with a creative touch that gives the viewer a sense of your personality and taste. Professionals in creative industries, such as design or art, can make their headshot more memorable and give potential employers a glimpse of your style and interests. This type of setting gives your headshot a unique angle, highlights your individuality, and balances professionalism with creativity.

7. Solid Color Backgrounds

Solid color backgrounds offer a distraction-free backdrop, a classic choice that keeps the focus entirely on you. You may wonder how a solid color background can enhance your headshot and make you stand out in a crowd of applicants. Different colors give off various impressions, making solid backdrops a preferable choice that you can tailor to different moods and professions. 

If you want to combine an elegant touch with sophistication, a gray background offers a neutral tone that isn’t overpowering. If you are aiming for purity and vitality, a white background is the best choice, drawing attention to your simplicity that is appropriate for any profession. A black backdrop conveys a formal setting that gives your headshot a certain aura of authority. 

If you hope to evoke feelings of calmness and reliability, a blue background is the way to go. There are some colors, like red, that you want to be careful with. A red background can convey aggression and power. This can make you stand out, but be sure to only use strong colors in professions that require these skills.

8. Neutral Backdrops

While solid colors won’t draw attention away from your face, there is nothing more timeless than a neutral backdrop. Beige, taupe, pastel, and shades of gray create a serene quality that gives your headshot effortless professionalism. 

Neutral shades allow the focus to be completely on you and easily adapt to different lightning conditions. For industries in which skills such as calmness and reliability are an asset, neutral shades give your headshot that desired edge of professionalism.

9. Gradient Background

Choosing a backdrop that merges from one color to another can give your headshot a modern and dynamic vibe that can make your photo stand out without losing that professional image. Gradients can also showcase your dedication to a brand or company by incorporating their color palette into your background. 

Individuals in professions in which modernity and creativity is a key skill can make their headshot stand out using vibrant color combinations. A gradient from light to dark can add dimension and depth, ensuring your face really stands out. 

10. Textured Backgrounds

While backdrops in solid or natural colors, as well as gradients, are often taken in a photo studio, textured walls can create just as much of an interesting and engaging backdrop. Brick walls, stone walls, or wooden panels give your headshot character that convey a sense of individuality and can make you stand out from the more traditional headshot background. 

Entrepreneurs, architects, and other professionals who work in urban settings can benefit from the brick wall backdrop that creates a creative and innovative vibe. Concrete or stone walls are the perfect backdrop for professions in which stability, strength, and leadership are desirable skills. 

Wooden panels give your headshot a rustic, natural feel, with a warm touch. Textured backdrops offer subtle elements in the background that are visually appealing without being distracting.

11. Blurred Backgrounds

No matter whether you choose an urban setting, a skyline, or a bookshelf, blurring the background allows the focus to remain on your face while hinting at your profession or personality. Blurred backgrounds are created through a shallow depth of field, keeping you in focus and keeping the viewer from being distracted from elements in the background. 

The bokeh effect that creates the blurred background provides a modern and versatile look to your professional headshot. Individuals in any profession can benefit from blurring their backdrop, as it can emphasize facial features and create a visually pleasing effect.

How Do I Choose the Right Background?

Choosing a background that complements your complexion and facial features, highlights elements of your profession, and gives a slight insight into your personality can be tricky. Getting the best professional headshot can also be a time consuming and costly project. 

Many photographers have exceptional talent to create stunning portraits that will  highlight your best features and create a balanced contrast between the backdrop and you. But not everyone has the time or money to spend hours at a photoshoot that can cost upwards of $500 or more.

Don’t despair! We have a couple of tricks that can help you find the right background that suits your time, budget, and overall needs.

Consider Your Background Options and Test Different Backdrops

If you live in a small town, getting a background of a bustling skyline may not be feasible. Alternatively, living in a bustling city means you may not have easy access to a nature-inspired setting. Maybe you’ve just completed your degree and have never had access to an office environment but want a headshot with a business look.

A professional photographer may have different backdrops to use in their studio, and they may offer to take a portrait in a location of your choosing. Most photographers are happy to showcase some of their work online, so look for a photographer who takes headshots that you resonate with. 

If you have a friend with a quality camera, you can ask them to take headshots of you in different locations with various backdrops. This will help you find a background that complements your look and gives off the desired first impression. 

Background Options for AI-Generated Headshots

While professional headshots can be time-consuming and expensive, or you may not have access to a friend with a high-quality camera, an AI-generated headshot service like Portrait Pal is a cost- and time-efficient alternative. Instead of having to scout different locations for background options, you can upload photos of yourself and the AI generates a realistic, professional looking headshot. 

AI headshots are usually a fraction of the price of a professional photoshoot. The service also offers more options,  allowing you to change and customize the background easily to find the one that works for you.

Ensure the Background Compliments Your Skin Tone and Attire

If you’re wearing a dark suit for your headshots, make sure your background is lighter to contrast your outfit to avoid your body blending in with the backdrop. Similarly, if you have a darker skin tone, a lighter background will offer you better contrast to stand out. 

If you are wearing light-colored clothing and have a lighter complexion, darker backgrounds prevent blending and allow you to remain the focus of the image. 

You may also want to consider the lighting. While outdoor environments using natural light can create a warm, comforting look, it is crucial that the natural light doesn’t create harsh shadows on your face. Bright sunny days can overexpose the background and your face, creating unwanted shadows that won’t complement your facial features. 

Try to have an evenly lit background without overexposing the image. A professional photographer or an AI headshot generator can easily adjust the exposure and create optimal lighting conditions. Asking your friends and colleagues for feedback on your professional headshot will also give you some insight about which background is the most effective.

Consider the Context of Your Professional Headshot

Different professions have different standards for headshot backgrounds. Ask yourself who will view your headshot. It is often helpful to browse through the employee page of companies in your industry to get an idea of what backgrounds are commonly used. 

If your target audience is in the corporate world, a neutral background or office setting may be more favorable than a colorful gradient or nature backdrop. If your profession is more creative, colorful gradients, artsy backgrounds, and those with more visually engaging elements may be more appropriate. 

A company with a focus on sophistication may appreciate a minimalist,  sleek backdrop. Remember that the background of your professional headshot has the power to convey the desired skills of your industry and hint at qualities you may want to highlight.

Professional headshots can make or break your first impression. By testing different backgrounds and taking advantage of AI-generated headshot tools, you will find the backdrop that works for you. By balancing the context of your profession with enhancing your appearance, you will leave a lasting, powerful first impression.

What Is the Best AI Headshot Generator?

Maybe you’re trying to jumpstart your professional career and need headshots for your LinkedIn page or resume, but don’t have the funds right now to pay what could end up being more than $500 for a professional photoshoot.

Or, perhaps you’re trying to update the headshots of your employees on your company’s website – but again, the cost of hiring a photographer for the whole office adds up fast. It also takes away precious time that is better spent on core business activities.

This is where the appeal of AI-generated headshots lies. You can effortlessly create life-like headshots in just a few clicks at a fraction of the cost compared to the alternatives – or in some cases, for free!

However, not all AI-generated headshots turn out the same. Chances are, you’ve seen some that are so obviously AI you couldn’t actually use them in a professional setting. So, what is the best AI headshot generator that actually delivers solid results along with a seamless process?

Look no further. We’ve created this guide comparing and contrasting the top 5 choices you have at your disposal, breaking down pros, cons, pricing, and more, leaving you with a clear understanding of which is right for you.

But if you just want to skip to the good part and cross the task of generating AI headshots off your to-do list, get started with Portrait Pal today: the #1 AI headshot generator

We’ve created 2.5 million headshots and counting for thousands of happy customers. It takes a few moments and your jaw will drop when you see the results. 

What are AI Headshots?

Let’s get you up to speed if you’re just now discovering the concept of AI headshots. These are digital portraits created using artificial intelligence. They’re generated by advanced algorithms that analyze and synthesize visual data to produce realistic, high-quality headshots. 

Contrary to what you may assume, the images actually closely resemble the input photos provided by users when the right deep learning models are put to use – like Stable Diffusion and Variational Autoencoders (VAEs).

So, how does it work? You start the process by uploading a selection of photos, including selfies, candids, and other clear images. Emphasis on clear images.

The AI then processes these photos, identifying key facial features, expressions, and lighting conditions. The AI generates a polished headshot that captures the essence of your appearance by iteratively refining a noisy image.

The benefits of these types of headshots are clear – they’re a cost-effective and time-saving alternative to traditional photoshoots, which can be expensive and time-consuming. 

AI headshots are also highly customizable, allowing you to generate multiple images in different styles and settings. This makes them ideal for everything from professional networking profiles to resumes, corporate websites, social media, and more.

If you need a professional headshot quickly and affordably, you need AI headshots – there’s no way around it. But, which AI headshot generator is best? 

What is the Best AI Headshot Generator?

Like we said from the start, there’s nothing more frustrating than spending hours waiting for your AI headshots to be done only to discover the quality is abysmal. 

You’re back to square one researching your options, uploading countless photos, and crossing your fingers that the next attempt will turn out better so you can be done with it. We’re here to help you bypass all this stress and frustration by unveiling the best professional AI headshot generator below.

So, what is the best AI headshot generator? Look no further than Portrait Pal. 

Portrait Pal

Your search for the best professional AI headshot generator ends at Portrait Pal, the most affordable, intuitive solution on the market built by a team of experienced AI researchers.

The technology leverages advanced technologies like stable diffusion and VAEs to create uncannily realistic headshots. These technologies enable our system to refine and enhance images repeatedly, so the end result is indistinguishable from your actual appearance.

We offer the most affordable AI-generated headshots with three different pricing plans to choose from based on your needs and budget:

  • Starter ($35): 20 headshots, 2-hour processing, 5 outfits, backgrounds, and poses.
  • Basic ($45): 60 headshots, 1-hour processing, 20 outfits, backgrounds, and poses.
  • Premium ($75): 100 headshots, 30-minute processing, 40 outfits, backgrounds, and poses.

We even offer a free AI headshot generator so you can start no matter your budget. Just be aware that we use older models for this free technology, and the results won’t be up to par with our paid packages. You also need to wait a bit longer for the results. 

No matter the package you choose, you’ll love how quick and easy using Portrait Pal is. You start by uploading a few photos, including selfies and candid shots. Our AI analyzes these images to generate professional headshots tailored to your unique facial features and expressions. The process is designed to be as seamless as possible, ensuring you get high-quality results without the hassle of a traditional photo shoot.

Privacy is a common concern with any AI-generated headshots, but you can enjoy peace of mind using our solution. All photos uploaded are securely handled and deleted immediately after processing. Your data never leaves the United States, and we do not store or use your images for AI training purposes.

With more than 2.5 million headshots generated to date, you don’t just have to take our word for it when we tell you this is the best headshot AI generator. The results speak for themselves. Try Portrait Pal today and discover firsthand why it’s the best AI professional headshot generator.

HeadshotPro

We do believe Portrait Pal is the best AI headshot generator, but if you want to weigh a few other options, HeadshotPro has earned quite a reputation in its own right.

The service is tailored for professional use specifically, and each photoshoot includes 80 headshots per person, taken in 8 unique locations, ensuring a wide variety of options for users. 

With a starting price of $29 per person and a fast turnaround time of just 2 hours, HeadshotPro is designed to provide quick and efficient results.

The platform’s AI headshot generator is optimized to deliver studio-quality headshots, using the same uploaded photos as other services but with better results. The company has fine-tuned its AI for the best possible output, making the headshots impossible to distinguish from real photos.

You can choose from a wide variety of backdrops and clothing options, including professional attire like blazers, suits, and medical uniforms. This makes it easy to create cohesive, professional images for team profiles, corporate websites, and other professional settings. 

However, the service does require the upload of 15 photos and validates each one for usability, which can be time-consuming. You may find a lot of your uploads getting rejected, and then you have to go find replacements. In contrast, Portrait Pal only needs a few high-quality photos. 

Try It On AI

Try It On AI is another popular choice, widely regarded among the best professional AI headshot generators on social media. 

You gain access to a versatile suite of AI tools for various portrait needs, ranging from quick AI headshots to custom portraits and editing tools for both individuals and teams. It’s trusted across a wide array of industries, including media, consulting, fashion, healthcare, and more.

The real use case of Try it On AI, though, is for teams. It provides a streamlined process where team members can upload photos, set custom photography styles, and receive edited results within 90 minutes. 

This feature is particularly beneficial for global remote teams looking to maintain on-brand consistency without the hassle of coordinating physical photoshoots in multiple locations. The service has been used by over 500 teams worldwide, and it’s clear to see why.

At just $17 for 100 AI headshots, Try It On AI offers an affordable solution, but it does come with some limitations. Users have reported mixed results, with some photos appearing overly glam or unrealistic. 

The platform does not offer a bulk download option either, which can be inconvenient for users needing to download multiple images.

Dreamwave

Dreamwave was developed by AI experts from Google and MIT with more than 30 years of combined experience, so it comes as no surprise this solution is brought up in any conversation about the best AI headshot generator. 

It uses a proprietary algorithm to produce images with impressive output resolution, with more than 16 million headshots generated to date for over 50,000 Fortune 500 executives and professionals.

Users have a range of products at their disposal, not just AI headshots but also a custom photo studio for editing photos. You can generate natural, accurate, and beautiful photos of yourself in just one hour without the need for a camera. It’s especially useful for remote teams needing to create consistent AI headshots that scale with their growth.

It’s incredibly easy to use – upload your photos, let the AI headshot generator work its magic, and then edit and download your favorite headshots using the AI photo editor. 

With a commitment to secure data practices, Dreamwave guarantees that user data never leaves the US and is not sold. You also retain full control over your photos with the option to delete them at any time. 

Remini

Last but not least on our best AI professional headshot generator list, we have Remini – a solution that went viral on social media at one point for its incredibly life-like results. This sent it soaring to the top of the App Store.

The appeal of Remini is how straightforward and fast the process can be. Begin by training the AI with 8-12 images to teach it your appearance. This setup takes just a few minutes, after which you can generate countless different photos. 

Remini offers a variety of model images to choose from, enabling users to create photos based on different styles and poses. 

It’s as versatile a solution as you’ll find, as you can generate profile pictures, social media content, CV photos, and even test new looks with different hair, makeup, and outfits. The AI technology ensures a high level of variation, you can effortlessly find the perfect photo for any occasion. 

Remini also enables users to capture photos in various locations worldwide, creating stunning visuals without the need for actual travel. This is a perfect us case for brands building content for their products and services.

You can choose from a desktop and mobile app, but either way, you’ll be impressed with the output when you give Remini solid input. Just be aware that it can get pricey after your 7-day free trial expires, at which point you’ll need a paid subscription.

Tips on Creating the Best AI Headshots

There you have it – all the best AI professional headshot generator options you have at your disposal. We wholeheartedly recommend Portrait Pal as the premier choice, and once you see what it can do for you, you’ll understand why it’s commended as the best headshot AI generator.

But regardless of which solution you choose, we want to help you make the most of it. So, here are some quick tips on getting the best AI headshots that are as lifelike as possible:

  • Choose High-Quality Photos: Remember – you get out what you put in. So, begin by selecting high-resolution images with clear visibility of your face. Avoid blurry or pixelated photos, as these can hinder the AI’s ability to generate accurate headshots. Crisp, well-lit photos provide the best input for the AI to work with.
  • Use Varied Angles and Expressions: Diversity helps the AI get a more comprehensive understanding of your facial features, leading to more realistic and versatile headshots.
  • Ensure Good Lighting: This helps avoid harsh shadows or overexposure. Good lighting enhances facial details, making it easier for the AI to produce high-quality headshots.
  • Avoid Heavy Filters and Edits: These can confuse the AI and result in less accurate headshots. Stick to natural, unaltered images to ensure the AI generates a true-to-life representation of your appearance.
  • Maintain Consistent Backgrounds: While some AI generators allow you to choose different backgrounds, starting with consistent and uncluttered backgrounds in your uploaded photos helps the AI. A simple, neutral background often works best.
  • Follow Platform Guidelines: Be sure to follow the specific guidelines of your chosen service closely to achieve the best possible results. This might include the number of photos to upload or specific types of poses to use.
  • Review and Edit: Most platforms offer editing tools to make further adjustments to eyes, teeth, blemishes, and other features. Use these to refine the headshots and ensure they meet your professional standards.
  • Match Your Professional Needs: Consider the context in which you will use your headshots and tailor your photos accodingly, whether it’s for LinkedIn profiles, resumes, corporate websites, or social media. 

When in doubt, reach out. Portrait Pal is proud to offer industry-leading customer service to help you make the most of our service and achieve stunning results that are indistinguishable from real photographs. 

With all that being said, it’s time you discovered what’s possible with the best headshot AI generator today!

Get Started With the Best AI Professional Headshot Generator Free Today!

So, what is the best AI headshot generator? At this point, the answer should be clear – Portrait Pal is the #1 choice on the market. 

No other software uses as refined an AI as ours, which starts with stable diffusion as the baseline model before being trained and fine-tuned with more advanced iterative steps.

Using the service is quick and easy, requiring fewer photos than the competition and delivering superior headshots that you’re proud to display as your profile photo or on your company website. We guide you through every step so you can make the most of this technology.Plus, you can get started free today in just a few clicks – in comparison, a high-end headshot session starts at $600 and takes up the better part of a day. So what are you waiting for? Find out firsthand what makes Portrait Pal the best professional AI headshot generator today.

How Much Do Headshots Cost?

How much you pay for headshots can vary significantly depending on various factors, such as the photographer’s experience level, your location, how many photos and different looks you need, and whether you use an AI service.

In this article, we’ll run through the different costs of headshots based on these factors, covering the most budget-friendly options, the most expensive, and everything in between. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of what you can get for your money.

Quick Overview of Headshot Pricing

To provide a quick summary of how much headshots cost, you can expect prices to range anywhere from $20 to over $3,000.

Now, obviously, that’s a huge difference between the cost of the cheapest services versus the most expensive ones. What’s driving that difference? Here’s how we’ve broken it down in this guide:

  • AI Services ($20–$100) – They leverage cutting-edge technology to enable them to offer exceptional value to customers.
  • Amateur Photographers ($30–-$200) – Their services are relatively low cost due to their lower experience levels and less advanced studios and equipment.
  • Professional Photographers ($200–$1,000) – Their services can range from reasonably priced to moderately expensive due to their exceptional skills and higher demand.
  • Big-Name Photographers ($1,000–$3,000+) – High-profile names and celebrities in the photography world can charge a heavy premium for the added prestige they bring.

Of course, what one considers pricey or not is relative. For some people, splashing out $3,000 to collaborate with a big-name photographer is worth every penny and exactly what they need to propel their career to the next level.

However, for others, the wiser decision might be to opt for a low- to medium-cost service since they won’t gain many additional benefits from choosing a flashy service.

A Detailed Look at Headshot Pricing

Below we look at each of the different price points in more detail, starting with the lowest-cost services and ending with the most expensive.

AI Headshots ($20–$100)

It’s undeniable that AI headshots are among the best value options out there, especially when you factor in the customization features and the number of ready-to-use photos you get for your money.

AI services can offer a lower price point because they don’t require a photographer’s time or studio space. Plus, these services are inherently scalable, meaning they can serve an almost infinite number of clients simultaneously.

The only cheaper alternative to AI services would be to ask a friend to kindly take your headshots for free or set up a tripod and attempt to take them yourself!

You can expect to pay between $20 and $100 for AI headshots from a reputable provider. For that cost, you’ll receive between 20 and 100 high-quality headshots, in a variety of outfits, backgrounds, and poses.

But the cost savings don’t end there. AI headshots can save you money in other ways too. Since you can access these services from home and the processing times are rapid, you don’t need to take time off work or travel long distances to get them done. You also don’t need to go shopping for new outfits to get that perfect look.

Beginner or Part-time Photographers ($30–$200)

When it comes to hiring a real-life photographer, working with an amateur or someone who does photography part-time is the cheapest option. At the lower end of the range, beginner photographers may even be able to compete with AI services on price.

However, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to match AI services in terms of turnaround times and the number of outfits, backgrounds, poses, and ready-to-use, high-quality photos you’ll receive.

Amateur photographers tend to charge between $30 and $200 per session, depending on their experience and the quality of their work. They’re willing to charge less than professional photographers because they have less demand and are looking to build their portfolios and experience.

For many amateurs, photography won’t be their main source of income or their full-time job, but rather just a hobby. You can often find them promoting their services on sites like Craigslist or their Facebook page, or they might simply be a friend of a friend.

Photographers at this price point are also likely not to be specialists in headshots, meaning the low cost you pay may be reflected in the quality of the photos you receive. Also, unlike a professional photographer, they likely lack the experience needed to tease out and capture your best look on camera.

While working with an amateur is fine, we’d recommend taking a good look at their portfolio beforehand and only proceed if you genuinely like their work. At the end of the day, you want your headshots to create the right first impression, not the wrong one.

Professional Photographers ($200–$1,000)

Professional photographers are well-established in their field, having built up a large client base and plenty of demand for their services. This allows them to charge anywhere from $200 up to $1,000 per headshot session.

Their skills are well-honed; they know how to expertly operate the camera and how to bring out the best in people to make the shoot a success. What’s great about professional photographers is that you’ll be able to find ones who specialize in headshots.

This means they’ve refined their headshot skills over many years and will have developed their own distinct style. For professionals, photography is usually their full-time job or business, and they’ll have top-quality equipment and studios.

Whether they price themselves in the upper or lower end of the range will depend on factors like demand, location, and experience. However, as long as you check their portfolio first and are sure their style matches what you’re looking for, most professional headshot photographers should deliver the results you’re after.

Another benefit of working with professional photographers is that they’re likely to get it right the first time around, whereas you may require reshoots when working with an amateur. However, when compared to AI headshots, hiring a professional photographer is considerably more expensive, which might put off anyone on a smaller budget.

Big-Name Photographers ($1,000–$3,000+)

You won’t necessarily get better quality headshots by working with a famous photographer than you would from a skilled professional. But that’s not what working with a big-name photographer is solely about.

Along with your professional headshots, you’ll also gain the bragging rights and prestige that come with working with a high-profile name. Your collaboration with them may even open up networking opportunities or lead to greater exposure for you or your brand.

If you’re an artist, model, actor, influencer, or other public figure, paying extra to work with a big-name photographer can be totally worth it since you can use the experience as a way to boost your online presence and public image.

Finally, high-profile photographers will also likely have luxury studios and equipment, as well as makeup artists and other fancy amenities, to give you the real VIP feel.

For the added pizzazz that famous photographers bring, they can charge anywhere from $1,000 to well over $3,000 for a headshot shoot—a hefty premium. However, unless there are tangible ways you can see yourself benefiting from this significant investment, you’re better off leaving the big-name photographers to the celebrities and high-profile clients.

Other Factors That Influence Price

In addition to the experience level or reputation of the photographer, or whether you use an AI service, some other factors influence the price of headshots.

Location

The prices outlined in this guide are just intended to give you a rough estimate of what headshots cost on average in the US today. However, if you’re not from the US, prices could vary significantly. For instance, the cost of photography in Europe is generally a bit cheaper than it is in the US, and many other parts of the world are likely cheaper too.

Even within the US prices can vary depending on which state you live in. If you live in a major city or affluent area, prices tend to be a bit more expensive. As an example, you can expect the average price of a headshot shoot in Nevada to be about half that of New York.

The cost of AI headshots, however, remains the same no matter where you are in the world. And many AI services will allow you to pay in your local currency.

Type of Photoshoot

Another key factor that can influence price is the type of headshots you require. Some people want their headshots taken outdoors, some want them in a corporate setting like an office, while others want them for acting. Here’s how the type of service you require can affect the price:

  • Studio headshots: You can expect photoshoots done in the photographer’s studio to be in line with the prices we’ve given above in this guide. If the photographer you work with doesn’t have a studio, you’d need to rent one at an additional cost.
  • Outdoor headshots: Outdoor shoots cost more than studio headshots because of the added time and expense that comes from the extra travel and organization required. Bad weather can also sometimes hamper an outdoor session, which needs to be factored into the price.
  • Actor headshots: Actors typically want to showcase multiple looks and expressions in their headshots to show off their versatility. This requires a greater level of expertise from the photographer, which means they tend to cost more than standard professional headshots.
  • Corporate headshots: A headshot session for corporate clients typically costs more per hour. However, these sessions are designed for teams, allowing you to photograph multiple staff members from the same company in one session. The photos will all have a similar style, with the same backdrop, lighting, and business attire.

Of course, if you use an AI headshot service, you won’t need to hire a photographer or studio space at all, hence why these services tend to be cheaper. AI enables you to replicate studio, outdoor, and corporate-style headshots from the comfort of your home or office.

Number of Styles or Looks

Some photographers charge per ‘look’ as well as by the hour. That means if you want to try out a load of different outfits and backgrounds, you might want to check first with the photographer that this isn’t going to cost you extra.

For photographers who use this pricing model, a ‘look’ is typically defined as one single lighting setup, background, and outfit. If you change any of these things, the photographer will consider this an additional ‘look’, which may cost you more.

Length of the Session

The prices outlined in this guide are for a typical one- to two-hour photoshoot. However, many studios offer 30-minute sessions, which can save you 20–30% off the cost if you believe you can achieve what you want in that time. Longer sessions are also available but will cost more based on the additional time needed at the standard rate.

Photo Editing

Some photographers charge extra for the editing required to create a finalized image. Others may include editing in the price but only for a select number of photos, so you’ll need to choose your favorites from the shoot that you want editing or pay extra if you want additional photos editing.

Retouching and editing are not required for AI-generated headshots, so every photo you receive is finalized and ready to use at no additional cost.

Additional Services

Many professional photography studios offer additional services such as hair stylists, makeup artists, and wardrobe consultations. While these services typically don’t come cheap, they can be beneficial in helping you achieve the exact look you’re after, ensuring you leave your headshot session feeling satisfied.

Commercial or Editorial Use

If you plan to use your headshots in advertisements or marketing campaigns, or in magazines and other prominent publications, the photographer will likely charge an additional fee for commercial and editorial usage rights. AI-generated headshots can be used in commercial and editorial contexts at no additional charge.

Final Tips for Successful Headshots 

As we’ve shown in this guide, the cost of headshots can vary widely, but so can the quality and the experience. It’s worth taking some time before deciding which service to use to consider your budget and the types of headshots you’re looking for. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much am I prepared to spend on headshots?
  • How many different poses and outfits do I need?
  • What will I use the headshots for? (Corporate, acting, website, social media, dating, etc.)
  • Does the photographer’s style match the style I’m looking for?
  • Do I need additional services like hair and make-up?
  • How quickly do I need the headshots?
  • Are AI headshots suitable for my needs?

Your headshots can make the difference between creating the right first impression and the wrong one, which could mean landing or not landing that job position, acting role, or other opportunity you want.

Therefore, it’s worth considering headshots not just as paying for photos, but as an investment in yourself that could help take you one step closer to your goals.

If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of Portrait Pal’s professional AI headshots but aren’t ready to make the investment just yet, consider trying out our free AI headshot generator to see for yourself the results that can be achieved.

What to Wear for Professional Headshots

Knowing what to wear for professional headshots can make all the difference in creating the right first impression with potential employers, clients, and others you want to win over. Your outfit will influence whether you come across as someone confident, experienced, and credible in your field or someone who, well, just isn’t.

This guide will walk you through how to dress appropriately in different scenarios and, just as importantly, what common wardrobe mistakes to avoid to ensure you present yourself favorably and convey the right image.

We’ll also touch on why professional AI headshots can help you achieve your best look while removing all the hassle, cost, and time typically involved in preparing for your headshot.

What Are You Striving To Achieve?

The first key to dressing successfully for headshots is to determine what it is you want to achieve. It’s important to be specific as your goals are likely not the same as everyone else’s and, therefore, what outfits will work best for you will also differ.

For example, an entrepreneur looking to build their online presence will almost certainly need to dress differently than a medical professional requiring headshots for their clinic website.

It’s also important to consider whether you need headshots for different purposes and whether each requires a different outfit. For instance, perhaps you need one headshot for social media, one for job applications, and one for dating!

Write down all of your goals and the different things you need your headshots for. This will help ensure you make outfit choices that align with your objectives.

10 Tips on What to Wear for Professional Headshots

Okay, now that you have a good idea of what your goals are, it’s time to dive into the do’s and don’ts of dressing for professional headshots.

1. Opt for Fitted Clothing

Fitted clothing is more flattering and has a slimming effect in headshots, whereas oversized clothing tends to do the opposite and make you look larger. Additionally, poses for photographs can get lost in loose, baggy clothing, which can also be distracting and draw attention away from your face.

You want to have that tailored look, so if you’re wearing a blazer or sweater, it should fit nicely around the shoulders and arms. Likewise, if you’re wearing a shirt and tie, ensure the neckline is the right size for you to avoid any bulging or sagging.

If you’re concerned about wearing form-fitting clothing, it’s worth remembering that headshots typically only include the head, neck, shoulders, and upper chest. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about areas that can look unflattering in tighter clothing, such as the waistline.

2. Consider Your Color Palette

In most cases, dark, neutral, or muted colors tend to work better than bright colors. Navy blue, light blue, black, white, burgundy, gray, tan, and dark green are all popular choices when it comes to headshot outfit colors.

Ideally, you want a color palette that contrasts with your skin tone and doesn’t blend in with the background, while simultaneously conveying a sense of professionalism. You should also consider what types of colors are the norm in your industry and not deviate too far from those.

Bright colors might be ok for some people, such as if they work in the creative industries or feel it matches their bold personality. However, for most people, bright colors are generally better avoided since they can be distracting and may look unprofessional. That said, a bright-colored tie or pocket square in an otherwise neutral outfit can sometimes work well.

3. Avoid Busy Patterns

Solid colors work better than busy patterns since the latter can distract from your face and dominate the shot. Tight patterns should be avoided since they can create a distracting, blurry moiré effect when viewed on screens. Tight patterns to avoid include:

  • Fine pinstripes
  • Small checks
  • Small polka dots
  • Houndstooth

If you do choose to wear a patterned item, ensure it’s not too aggressive or distracting. Remember, you are not modeling the clothes; you want to be the center of attention, not your outfit.

4. Assess Your Industry

If you’re planning to use your headshots for job applications, company websites, or networking platforms, you’ll want to ensure the way you dress is appropriate for your industry. The goal is to look like you belong in the industry, even if you’re still trying to establish yourself there.

Think about how industry leaders, or your boss or colleagues at work, dress. If they wear a suit and tie, perhaps you should too in your headshot. Here are some different industries and the attire typically considered the norm:

  • Financial Services, Law, and Corporate: These industries typically wear business suits, button-up shirts, and ties for men while women wear business suits or formal blouses, skirts, and dresses.  
  • Tech, Marketing, and Startups: These industries tend to dress smart casual or casual, wearing jeans, chinos, hoodies, t-shirts, polo shirts, button shirts, flannels, and sneakers.
  • Healthcare: People in the healthcare industry usually wear lab coats or well-fitting scrubs, perhaps with an accessory such as a stethoscope, as it conveys medical expertise to the audience.
  • Construction: Tradespeople and construction workers often wear hard hats, high-visibility vests, bib overalls, and branded t-shirts or polos.   
  • Food Service: Chefs and other workers in the food industry often wear chef’s whites, hats, aprons, and other kitchen and restaurant uniforms.

5. Ensure Clothes Are Washed and Pressed

It goes without saying that whichever outfits you decide to go with should be washed and pressed for a clean, polished look. The last thing you want is to rock up for a photo shoot only to realize your clothes are full of creases.

Even the best outfit can be ruined if it’s all wrinkled and bunched up. Plus, it will make you look unkempt and unprepared in your headshots.

6. Casual Clothing Is Now More Acceptable

Dressing casually at work is more acceptable nowadays in many industries, such as trendy startups and tech companies. Even in industries that traditionally encourage more formal dress, such as financial services or law, where they typically wear business suits, you’re seeing many drop the necktie for a modern, smart casual look.

However, it’s important to remember that casual doesn’t mean scruffy. If you’re wearing a casual or smart casual outfit, your clothing should still be clean, in good condition, and well-fitted.

7. Avoid Old, Worn-out Clothing

While we all have our favorite tee that we love to wear despite it having seen better days, it’s generally best to avoid old, worn-out clothing for headshots. That’s because worn-out clothing can look scruffy and unprofessional, making it a big no-no for job applications and networking sites like LinkedIn.

Although old, worn clothing can sometimes be fashionable in daily life, when it comes to headshots, it’s not worth the risk of creating the wrong impression. People may perceive it as a sign that you don’t care about your appearance.

8. Be Careful with Logos

You’ll want to avoid logos unless you’re associated with them since they’re distracting and irrelevant. For example, opt for an unbranded button-up shirt over one sporting the Ralph Lauren logo or a plain t-shirt over one with a slogan.

However, if branded clothes are part of your uniform, they can work well and quickly inform your audience about your profession. An example would be a construction worker with a branded high-visibility vest or a barista with a branded apron.

9. Avoid Fashion Trends

Fashion trends come and go so you don’t want to wear something that may look trendy now but will be out of fashion in a few months. Instead, opt for classic, timeless outfits that never go out of fashion.

In a business or corporate setting, this could be a navy suit jacket and white shirt for men, whereas for women it could be a dark blazer and a neutral-colored blouse or a sheath dress.

10. Don’t Overthink It

Our final important tip is not to overthink it. You want to come across as your genuine self rather than create a false image of who you are. Therefore, you should wear clothes that you feel comfortable and confident in while following the tips above to ensure your headshot outfit is well-fitting, clean, in good condition, pressed, and appropriate for the situation you plan to use it for.   

Tips for Hair and Makeup

Equally as important as what you wear is your hair and makeup, especially since headshots focus on your head and face. Here are some tips for men and women to get these things right.  

Getting Your Hair Right

The key to getting your hair right is to stick with your usual style, but make sure it looks its best.

You don’t want to be trying out a brand new haircut or style right before your shoot since there’s too much risk involved. What if you don’t like it but it’s too late to change? Plus, your headshot should be authentic and reflect how you normally look in the best light possible.

  • For men, you want to be well-groomed. That means having your facial hair shaved or neatly trimmed and your hair recently cut in your usual style. If you normally use a hair product like gel or wax, stick with it for the shoot.
  • For women, wear your hair how you normally do and avoid getting a haircut for at least one week before the shoot. This will ensure you’re familiar and confident with your hair and will know how to style it yourself.

Final tip: Remember to bring a brush, comb, and any hair products you normally use with you to the photoshoot!

Makeup Advice

Men generally don’t need to wear makeup for their headshot session, though some choose to use a small amount to even skin tone and reduce shine.

Women should keep their makeup natural, opting for a matte foundation that blends with their skin tone, a concealer to cover blemishes, neutral eyeshadow, and lipstick with a subtle shimmer.

Also, it’s generally best to keep the colors of your makeup natural rather than use bold or bright colors.

What About Glasses and Jewelry?

If you wear glasses, you’ll want to wear a pair that’s not reflective to minimize glare. Glasses with a blue light coating should also be avoided as they can also produce a glare in headshots. You may need to remove the lenses for the photoshoot if you don’t have a spare, non-reflective pair you can use.

Jewelry such as earrings and necklaces are fine to wear but they should be kept subtle and elegant so as not to distract from your face. Some people may be able to pull off larger or flashy jewelry if it matches their personality or is part of their signature look.

How to Prepare for Your Professional Headshot Photoshoot

Here are some final tips to keep in mind for the night before and the day leading up to your headshot session to ensure it goes as successfully as possible:

  • Get a restful night’s sleep to avoid eye bags and puffiness.
  • Drink enough water so you’re not dehydrated.
  • Men should be sure to use a razor with a fresh blade to avoid causing a rash. Also, shave several hours in advance of the shoot to give your skin time to recover.
  • If you use an electric shaver, you can reduce irritation by patting baby powder over the area before you begin shaving.
  • Women should avoid waxing their eyebrows or other major face treatments to avoid redness or other unwanted surprises.
  • Bring multiple outfits, but be careful they don’t get creased when transporting them.
  • Be careful not to burn your face in the sun.
  • Women should ensure their bra straps do not show through their shirts.

Understanding Outfits in AI-Generated Headshots

We’ve explained in this article why what you wear can have a big impact on the effectiveness of your headshots. However, if you decide to use an AI headshot service, things work a little differently because you don’t have to physically wear an outfit or makeup since the image is generated digitally.

Instead, you upload some images of yourself to the platform, along with a text prompt, and the AI will generate dozens of headshots for you in different outfits, poses, and backgrounds, and in your preferred style. You can use what you’ve learned from this guide to help you write a text prompt that’s more likely to deliver the headshots and outfits you need.

Here are the advantages of AI headshots over other services when it comes to getting your outfit right:

  • AI is trained on hundreds of thousands of headshot images and knows how to generate the most flattering outfits.
  • You don’t need to go out shopping for new expensive clothes.
  • You don’t need to spend time preparing and trying out different outfits.
  • You don’t need to worry about getting your hair and makeup right on the day.
  • You don’t need to worry about washing and pressing your clothes.
  • You can generate an outfit that is appropriate for your industry.
  • You aren’t limited to a few outfits. You can generate as many as you need until you find the perfect one.
  • You don’t need to worry about glare from your glasses or the moiré effect on clothing.

If you’re interested in trying AI headshots and would like to learn more, don’t hesitate to reach out to our friendly AI researchers and staff here at Portrait Pal.

What Is Editorial Photography?

If you’ve read a magazine recently or spent some time browsing online publications, then you’re likely to have come across editorial photography. There are several elements that make editorial photography unique and so well-loved in the photography world. 

Whether you’re curious about trying out editorial photography for the first time, want to become a model for an editorial photographer, or you’re a seasoned pro looking for extra tips and tricks, here’s a guide on what you need to know. 

What Is Editorial Photography? 

Editorial photography aims to address a concept, form a narrative perspective and, ultimately, tell an overarching story. This story can depend on many factors, including the text that can accompany it, the artistic goals of the editorial photographer, and whether it’s contributing to a larger idea, including politics, religion, culture, and more. 

Editorial photography is also a relatively broad type of photography, meaning it can encompass a whole range of subjects, themes, backgrounds, and post-photography editing styles. While it’s common to find editorial photography in the main editorial contexts of magazines, newspapers, and online publications, you can also also find these types of photos in educational content hanging in art galleries. 

Editorial Photography vs Other Types of Photography 

Here are some differences and similarities between editorial photography and other popular types of photography. 

Editorial photography vs portrait photography 

Portrait photography aims to capture the likeness of a person (or in some cases, a group of people). Portraits can be used as art pieces, for social media, or for professional purposes. Often, these photos are captured from the chest up, with a main focus on the face. Like editorial photos, portrait photos can showcase the subject’s wide range of emotions, photogenic qualities, and bold makeup to capture their true personality.

However, unlike editorial photography, the main focus in portrait photography should always be on the person and less about the background or any surrounding elements that can contribute to the story. 

Editorial photography vs commercial photography 

Commercial photography aims to engage and entice a target audience by capturing the best elements of a product or service. Commercial photos are usually taken for marketing or advertising purposes, and displayed on billboards, on shop walls, or in online ad campaigns. 

Like editorial photos, commercial photos can provide a holistic view of the product and service, incorporating potential pain points as the “story.” However, editorial photos are often more raw, honest, and come from a neutral standpoint rather than a photo that is easy to market. 

Editorial photography vs architectural photography 

Architectural photography aims to capture buildings and specific features of their architecture. They can be used as inspiration for architects, engineers, and other types of building designers, or they can simply bring attention to some unique architectural properties. 

Like editorial photos, architectural photos can give a glimpse into the culture and time when the building was built, or bring viewers behind-the-scenes to more private and lucrative locations. Because the main focus of architectural photography is the building, it can lack the deep storytelling of editorial photography—which often combines architecture with landscape, nature, and people. 

Editorial photography vs abstract photography 

Abstract photography aims to showcase a visual that can’t be observed in the material world with our naked eye. They can be achieved using a mix of scientific materials, special camera techniques, and other tools, like microscopes. Think swirls, patterns, and playing around with color. You’ll often find abstract photos as background pictures on computer desktops or in art galleries. 

Like editorial photos, abstract photos challenge the viewer to see the world in a unique way as it’s not easily interpreted at first glance. Abstract photos can also incorporate more creative elements like playing with lights, shadows, and dimensions. However, abstract photos are generally repetitive and based upon a continuing pattern, which tends to not tell a complex story. 

How to Take Editorial Photos: 5 Tips and Tricks 

Want to take some next-level editorial photos? Here are some tips and tricks to make the whole process smoother and get those final photos that you’ll be sure to love. 

1. Plan beforehand

Whether you’re taking the photos yourself or getting help from a creative director and professional photographer, it’s always important to plan beforehand. A lot of elements can be involved in an editorial shoot, including the subject, props, technical equipment, and location, and sometimes things can go awry.

  • Create a detailed plan about the overall direction of the shoot and the main story you want the photos to showcase. While this can change throughout the photoshoot, it’s always good to get in with a plan so you have an idea on how to direct the subject. This includes the overall mood (what feelings do you want to evoke?) and main themes. 
  • Also, plan about what to do if things don’t work out or plans change. During a photoshoot, things can always happen in the spur of the moment. Factors like weather changes for an outdoor shoot and props that break or don’t incorporate well with the theme can put a damper on the day. But if you’ve prepared a contingency plan ahead of time, you can work around obstacles smoothly. 
  • Brief the team beforehand. If you’re using a model as your subject and you’ve got other assistants or team members on set with you, it’s always nicer to let them know what to expect. If everyone’s on the same page, it’s easier to smoothen out the process, align on the right poses, and get the job done more efficiently. 

2. Tell unique stories 

Editorial photography is all about telling stories. And while every story matters, the editorial photos that go viral or end up translating well to a wide range of audiences are those based around unique stories that aren’t shared often. 

Challenge the status quo. Editorial photography gives you permission to step out of the box and take risks. If you’ve been thinking of an artistic angle to approach a narrative about the current social or cultural landscape, be bold. Art is subjective and in some cases, criticism will be there even if you play it extremely safe. It’s always more rewarding to be true to yourself and produce photos that resonate with you. That way, it’s also more likely to resonate with others. 

Find subjects, places, or objects that inspire you. Sometimes, inspiration can strike at any time. Whether you find a location on YouTube that you can’t get out of your mind, you’ve read up on a person who has an amazing life story, or you’re passionate about an item you found in a thrift store, it’s worth exploring those ideas if you’re so inspired by them. In some cases, this could also mean traveling to different countries to get those perfect shots. 

3. Play around with light and colors 

Something that makes editorial photography so special is the combination of different elements in one photo. While the subject and surrounding props are important, so is light, color, and the overall dimensions of the photo. In fact, blending all of them seamlessly can better accentuate the story you want to tell. 

Don’t underestimate the power of lighting. It’s integral to conveying a mood and streams of light rays and shadows can add powerful visual interest. Filters and lights in a studio setting are more easily controlled, but taking editorial photos in natural light can’t be overrated—especially during sunrise and sunset. Just remember to find the right angle! 

Colors subconsciously indicate emotions. It’s the number one rule of brand analysis, which is why colors like red and purple are used to indicate power and passion while blue and green can evoke feelings of serenity and introspection. Create a color palette that you want to stick to based on the themes of your shoot and incorporate them with lighting filters, makeup, clothing, and backdrops. 

4. Be flexible 

Because editorial photos are innately creative by nature, there’s room for flexibility and additional ideas that may pop up during the photography stage. Your subject, team assistants, or you can have certain ideas that come to mind that potentially change the direction of the photoshoot or provide a new perspective. 

Encourage an open and flexible photoshoot environment. When there are too many expectations in a specific situation, the tense atmosphere and strict requirements can dampen creativity, resulting in an uninspired final photo. Ideally, the subjects should feel free and comfortable with you, as their photographer. 

We all have bad days sometimes. If too many things seem to go awry or you’ve just lost your inspiration and drive during the photoshoot, it’s worth taking a break and coming back when the moment feels right. Pushing through may be important if you have a deadline, but otherwise it’s worth putting yourself (and the desired outcome of the shoot) first. 

5. Bring the image to life with photo editing and enhancing

Even if you have the best in-person or studio setting, with high-quality props and great lighting equipment, it’s always recommended to tweak and optimize the final editorial photos with photo editing and enhancing.

AI pairs well with editorial photography due to the high levels of artistry required. Often, these creative elements are hard to execute in real-life, so incorporating them during the final editing stage is key. There are a lot of AI photo editors available on the market, including Lensa, which you can use from the comfort of your mobile, and Adobe Photoshop for more challenging alterations. 

You can use AI software to generate extra props for you, blur out complete sections of the photo, brighten specific props or areas to bring attention to them, remove unnecessary equipment like wires or stools, and bring the final editorial look to perfection. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Editorial Photography 

What are editorial photos used for? 

Every type of photography generally caters towards a specific purpose. For example, commercial photography aims to entice a potential customer into buying a product, and landscape photography aims to capture the essence of nature. The aim of editorial photos is to tell a story, or back up a particular narrative.

This is often why you’ll find editorial photos accompanying big blocks of text, like articles in an online blog, another type of web-based publication, or a physical newspaper. They help to break up the wall of text, evoke a specific mood to bring forth emotions, or share relevant information surrounding news or an event. 

However, editorial photography isn’t just limited to accompanying text. Instead, the concept of these types of photographs has somewhat shifted in the last few decades, to include images that can stand on their own to portray a certain creative angle. Editorial photography can be thought-provoking, powerful, and highly impactful, making it a must-have for any publication looking to engage their audiences in a new way.

What is an editorial look? 

Whether you’re the one taking the photos or the model in front of the camera, you may be wondering about how to get that editorial look. There’s a certain level of drama or flair that goes in an editorial photo, which is why you’ll often find models rocking this look in the pages of a magazine or on the catwalk. 

Think bold and artistic makeup, like a smokey eye, colorful eyeshadows, big hair, and other artistic elements. Photographers often play around with clothing, lighting, angles, and poses during an editorial photoshoot involving other people. You won’t find any simple selfies or unassuming full-body shots here. Instead, expect an editorial look that’s striking, unique, and leaves a big impact on you—which is often a goal of editorial photography. 

Is editorial photography only for high fashion? 

No. It’s a common misconception that editorial photography is only used for fashion campaigns or photoshoots in glossy magazines like Vogue due to its association with the word “editorial.” Editorial photography isn’t just about capturing people behind the camera lens. Almost every type of subject or item can be captured in an editorial way—and this includes food, clothes, and snippets of scenery.

When it comes to food, editorial photography is less about making the food look as moreish and appetizing as possible for advertising purposes and more about the other elements that make up the dish. What ingredients go into it? Who is the person cooking up the meal? How is it eaten? What makes it unique? 

When it comes to clothes, editorial photography is less about a simple shot of each angle of the item (like the pictures you find when online shopping), and more about the proportions and flair that make the clothes special. What theme is it trying to evoke? What does the designer want the wearer to feel? 

When it comes to travel and landscapes, editorial photography is less about capturing a specific tree, sunset, or street to show where you’ve been. Instead, it can tell a story about that place, capturing the nuance in the political, social, or cultural landscape at that moment in time. What makes that specific scene so impactful? Does it entice, sadden, or evoke feelings of tranquility? 

Do I need a professional photographer to get an editorial photo? 

No. While it’s certainly easier to get the expertise of a professional editorial photographer when you want those premium-quality shots, this isn’t necessary at all. If you have some experience with art direction, creative direction, or even having a rough idea about the story you want to tell, it’s possible to carry out the whole process by yourself—from the initial ideation to final editing.

However, it’s important to use a professional-grade camera, especially if you’re looking to post the photo on several platforms—like online publications, social media, and blogs. This will ensure the photo doesn’t become grainy or pixelated when uploading, and makes the end result look professional and polished. If you don’t own a professional-grade camera, you can enlist the help of someone close to you or borrow their equipment if you know how to use it. Of course, if you want to pursue editorial photography for the long-term, it’s worth investing in a good camera. 

In addition, professional photographers often have a studio, special lighting, and props to ensure a seamless photoshoot. If you don’t have any of the above, you can still get a good final result, but it may require extra time and costs. An easy way to get editorial-level photos with minimal fuss is with the help of tools like Adobe Photoshop. And if you want to get excellent headshots for editorial purposes, tools like Portrait Pal make the whole process seamless.

LinkedIn Headshots: The Ultimate Guide 

If you’re looking for career growth or to establish a professional profile on the internet, LinkedIn is a must-have social media platform. And like all social media platforms, LinkedIn has the option of uploading a profile picture—a headshot, with the primary focus on the person’s face. 

LinkedIn headshots are important, but it can be hard to capture one that you feel good enough about to post on the platform. Luckily, you have several ways to streamline the whole photo-taking process, from planning the poses to using tools that refine and tweak the final headshot. 

What are LinkedIn Headshots? 

LinkedIn headshots are a type of business photo taken for professional reasons. While these headshots can be uploaded onto LinkedIn, they can also be used on company websites, as the profile picture for your company email, on business cards, and even attached to your CV. 

Unlike selfies and photos taken in more casual settings like holidays or birthday parties, headshots offer a different level of professionalism. You’ll be wearing more work-appropriate clothes and the end-result will be high-quality, polished, and show a confident demeanor. On LinkedIn, headshots should also be 400 x 400 pixels and with an aspect ratio of 1:1. Trying to squeeze in pictures that weren’t designed to be used as a LinkedIn headshot can make the end-result pixelated, blurry, and low-quality.  

This isn’t the time to upload group pictures or awkwardly cropped out images of your face from full-body shots. Instead, you’ll want a headshot that has you as the main focus, is up-to-date, and is ideally showing the top part of your chest with the main focus on your face. 

Why are LinkedIn Headshots Important? 

Research indicates that LinkedIn profiles with professional-quality headshots get 21 x more views and 9 x more connection requests than profiles with no headshot. And if you’re currently job-hunting or want to broaden your LinkedIn connection network, uploading one should be a no-brainer. So why are LinkedIn headshots so important? 

  1. Instantly differentiate yourself from the other LinkedIn profiles that have no headshot, or have a low-quality one. This immediately makes you more attractive to recruiters or your future colleagues.
  2. Showcase your personal brand. Your image is just as important to your personal brand as your CV, cover letter, or portfolio. 
  3. Improve your credibility. With so many scammers running rampant on LinkedIn nowadays, having a professional LinkedIn headshot indicates to others that you’re trustworthy, friendly, and approachable. 
  4. Use your LinkedIn headshots for other purposes. Whether you want to post it on other social media platforms, create business cards, or update your employee directory at your current company, LinkedIn headshots can be utilized in many ways. 

How to Take a Good LinkedIn Headshot

1. Practice your poses 

Generally, LinkedIn headshots aren’t the time to try out new or more “creative” poses. Instead, keep it simple and straightforward. While most headshots are taken from the front-on, there’s certainly no reason why you can’t tilt your body slightly to one side so your face is taken at an angle. In fact, this can make the picture look more natural and relaxed. 

Decide what you want the headshot to look like beforehand. For some people, standing straight up with your face directly pointing to the camera is ideal for their industry, while for others, they feel more comfortable leaning on a stool, or table, or arm chair.

If you decide to get your LinkedIn headshot taken by a professional photographer, they may decide to direct you or give you ideas on poses. Feel free to listen to their advice, or chip in with additional ideas that feel more “you.” 

Ultimately, you want the headshot to show you in the best light—think friendly, relaxed, comfortable, and approachable. Incorporating some fluid poses or slight movement during the photoshoot keeps the energy high and removes tension from your shoulders, neck, and face. 

For LinkedIn, it’s completely appropriate to have a smile with your teeth showing or with your mouth closed. If you have the time, ask the photographer to take headshots with both options, so you can choose the one you like the most. 

2. Consider your outfit and backdrop 

As mentioned earlier, your outfit matters when you’re taking a professional headshot. Luckily, you’ll only be captured from your chest up, so you can really be comfortable and casual on the bottom half of your outfit. However, for some people, getting all dressed up can make them “get in the zone” quicker. As for the backdrop, this will also depend on whether you’re getting it taken at a professional studio or another location. 

Wear an outfit that you feel 100% comfortable and confident in. If you don’t do this, the feelings of tension or being uncomfortable can translate in the final headshot. Neutral colors, like cream, white, black, navy, or gray are always a safe bet. If you’re in a more creative profession, you can also play around with colors and textures, depending on the industry you’re in. 

If you’re looking for a more neutral background, like a plain color block, then consider getting your LinkedIn headshot taken at a professional photo studio or using AI tools. Otherwise, other suitable backdrops include around nature, in front of a nice building, or inside a relatively neutral lounge area. Most of the time, this backdrop should be blurred to not detract from your face. 

3. Balance professionalism with your unique style 

LinkedIn is the most professional social media platform out there, but it’s still a social media platform regardless. This means you don’t have to follow the cookie-cutter approach. Instead, feel free to make slight tweaks to your headshot depending on your preferences, unique style, and what you’re looking to get out of LinkedIn. 

Play around with lighting and the shadows on your face. This doesn’t mean shrouding your whole face in darkness, but rather accentuating key parts to tell a cool story. For example, if you’re a 3D artist or a graphic designer, you can add a subtle colored filter, which provides a semi-futuristic glow and showcases your creative side. 

Don’t be afraid to inject some of your interests into your headshot. For example, if you’re a lover of nature, hiking, and everything outdoors, why not get your headshot taken with the background of some mountains or at the beach? 

If you love bright or statement colors, don’t dull your headshot down to fit into the crowd. Own your unique preferences and you’re sure to attract the right connections and companies that align with your interests. You can wear a vibrant pink lipstick and keep the rest of your makeup relatively neutral, or add a simple pop of color to your outfit with a bright silk scarf or tie. 

4. When in doubt, leave it to the experts 

If the idea of planning the photo session, getting your pictures taken, and editing them all yourself sounds too intimidating, then don’t be afraid to ask for help from the experts—especially if you’re not a pro at photography or know anyone who owns a professional-grade camera. While they may be a bit more expensive than just taking the headshot by yourself, professional photographers and AI generators can yield the best results and are a worthwhile investment. 

You can search for photographers in your area who specialize in headshots, preferable for professional purposes. Editorial, landscape, and event photographers aren’t ideal as you want to get someone who has extensive experience helping people in the same shoes as you. 

Professional photographers can either take the headshot at their studio or on location. This will affect the total pricing and in some locations, require extensive planning beforehand. Generally a photoshoot can last about 1–2 hours, including taking some test shots and changing up the poses throughout. 

AI generator platforms make it even easier by generating professional-quality LinkedIn headshots for you, all without the need to leave the comfort of your own home. However, you’ll need a fair few existing photos of you to submit on the platform, and depending on the quality of these pictures, this can affect the final headshots. 

LinkedIn Headshots: Photographers vs AI 

There are pros and cons when choosing professional photographers or AI platforms to get a LinkedIn headshot. We’ve detailed some below so you can make an educated choice depending on your needs and preferences. 

LinkedIn headshots from photographers 

Pros

  • Top-end lighting, backgrounds, and photo quality is almost 100% guaranteed with a professional photographer. 
  • Get instant feedback and advice. For example, an experienced photographer specializing in headshots will have ideas on how you can pose, position your hands, or even how to smile the right way. 
  • Most photographers offer bundle deals, which also include post-image processing, edits, and minor adjustments. 
  • You have some control over how you want the final headshot to look. 

Cons 

  • You have to physically get dressed up, apply makeup, and make your way to their photography studio (or to a specific location).
  • Some photographers don’t offer money-back guarantees if you’re not happy with the final headshot due to the time and effort it takes for the photoshoot. 
  • You have to wait anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to get the final headshot, and this is also dependent on the photographer’s availability and schedule.

LinkedIn headshots from AI platforms 

Pros 

  • Save hundreds of dollars and get a final headshot that looks just as professional as one taken by an in-person photographer. 
  • Generate a LinkedIn-ready headshot in the comfort of your home; no dressing up in uncomfortable work clothes, leaving the house for just 1–2 hours, or posing in front of a stranger is required. 
  • Save time and get a collection of headshots to choose from. Best of all, you don’t need to wait. An AI headshot generator can develop your headshots in just a few hours. 
  • AI highlights your best features and makes you look polished, professional, and friendly without the need for extra makeup, filters, or editing. 
  • If you’re not happy with the final result for any reason, most AI generators offer a money-back guarantee. 

Cons 

  • You’ll need to already have several images of yourself to upload—which isn’t ideal for anyone who doesn’t like taking pictures or doesn’t have any on hand. 
  • If you don’t upload good-quality images to the AI generator or follow the instructions, the final headshot can be warped or look “off.” 
  • Some AI platforms come with privacy concerns, which is why it’s so important to choose reputable generators, like Portrait Pal, to ensure your full privacy. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are professional LinkedIn headshots a worthwhile investment? 

Yes. Whether you’re just starting out in your career or you’ve got extensive experience under your belt (and on your LinkedIn profile), one of the first things people see when they view your profile is your headshot. These can include your colleagues, future employers, recruiters, and other connections you have on LinkedIn. 

And if you’re actively searching for a new job, looking to broaden your network, or just beef up your LinkedIn presence, then first impressions are important. A high-quality professional LinkedIn headshot can signal to others that you’re credible, trustworthy, and confident. And since LinkedIn is a professional networking social media platform, there’s no better place to put your best foot forward and invest in a headshot that looks clean and modern. 

How much should a LinkedIn headshot cost? 

Depending on where you’re located in the world, how many headshots you want, if you’re shooting in a studio or at a specific location, and other factors, the cost of a LinkedIn headshot can vary. Generally speaking, there are three ways you can get a LinkedIn headshot taken: by asking a friend or a family member to take one of you, paying a professional photographer, or using AI tools to generate headshots. 

If you ask a friend or family member to take a headshot for you, it’ll most likely be free. However, you may want to compensate them for their time and you’ll need to consider if they have a professional-grade camera for the best results. Using a phone camera can work, but if the end-result is blurry or low-quality, this won’t be ideal. Also, in most cases you’ll have to do the post-editing and processing yourself. 

If you pay a professional photographer, prices can go as high as $1,000 in the US, depending on the photographer’s experience, location, and session time. Also, if you want a really great photographer, they may be booked up several weeks or months in advance. In some cases, post-picture processing will also be needed, which can take up to a week to complete. 

If you use AI tools to generate your professional LinkedIn headshots, it’ll cost a one-time fee, usually up to $100. However, you’ll get to choose from a wide range of generated headshots, usually in a span of a few hours. Some professional AI headshot generators, like Portrait Pal, also offer a money-back guarantee for extra protection. 

What should a professional LinkedIn headshot look like? 

There’s no official rule about what people should wear or how they should look in their professional LinkedIn headshot; however, it’s always advised to keep it as work-friendly and appropriate for a professional setting as possible. This means an outfit that you’d be happy to wear to an in-person work meeting or networking function. Think a suit jacket and a button-down shirt for a guy or a smart blazer, blouse, or high-neck dress for a woman. 

Of course, this will also be dependent on the industry you’re in (or want to break into). For example, if you’re working in a more corporate industry, like banking, tech, or software development, then having a smart and sophisticated headshot is always a safe bet. If you’re in a more creative field, you can play around with backdrops, colors, accessories, and more. Have a look around at some of your colleagues’ headshots. What do they look like? You don’t have to emulate them completely, but it’s nice to know that you’ll be on the same page—although there’s certainly no harm in putting your own personal spin on things if you want!

As for makeup and grooming, simple is always better. While you may be partial to a full-glam look, save that for your more casual selfies or photos taken at social gatherings. In general, a clean and minimal look is recommended. And if you don’t have any professional clothes to wear (or you’re simply dreading the thought of getting all dressed up for a few pictures), AI tools can generate professional-level headshots for LinkedIn—or personal use—just by uploading a few pictures you already have of yourself.

How to Be More Photogenic: 8 Practical Tips

If you’ve ever been caught unaware at a social gathering and had your picture taken, you’ll know just how unflattering some of these photos can be. It’s hard to be photogenic in a candid setting. But what if you take the time to smile and get the angles just right—simply for it to look just as bad? 

Despite popular belief, being photogenic isn’t a trait that someone is born with. Practice makes perfect and you can pose, adjust, and tweak the final photo in several ways to have an end result you’ll be happy to post on social media. 

How to Become More Photogenic

1. Practice posing in the mirror 

If you’ve never taken the time to see how your face and body looks at different angles in a full-length mirror, now is the time to do so. When it comes to becoming more photogenic, the mirror is your best friend. You should have a deep understanding of what poses you feel comfortable doing and what feels most natural to you. After all, if you find it uncomfortable to strike a few poses in a private setting, it’ll feel even more uncomfortable doing so in front of a camera. 

Stand perfectly upright with your arms by your side and legs straight, facing the mirror. While this pose might be comfortable, it can look stiff or unnatural in a photo. 

Move your body from left to right and observe how this changes the appearance of your body. Do you prefer it if your side is fully facing the mirror, or does it look better when your body is only slightly turned? Which side looks best? 

Adjust different parts of your body to incorporate some flow to an otherwise static pose. You can hold an object in your hand, place one hand on your hip, run your fingers through your hair, tilt your shoulders back, or place one leg in front of the other. Observe how these micro-changes in posing affects how your body looks. 

2. Find your best angles and features 

We’ve all got facial features and parts of our body that we love the most. Showing them off can help you be more photogenic and give you a nice confidence boost. While you can’t technically “hide” any features you don’t love as much (especially in a full-frontal headshot), highlighting your favorite features will help to detract from them and shine a light on the areas you want the viewer’s eyes to get drawn to. You can do so with the help of styling and angles. 

Identify your favorite features of your face and body. If you need another opinion, you can ask the people closest to you. Perhaps you have several features that you love the most, like your eyes, lips, hair, and legs. The more features you like, the more you can play around with different angles and poses. 

If you like to wear makeup, now is the time to highlight these features that you so love. You can add a bold lipstick to draw attention to your lips, eyeshadow that compliments the shade of your eyes, or even add a colorful scarf or headband around your hair and neck. 

If you don’t wear makeup, you can still incorporate some styling tweaks. Comb or style your hair with mousse, hair oil, or a serum to bring out the shine and wear clothes that highlight your favorite body parts. 

Adjust the angles of where the photo is taken to highlight these features even more. For example, if you love your eyes but feel self-conscious of your jaw area, taking a selfie from a higher angle can make your eyes look even bigger and reduce the risk of a double chin. If your hair is your best asset, try angling your body to the side or slightly looking down so the camera can capture more of it. 

3. Soften your face and mouth area 

Whether you realize it or not, your face can tighten up and become tense around the mouth area while taking pictures, especially if you’re feeling nervous or inexperienced in front of the camera. By making a conscious effort to relax your eyes, mouth, and cheeks, you’ll most likely get a more natural end result. 

Remind yourself (or get the person behind the camera to remind you) to periodically release tension around your jaw and forehead. This will help soften your mouth and eye area while taking away that infamous “deer in headlights” look in the photo. 

If taking photos isn’t the most relaxing thing for you, try not to focus on how uncomfortable or stressed you are. Instead, inhabit a persona of a super confident person that you know, or imagine the camera is the face of a loved one. In this case, “fake it ’til you make it” is 100% the attitude to have.

4. Incorporate movement 

Have you ever met someone that looks great in real life but it doesn’t look as good in photographs? This is actually more common than you think, and it’s because humans are dynamic creatures that can’t be properly captured on a 2D printed image. In real life, how we walk, talk, and gesture can make us more attractive. But unfortunately, animated behavior is hard to capture in a simple photo. To combat this, try incorporating movement to be more photogenic. 

Have someone take a new photo every few seconds and treat it like a mini-photoshoot, by changing up your expressions. Grin widely, then smile with your mouth closed. Look down, then look at the person behind the camera, then behind them. Move your face at different angles. It might feel strange at first, but you’re bound to discover new expressions that you didn’t realize you liked the look of in a picture. Even if the end result is a bit more goofy than you’d like, it’s a good exercise to help you work outside your comfort zone. 

Next, you can try moving your face and body simultaneously as you get your picture taken. Rather than just standing in one spot or smiling awkwardly as the camera shutters go off, take the time to play around with the positioning of your arms and legs. 

5. Consider the lighting and background 

It doesn’t matter how well you pose, if the lighting and background isn’t ideal, you’re likely to get unflattering shadows and harsh beams of light hitting at awkward angles on your face. This can make your skin look sallow or sickly, wash out your features, and result in a low-quality final picture. 

While professional photographers love to take portrait shots with a clean and neutral backdrop, there’s no official rule about only posing in front of plain walls. In fact, having some interesting focal points behind you can add visual interest to the photo. Popular backgrounds include a nice piece of artwork, nature (like the ocean, flowers, or trees), or simply a cool street, building, or place. Plus, if you happen to capture the occasional passer-by or some other messiness, you can edit these out in the photo editing stage. 

Having the proper lighting is an underrated part of being photogenic. There’s a reason why social media influencers invest in studio-ready ring-lights or why photographers love to schedule “golden-hour” photoshoots. Avoid standing directly in front of or under light, including the midday sun. It can be extremely harsh on your features and even cause you to squint. Instead, play around with the angles of various lighting sources and intensities to see how that changes how your face and body look. 

6. Wear your best clothes and makeup

If you know you’ll be getting your photo taken, it’s ideal to dress up in your favorite outfit and tried-and-tested makeup. This isn’t the time to experiment with an avant garde outfit or try a makeup look you have just learned from the internet. Instead, to be as photogenic as possible, you’ll want to wear clothes and makeup that make you feel confident and 100% yourself. 

Choose clothing that highlights focal points on your body. You can even play with the proportions, texture, material, and color of your clothes to add more visual interest. 

In general, makeup photographs extremely well. By adding some blush and a lip product, you can make your complexion look rosy and give a healthy flush. Likewise, contour and highlight can sculpt your cheekbones and jawline. 

7. Think of something that makes you happy 

It might sound simple, but happy people often look better in photographs because they have an open expression, a smile on their face, and eyes that sparkle. To be more photogenic, try to think about a happy moment you’ve experienced or even laugh while you’re getting your picture taken. 

If you can choose who’ll take your picture, choose someone you’re comfortable and close with, who will give you words of encouragement and support you in your mini-photoshoot. This will definitely make you happier than being photographed by a stranger or someone you feel judged by. 

Remember a funny moment that happened in the past or think about your “happy place.” This could be around loved ones, on a fun holiday, or when you achieved something you were proud of. 

8. Utilize AI 

As a modern alternative to hiring an expensive professional photographer for your headshots, AI can make you more photogenic by helping you compose photos and edit out mistakes. In other words, AI can be a lifesaver when you want good photos in a short amount of time. 

Hiring a professional photographer (with a proper lighting set up and location) can be relatively expensive and time-consuming. If you find it overwhelming to pose for several hours to get that one perfect picture, AI tools can make the process more convenient and comfortable for you. For example, our AI headshot generator at Portrait Pal can create exceptional professional headshots from existing photos of you. 

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Be More Photogenic 

Should I smile with teeth showing or without? 

Everyone’s face is different. For some, a closed-mouth smile can look sophisticated while for others, having a bit of teeth showing through makes the face look more friendly and open. Practice smiling with both your teeth showing and your mouth closed in the mirror. Is there one you like better? You can also ask your friends or family members for their honest opinion. 

The type of smile you choose to have can also depend on the circumstance. For example, a picture for a more professional setting, like a LinkedIn headshot or a photo taken at a networking event may suit a gently closed smile over a tooth-showing grin. 

And if you want to showcase your raw emotions at a more casual event, like a wedding or friend’s birthday party, smiling with your teeth showing can indicate feelings of joy and exhilaration. Plus, when you smile with your teeth, your eyes often crinkle and the side and your face is able to light up in a way that wouldn’t be the case if your lips were closed.

Avoid the forced open-mouth smile though. The number one rule of being photogenic is having that natural appearance, as if you were in motion when the picture was taken. 

What should I wear if I want to become more photogenic?

There’s no rule about the clothes you should and shouldn’t wear, but it’s definitely recommended to wear an outfit you feel comfortable and attractive in when you know you’ll be getting photographed. This will depend on your body type, hair color, and any other accessories you want to pair it with.

Comfortable is the key word here. There’s no point wearing the most high-end, off the shelf outfit if it’s ill-fitting, or not your true style. It will translate into your poses, your expressions, and ultimately, the final pictures. Pick an outfit you’ve worn before (and you know you look good in) so you can walk into the photoshoot feeling confident and 100% yourself. 

Did you know that the colors you wear can impact how you look? If you’ve never done a color analysis before, it’s worth considering. The simple explanation is that certain “families” of colors suit certain skin tones and facial features better than others. For some, darker and jewel-toned shades can make the hair and skin glow while for others, spring-inspired pastel tones can make their features pop. 

Can I become more photogenic over time?

The short answer? Yes. Becoming photogenic is a skill that can be cultivated over time. If you’ve ever looked back at old pictures of yourself, you may notice that your poses and expressions have become better over time. This is because we’re constantly learning and adjusting how we smile and take photos, even if you aren’t aware of it at all. 

Here are some tips to become more photogenic over time: 

  • Find a friend or two that can practice taking photos of you (a professional camera or a good phone camera both work). You can alternate the environment or backgrounds where you take the photos to diversify your experience. 
  • Attend more gatherings or social functions where you know your picture will be taken. If you see the photographer, don’t hide from them. Rather, take the opportunity to practice getting your photo taken in a more candid and spontaneous setting. 
  • Play around with different hairstyles, makeup, and outfits to see which ones you feel most comfortable in and suit the type of photos you want to take.
  • Selfies, professionally taken photographs, and pictures that your friends take will all be different. Ideally, you should have some experience with all three to see the right angles and how your face and body looks in different settings. 
  • Use tools to get a good picture. You can utilize minor photoshop tools from the convenience of your phone, like facetune, to smoothen out pores or add a filter. Otherwise, AI tools can streamline the entire picture-taking process to ensure an end-result you’ll be sure to love. 

What tools or apps should I use to become more photogenic? 

With so many apps and tools at your fingertips, why not use some of them to make the whole process a breeze? Editing apps like VSCO, FaceTune, or Lightroom can be easily accessed from your mobile to add filters or minor tweaks that can transform all kinds of photographs in your library. 

And if you already have a lot of selfies or casual shots, but you want headshots for more professional settings, try AI tools, like Portrait Pal. These tools save you lots of money and time, and you’ll receive a number of headshots to choose from. Pick and choose the ones you like the most from the comfort of your own home!