Headshot Posing: 4 Helpful Tips for Every Profession

Tara Flannery is a  Certified Professional Photographer (CPP), Photographic Craftsman, and Master of Photography based in Houston, TX.  Tara Flannery Photography specializes in corporate headshots.  See more headshots in the gallery.  Contact me to book your professional headshot today!

When it comes to professional headshots, headshot posing can make a significant difference in how you’re perceived. As a professional headshot and branding photographer in Houston, I have experience working with a variety of professions, from realtors and lawyers to small business owners and industry professionals in oil & gas, construction, and healthcare. Here are four helpful tips on how to pose for your headshot based on your profession.

Headshot Posing Tips

  1. Angle Your Shoulders and Feet: Angle your shoulders and feet slightly to one direction. This creates a more dynamic and interesting composition than standing straight on. It’s a fundamental aspect of posing that adds depth and dimension to your image.
  2. Bend Toward the Camera: A slight bend from the waist toward the camera can add a friendly and approachable vibe to your headshot. This pose, a staple in posing, helps to engage your audience and makes you appear more approachable.
  3. Chin Out and Down: This technique helps define your jawline and avoids the dreaded double chin effect. It’s an essential headshot posing trick that enhances your facial features.
  4. Expression: Practice a range of smiles. From a broad grin to a subtle smirk, different smiles can convey different aspects of your personality. Your expression is a key element in headshot posing that can convey various emotions and professional attitudes.

Working with an experienced photographer can significantly enhance your headshot session. A professional photographer understands the nuances of headshot posing and can guide you to find the most flattering poses. They can help you relax, bring out your best expressions, and ensure that your headshots communicate the right message for your profession.

Headshot Posing

Headshot Posing Tips Based on Your Profession

Headshot Posing for Realtors

Realtors need to project trustworthiness and approachability. A slight angle of the shoulders, a warm smile, and a friendly lean toward the camera work wonders. This type of posing helps realtors connect with potential clients on a personal level.

Headshot Posing for Lawyers

For lawyers, authority and confidence are key. A strong pose with squared shoulders, a firm but approachable smile, and a direct gaze can communicate professionalism and trust. The crossed-arms pose can work well here, especially for those in higher positions. This pose can project a powerful and authoritative image.

Headshot Posing for Small Business Owners

Small business owners often need to show both friendliness and competence. A relaxed pose with a slight lean and a genuine smile can convey approachability. This form of posing ensures that you appear both professional and approachable.

Headshot Posing for Oil & Gas Industry Professionals

This industry demands a balance between ruggedness and professionalism. A confident pose, perhaps with hands on hips or arms crossed, can project strength and reliability. A background that hints at your industry can also enhance the photo. Effective posing in this field communicates resilience and expertise.

Headshot Posing for Construction Professionals

Similar to the oil & gas sector, construction professionals benefit from poses that project strength and competence. A slight angle or hands on the hips can convey readiness. This style of posing reflects the hard-working nature of the profession.

Headshot Posing for Healthcare Professionals

For those in healthcare, a caring and approachable demeanor is essential. A slight lean toward the camera, a soft but confident smile, and a relaxed posture can help communicate empathy and trustworthiness. Posing in this sector focuses on creating a warm and trustworthy image.

Profession Headshots

Should you cross your arms in headshots?

One pose that often sparks debate in headshot posing is the crossed-arms pose. Crossing your arms can sometimes be interperated as feeling defensive or closed off. However, it’s also a natural self-soothing gesture and can project confidence and capability.

Always consider the context and environment when using nonverbal cues. While therapists might avoid crossed arms due to the potential for misinterpretation, c-suite executive and other professionals can pull off this pose effectively.

I always encourage my clients, especially women, to try a crossed-arms pose during their session. It can help improve posture by bringing the shoulders back and making a larger jacket appear more fitted. We can view the headshots on-site and decide whether or not it fits the message they’re trying to convey. Ultimately the key to use the crossed-arms pose is an option. If it works well for your profession and you like the end result, go for it!

Poses for Headshots
Houston Headshot Photographer Tara Flannery Photography


Posing for a headshot isn’t just about looking good; it’s about conveying the right message for your profession. Whether you’re a realtor, lawyer, small business owner, or industry professional, the right pose can help you project confidence, approachability, and professionalism. Remember, the best headshots are those that feel authentic to you and your profession. So, practice these headshot posing tips, find your best angles, and let your personality shine through!

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Tara Flannery is a  Certified Professional Photographer (CPP), Photographic Craftsman, and Master of Photography based in Houston, TX.  Tara Flannery Photography specializes in corporate headshots.  See more headshots in the gallery.  Contact me to book your professional headshot today!




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Tara is a member of the Professional Photographers of America PPA.
Tara is a Certified Professional Photographer.
Tara is a member of TPPA Texas Professional Photographer's Association.
Tara has earned her Master of Photography degree.
Tara has earned her Photographic Craftsman certification.
Tara is a member of the Professional Photographers Guild of Houston PPGH.
Member of the Conroe Chamber of Commerce