Good Headshots vs Bad Headshots

Learn The Difference Between Good Headshots vs Bad Headshots

Headshot photography is not like typical photography such as product photography. In product, photography photographers need to highlight the product rather than the model. In professional headshots, photographers need to showcase the true self of the model. There are two terms that we talk a lot about. One is good headshots and another one is bad headshots.

Today I am going to talk about these two terms and try to show you what exactly a good headshot is and a bad headshot is? Without further delay let’s jump into the good headshots vs bad headshots competition.

What Makes A Bad Headshot?

Answering what makes a better headshot is relatively easy when you know what makes a bad headshot first. Photography is an art and giving standards to an art won’t help you. Still, there are a few guidelines by which art can be made better. The basic guidelines for photography are on the photography lighting setup, excessive shadow, blurriness, bad framing, and headshot photography makeup, body shows are also some noticeable guidelines.

Bad Headshot Example Image

Image Source tngphoto

Photography lighting is always a major element for all types of photography. In headshot photography, too much lighting is very bad. It is because shadows decide the characteristics of the face, and if too much light occurs, the image looks distorted, so you can not clearly see the detail in the headshot without proper headshot lighting.

example of bad lighting headshot

Image Source spectrum brand

Just like lighting too much shadow is also bad for a headshot. We know shadow increases the authenticity of an image but if you put excessive shadow it can harm your image also. The viewer of your picture may assume you’re trying to conceal something from the actors in front if there are too many shadows. So you use shadows just as much you need. 

Images that are blurry are not considered technically proficient. If the image has blurriness, the headshot is useless and will establish as a bad one. Note, if you want a truly professional headshot, the technical information must be excellent.

Poor framing will take all the positive from a headshot. If you give the customer too much or not enough in the frame and cut off the head, it will be a bad example of a headshot. Learn the right techniques of framing and try implementing them in your photography.

example of Poor Framing Headshot Image

Image Source digital photography school

Don’t be too adventurous with your headshot session. You can slightly tilt the camera, not buy too much. The customer shouldn’t be taken at an incredibly high or low angle since those angles appear to make the customer look smaller or bigger than normal. Your client should look exactly as they actually look in their headshot.

Now let’s start with what makes a good headshot part…

What Makes A Good Headshot?

A good headshot reveals the real you in a frame. So any artificial elements like makeup, excessive lighting, etc… won’t compliment your photo and make it a good headshot at all. Before you know what makes a good headshot, know what does not and avoid them first.

Example Image of Good Headshot

Image Source Mandy

The real task of a headshot is to shoot and express the features of your individuality. Headshots are captured for many reasons but the sum of those reasons is selling you in the end. If you are an actor, you capture your headshot for making an impression on your producers, if you are looking for a job you capture your headshot for giving a good professional vibe to your resume.

The end of any of them is selling yourself and you are one of a kind so your headshots should show that. Via your headshot you will be distinctive, so you want to look amazing of course, right? So how about a makeover? The makeover will make you look gorgeous, isn’t it? And your headshot will look much more attractive.

Before you get this wrong I want to make it clear that headshot photography is not like glamorous model photography where you go with putting on a lot of makeup and do some classy, stylish pose and shoot. Good headshots need to look exactly how you look on an average day.

Example of Good Headshot images

Image Source limelights

So from the above discussion on good and bad headshots, I hope you got the idea of good headshots vs bad headshots. This is not any competition between good and bad headshots. The article is all about telling you what criteria a good headshot should have and what should you avoid.

How do I pick the right headshot?

Picking the right headshot for the right project will increase the chances of getting the project. So before choosing the headshot, you need to be more careful not just with the headshot photographer but also your headshot as well. Remember these four tips given below to be able to pick the best headshot,

  • Choose a better headshot that represents the project you are applying for.
  • Your personality and qualities should get reflected by the headshot.
  • Pick one that talks for your
  • Be more in the moment and look spontaneous in the headshot during your headshot session.

How can I find the best headshot photographers?

To get better headshots the first step is to find a better commercial headshot photographer. Tick these four boxes before going for your headshot session with any photographer.

  • Before choosing any commercial photographer for your headshot look at his style and see if it matches yours.
  • Learn as much as possible about the photographer you want to go for.
  • Match with your budget.
  • Find someone who has the best headshot lighting.

What can I expect from a headshot photoshoot?

From headshot photoshoot you can expect professionally captured and edited headshot photos of yours. You go on a headshot session to shoot yourself for various purposes. So expect to impress your superiors with your photos from a headshot photoshoot.

What Do You Wear for Dramatic Headshots?

In most headshot photoshoots clean and simple apparels are preferred. It can be all white, black or any solid color that matches you. For dramatic headshot sessions you can wear that suits the subject of your project.

How much does a headshot session cost?

The costing of a headshot session depends on a couple of factors like region, photographer, and theme. Depending on the region you live, commercial headshots, acting headshots, dramatical headshots may cost different. On an average a headshot session costs $100 – $150 per hour. On the other hand, an acting headshot can cost more than $400 – $500 per hour.

No Comments

Eli Richardson
February 2, 2022 9:08 pm

It’s great that you talked about headshots and how they require good lighting! Recently, my sister said she wants to apply for a major job opportunity! My sister wants her application to be perfect, so I’ll be sure to share your photography tips with her! Thanks for the advice on how a headshot’s lighting could make or break your photograph!

Leave a Reply

Quick Response


Hotline Support:
Mobile:       +1 (718) 717-2362