Mastering 6 Professional Headshot Poses (Updated 2024)

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Corporate Professional Headshots

Capturely, Inc.



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When it comes to a headshot photo, besides picking the right outfit, knowing how to strike the perfect pose is a common question that pops up often. 

At both our virtual headshot photography and in-person photography sessions, we always guide our clients through poses and expressions, but we thought, why not share some of our favorite professional headshot poses right here?

Explaining how to pose can be simpler than you think—sometimes it’s best to just show rather than tell. So, we’ve included some photos of straightforward poses that any business professional can try out.

Before we dive into the specifics, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Posing for a professional headshot shouldn’t be a struggle.
  • It should feel natural, not forced or awkward.
  • If a pose isn’t working for you, don’t sweat it—just switch it up and try another.
  • The most effective headshot poses are the ones that feel comfortable for you, allowing you to maintain a relaxed and genuine expression.

Remember, not every pose suits everyone. It’s worth experimenting with a few different ones to see what feels best for you and check out the results as you go.

While the idea of posing might make some people uneasy—worrying it might look stiff or awkward—the right poses with the right photographer can actually make you appear more relaxed and the photos less ‘staged’. Good posing can capture a moment that looks both professional and candid.

1. The Standard Pose:

The standard pose is a classic choice for professional headshots, conveying confidence and approachability. Stand tall with your shoulders back, spine straight, and chin slightly lifted. Maintain a relaxed yet engaged expression, looking directly into the camera lens. Capturely’s corporate headshot photographer excels at capturing this timeless pose, ensuring a polished and professional result every time.

2. Arms Crossed:

For a more authoritative and assertive look, consider the arms crossed pose. Cross your arms comfortably across your chest, keeping your shoulders relaxed and your posture upright. This pose gives a good first impression, making it ideal for professionals in leadership roles or those seeking to project a sense of strength and authority in their headshots. 

3. Hands at Hips:

The hands-at-hips pose is a subtle yet effective way to convey professionalism and readiness in a business portrait. Place your hands lightly on your hips, with your elbows slightly bent and your fingers relaxed. This pose adds a touch of dynamism to your headshot, suggesting readiness to take on challenges and opportunities in the business world. With Capturely’s professional business photos, you can strike the perfect balance between confidence and approachability in this pose.

4. Over the Shoulder:

For a more relaxed and casual vibe, try the over-the-shoulder pose. Turn your body slightly to the side while looking back over your shoulder towards the camera. This pose creates a sense of movement and spontaneity, making it perfect for professionals who want to convey a laid-back yet confident image. Capturely’s professional headshot photographer excels at capturing the natural ease and charm of this pose during headshot sessions, resulting in a result that feels both authentic and polished.

5. Lean In

The lean-in pose is all about creating a sense of intimacy and connection with the viewer. Lean slightly towards the camera, with your upper body angled forward and your shoulders relaxed. This pose creates a feeling of closeness and engagement, making it ideal for professionals who want to convey warmth and approachability in their headshots. Capturely’s professional headshot photographers excel at capturing the genuine warmth and sincerity of this pose, resulting in a headshot that feels authentic and inviting.

6. Cross-Candid:

The cross-candid pose combines the relaxed vibe of a candid shot with the professionalism of a posed headshot. Stand naturally with your arms at your sides and your weight evenly distributed. Turn your body slightly to the side while looking away from the camera, as if engaged in conversation with someone off-camera. This pose creates a sense of movement and spontaneity, making it perfect for professionals who want to convey authenticity and approachability in their headshots. Capturely’s professional headshot photographers have a knack for capturing the natural ease and charm of this pose, resulting in a professional business photo shoot that feels both candid and polished.


Mastering your pose for professional headshots might require a bit of practice, but it’s simpler than it sounds. The key is to be yourself, as authenticity requires no extra effort. It might feel counterintuitive, but the best approach is to let go of any pretense or forced behavior that might hold you back from presenting your true self in the headshot.

Don’t stress over any unflattering shots—feel free to ask your photographer to discard any that you don’t like. Most importantly, while you’re figuring out the best poses, remember to relax and have fun with it! This light-hearted approach can often lead to the best, most natural-looking headshots.