15 Best Model Headshots Ideas For Beginners in 2024

by Cutting Edger / Last Update: July 03, 2024 15 Best Model Headshots Ideas For Beginners in 2024

Model headshots are crucial for any good portfolio and good headshots can get you work and appreciation regardless of your experience. Though model headshots look very simple and minimalistic, they require a lot of research and preparation from both the model and the photographer. Beginners find it most difficult to find the perfect style for their model headshots and in the same way photographers also face difficulties in dictating modelling headshots to their clients.

This article is assembled keeping in mind the difficulties beginners face while doing their model headshot poses and how they can overcome them with our 15 best model headshots ideas for beginners in 2024.


What is a Model Headshot?

Model headshot is when the main focus of the photo is on the model’s face, capturing every emotion and detailed facial features. Any headshot model photograph works as a deciding factor to know whether the model is photogenic or not as the focus and detailing remains extremely precise.


How Impactful Modeling Headshot Poses are in 2024?

Headshots for modeling have been popular for years in fashion and advertising agencies and in 2024 it is no different. Many agencies before hiring any models especially mention model headshot photographs in their portfolio. Same way, before casting most of the agencies prefer going through a model headshot photoshoot to determine whether they should hire the model or not. 

With the advancement of technology, photography devices are now more detailed than ever and nothing can hide from the camera lenses so any model must know beforehand about the hacks of having a perfect headshot photograph. With a perfect headshot, any model can create a statement look.


Things to Consider Before Attempting Professional Model Headshots

Like any other profession, modeling photoshoots requires preparation from both the model and the photographer to attain the perfect outcome. The photographer is actually the director and visualiser of the photoshoot and only he can foresee the outcome and guide the model accordingly. So, the photographer needs to know the basic grammar of headshot model pictures and needs to prepare enough modeling headshot examples for the model to convey what he wants from the model.

The lighting, background, camera device specification and every other technical detail should go through the photographer's supervision. On the other hand, the model also needs to know the style, classification and motto of the model's headshot so that he can give poses and expressions accordingly. It gets awkward if the model and photographer are not accustomed to each other beforehand so it is wise for them to meet or at least talk over the phone before the actual shoot to break the ice between them.

Also, the model knows what the strong features of his face are and he can guide the photographer to highlight those parts to make a statement as well. The model needs to dress accordingly and put on minimal makeup to keep his look as natural as possible.


Hair Check

In model headshots, hair is one of the prime body features that is exposed to the camera lens. The hair needs to compliment your look, and clothing style and at the same time should match the vibe of your photoshoot. Make sure your hair is neat and clean and do not give any unprofessional look. The haircut and hairstyle need to complement your look too.  Hair plays a crucial role in the quality of headshots for modeling and determines your seriousness towards the profession too.


Dress Accordingly

Headshots are mostly taken above from the model’s shoulder keeping very minimal focus on the clothes. But it is wise to still put effort into dressing correctly as dressing up is one of the key factors in setting the mood and vibe of your photo. Go for solid and neutral colours so that the viewers do not get distracted by them. Also, picking solid colours like black, white, grey or navy blue offers a sense of sophistication and professionalism to your headshots.

Also, solid colors are timeless and never go out of style so your pictures will never get out of style. Besides, add accessories like scarves, watches, hats, chains and other elements wisely so that you do not overdo them. All you need to keep in mind is that your dress and accessories are to complement your look and match the background and not overshadow your facial expression or features.


Go Natural, Choose Basic

Facial expressions and emotions can be easily conveyed when you wear minimal makeup for your headshots. We know it is difficult to hide our flaws from lenses and for professional photoshoots a minimum of basic makeup is required to enhance your features. It would help if you were careful while applying makeup to avoid overdoing it. Pick a base colour similar to your skin tone. Then use a corrector to cover the blemishes and imperfections of your face. 

As eyes play a crucial role in headshots, pick a base and eyeshadow of colour that will make your eyes pop. Do not hesitate to blend the eyeshadow perfectly for a smooth look. Draw the eyebrows attentively and pick neutral lipstick colours. Before going for an actual shoot take a casual photo and check if your makeup is looking perfect in lighting.


Head Forward and Chin Down

This is one of the greatest hacks for posing for a perfect professional headshot. When you bring your head forward and slightly lower your chin then your eyes are in direct contact with the camera as if you are looking into the viewer's eyes. This technique also works best to focus on your facial features and expressions. With this technique, you can try different angles and find the angle that suits you the most. The downward chin helps in creating a sharp jawline which makes a bold impact. But keep in mind to try this look in front of the mirror and practice poses before going for the real photoshoot.


Listen, Adapt and Improvise

Any good model is always open to suggestions. Beginners lack experience and skill so it is always helpful if someone guides them. In a photoshoot, your photographer is your greatest guide as he will be the one to click the images. So, listen to what observations and advice your photographer has for you and then work on them. If your photographer is suggesting new things then do not hesitate to at least try them. Cooperation and communication are two helpful tools that put the photographer and model work in harmony as a team.


Break the Ice

This trick applies to any sector of photoshoot as a beginner or even a professional you will be doing. Meet the photographer beforehand, share your thoughts with him and ask what he expects from this photoshoot. Same way if you have co-models working with you in the same frame then talk with them to ease up the discomfort. If you do not understand anything ask for help immediately. Also, share your likings and dislikes and if something is causing you discomfort.


Background Check

It is important to select the background colour of your headshots according to your theme. Headshots require aesthetics and you need to choose the background colour as the tone and theme of the shoot. Some colours are easy to edit and change in headshots and some specific colours help to make your face pop up. So, go for the background that will make your headshots visually appealing. In some cases, you need to try a few backgrounds before selecting one. A well-researched artistic background proves that as a model how dedicated you are to your profession. 

Precise Eyes 

Headshots focus on extremely limited facial features and eyes are among them. Through your eyes, you can convey the depth and intensity of your expression. Also, eyes are the mirror to your soul and through eyes, you can immediately establish a bond with the viewers. Try to look directly into the camera as if you are talking with it and at the same time hold onto expressions that complement the theme. Also, use the lighting setup to pop up or dim down your eyes. Same way, seek the help of makeup to enhance the features of your eyes and make them look flawless.

Try Angles

Like different poses, experiment with different angles too. Male model headshots can be a bit different than headshots of female models and to your wonder, this slight change is acquired through a change of angles. By trying different angles you can have different flattering poses for your headshots. Combine your angles with the available lighting and create shadows to add intensity to your face, Same way you can bring a natural glow to your face with the correct angle and pose. Experiment with your clothes and create different angles using them to enhance your features.

Use the Lights

The use of lights helps in creating an active impact on your headshots. Good lighting helps to pop up your headshots and allows you to experiment with your facial features and clothing. Control the shadows and darkness of your background to create drama and depth. Same way use reflectors to enhance the lighting and bring a natural glow to your face. Also, experiment with different light settings with different poses and angles to understand what works best for you.

Pick Your Style

Every model has a statement style where they look their best. As a beginner, you need to experiment with poses and styles to find out what works for you to stand out. Besides, you can look at the work of other models as headshot examples for modeling and use those headshot poses for modeling. Keep in mind that creating your statement style is crucial to gain the attention of the viewers and at the same time it helps hiring companies to understand what looks you are suitable for.

Expression and Emotion

Facial expressions and emotions are two crucial elements that add an extra layer of detailing to your modeling headshot poses. An emotionless and expressionless headshot evokes very minimal reaction in the viewer's senses and they often miss out on the connection with the photograph or model. So, depending on the theme and purpose of the photo, give expressions accordingly.

In most cases having a smile changes the photo quality and makes it more appealing to the viewers. Another thing to consider is that never try to give expressions that look fake or forced because in headshots the photograph needs to look as realistic as possible. Try to look positive, bold, confident and elegant in your headshots and better your expressions with practice.

Perfect Over Countless

Beginners mostly have a misconception that they need to have a lot of headshots for their portfolio. Truth is, similar poses and expressions make it boring to look at and it is always wise to pick quality over quantity. Do not click thousands of pictures in the same wardrobe, using the same background and lighting and having the same facial expressions. Rather, use a specific background and lighting to project a specific emotion through facial expression. Change and adjust your wardrobe and accessories accordingly for the best result. Also, do not forget to check your hair, makeup and clothing before clicking the final shot so the headshot comes out flawless.

Try Poses

Whenever we think of headshots we think experimenting with poses is not crucial as the focus remains on the face only. But poses hold importance in capturing perfect headshots. Trying a variety of poses helps the model to project the unique features most and can bring dramatic effects. For male model headshots, look through the internet for headshots for modeling examples.

For female model headshots go through famous model photoshoots done in the current time too. It is always wise to practice poses in front of mirrors so that you can personally assess your features rather than opting for professional photoshoots directly. Also, seek the feedback of others on your poses to find out which poses working the best for you.

Hire Professionals

If you are looking for high-quality headshots modeling photographs then you need to hire a professional photographer. A professional photographer uses their experience and skill to bring out the best of any model and can create magic in post-editing too. Beginners are new in business so the guidelines they receive from the professional are helpful to pose better. Also, professionals can experiment with their photography styles according to the features of the model to click amazing headshots.



Beginners are like clay and with time and practice they shape their skills and increase their capacity. Model headshots add additional professionalism to any beginner’s portfolio and show their capacity to conduct professional shoots flawlessly. In this article, the 15 best model headshots ideas for beginners in 2024 are elaborately discussed. By going through each of them, beginners can understand what are the aspects they need to be careful of and maintain accordingly to have their perfect headshots.


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