How to Build a Portfolio of Headshots

In order to build a client list for photography headshots, you will need to develop and display a portfolio that looks fantastic. A portfolio is filled with different types of headshots that display different body language as well as backgrounds, shot both indoors and outside. It should display a wide array of types of people and subject matters and highlight your artistic and creative attitude towards headshot photography. As a beginning or a developing photographer, here are some steps you can take to begin to develop and build your portfolio of headshots.

Materials You Need

  • Pen and paper
  • Spreadsheet or contact management software
  • Internet connection
  • Portfolio
  • Scissors
  • Acid-free adhesive
  • Your personal website
  • Website editing software
  • Digital copies of all your headshot photos

Step 1 - Shoot for Free

Advertise a free shooting in an online classified directory or among small retailers and friends and family that you already know. Offer to provide a full headshot shoot for free. Make it clear that you are doing this to build your portfolio. Make sure the subject understands that you will use their photographs in a business portfolio. Have the subject sign a release, understanding the intended subsequent use of the photographs.

Step 2 - Shoot Different Backgrounds & Styles

During your first shoots, choose as many different backgrounds and background types as you can. Encourage your subjects to develop different looks and facial expressions for the shoot. Develop a theatrical photo taking session and also develop commercial shots. This will help to appeal to the market that serves actresses and actors.

As for your subject matter, have the person dress in different clothing styles, change their hair and apply different techniques to their makeup. Doing all of these types of things will help to show your versatility with headshot photography.

Step 3 - Develop Your Photos

Develop your photos. Apply the headshots in many different ways. Remember, head shots can be used as information on business cards and as portions in media advertisements. When taking your first set of photographs, take as many different varieties of shots as possible so you have a wide variety of photos to choose from to display in your portfolio.

Step 4 - Assemble Your Portfolio

Begin to assemble your portfolio. Trim edges of your headshot photographs where needed. Arrange the headshot photos on each page of your portfolio book. Adhere the photographs with an acid free tape. Sign your photography portfolio and get ready to show it around and display it to potential clients!

Step 5 - Add to Your Website

Add your portfolio to your website, both as a fully compiled portfolio and with individual pictures throughout the different pages. Add tags and messages to each photo so that you can easily find them on your website. Catalog your portfolio on your website. As you are being interviewed, you can have your potential customers visit your website and get a feeling for your work, and your creativity.

Popular Cameras for High Quality Photos: