Tips for getting the perfect professional real estate headshot

From billboards and bus benches, to social media and business cards, real estate has always been about selling yourself as much as selling properties.

Whether it’s on your lawn signs or your REALTOR.ca profile photo, your headshot will likely be the first encounter a potential client has with your business. It should be recent (stop using that glam shot from 1995) and professional (just like you!).

To help you make a good first impression, we’ve prepared a handy list that’ll make your next headshot shine.

  1. Hire a professional

Let’s get this out of the way first: avoid selfies at all costs. As a REALTOR®, your image is your brand and should be handled by a professional. Hiring a professional means you can spend less time worrying about things like aperture and ISO, and more time focusing on looking your best.

2. Come prepared

Don’t leave anything to chance on the day of. Unsure about your outfit? Bring two—make sure they are clean and ironed. Keep in mind things may look different through a camera lens, so bring some extra makeup along just in case. And don’t forget blotting paper to help keep shiny skin under control.

3. Look your best

This tip should go without saying; however, many often forget what would seem to be the most essential part of preparing for a photoshoot.

Present yourself in the same way you would when meeting a client for the first time: clean and professional. A well-groomed and put together appearance isn’t just for the audience, but it’ll also give you a feeling of confidence that’ll make your smile brighter.   

4. Choose a familiar look

Look your best, but don’t venture into unfamiliar territory. Pick a look that feels comfortable to you. Your professional headshot isn’t the time to try a new style. Save your fashion adventures for vacation and stick to the looks you know and love. Your headshot should be an accurate portrayal of your everyday professional appearance.

5. Pose naturally

For many, posing is the most difficult part of having their portrait taken. If you’re feeling self-conscious during your photoshoot, your headshot will likely reflect that. Try your best to feel natural and avoid appearing too rigid. Lean into the camera slightly, relax your shoulders and give a natural smile. It might help to practice in the mirror first. Your photographer should be able to guide you.

6. Background

If you’re going for a standard catch all look, choose a neutral or out-of-focused background to help keep the attention on you. That considered, you don’t have to shy away from conveying your brand. Sell commercial properties? Perhaps consider using a business plaza as a background. Use your best judgement, but don’t forget the focus of your headshot should always be you.

7. Variety

Ask your photographer to take several variations of your headshot: closer, further away and from different angles. That way you will have plenty of options and can use slightly different versions for different scenarios, while keeping your brand consistent. You can also let your photographer know where you plan on using the photos to make sure you can crop it properly. For example, many social media platforms use circle crops for profile pictures. You’ll want to make sure you have a wide enough angle to do so.

8. Ask a friend

To ensure you are putting your best face forward, ask a friend you trust to look over your headshots with you.

Do you have any headshot tips? Let us know in the Comments below.

Following his time studying history at Carleton University and as an infantry soldier with the Canadian Armed Forces, James Crocker-Fitzpatrick brought his diverse communication skills to the Canadian Real Estate Association. As a former summer student focusing on content creation for REALTORS Care® and CREA Café, James worked hard to write stories that reflected the generosity of the REALTOR® community and helped create interesting articles for the CREA Café. James finds pleasure in a quiet night of reading or painting alongside his three cats. He also likes scary movies, science fiction, and a well-crafted sentence.


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