Guide to Casual Headshots

In today's evolving professional landscape, the traditional suit-and-tie headshot is not the only option. Casual and business casual headshots offer a more relaxed yet equally impactful alternative, perfect for freelancers, creatives, and modern professionals.

what are casual headshots
What Are Casual and Business Casual Headshots?

Casual headshots are relaxed, informal portraits that capture the subject in everyday attire, often in more laid-back poses or settings. Business casual headshots are a notch above, featuring the subject in semi-formal wear like a blazer or a collared shirt, but without the full formality of a suit and tie. Both styles aim to present a professional yet approachable image more aligned with the modern workplace.

why choose casual headshots
Why Opt for Casual or Business Casual Headshots?

These types of headshots are ideal for those who want to project a more approachable, relatable image. They are particularly popular among freelancers, startup entrepreneurs, and professionals in creative fields. The relaxed vibe can make you more accessible to potential clients or employers, breaking down the corporate barrier.

what to wear for casual headshots
What to Wear for (Business) Casual Headshots

For casual headshots, think jeans, t-shirts, or simple dresses. The key is to look put-together but not overly styled. For business casual headshots, consider wearing a blazer over a t-shirt or a collared shirt with slacks or a skirt. The attire should reflect your industry's norms while adding a touch of your personal style.

Read more: What to Wear for Professional Headshots

poses for casual headshots
Striking the Right Casual Headshot Pose

Casual doesn't mean careless. Even in a casual or business casual headshot, your pose should convey confidence and professionalism. Feel free to experiment with natural poses, perhaps with your hands in your pockets or arms crossed. The aim is to look relaxed but not sloppy so maintain good posture, and of course, don’t forget to smile.

Read more: The Best Professional Headshot Poses

casual headshot backgrounds
Choosing the Right Background

For casual headshots, almost any background goes—from a brick wall to a café setting. Business casual headshots may require a more neutral backdrop, like a plain wall or an office setting, to maintain a semi-formal tone. The background should complement your outfit and not distract from your face. You can also use modern platforms to automatically replace the background, maintaining that casual look for a variety of use cases.

the importance of lighting for your headshot
The Importance of Lighting

Good lighting is crucial, regardless of how casual the headshot is. Natural light works wonders for casual shots, but make sure it's not too harsh or uneven. For business casual headshots, you might opt for a more controlled lighting setup to ensure consistency and clarity. Ring lights work great, or just a nicely diffused window.

how to prepare for a casual headshot
Preparing for Your Casual Headshot Session

Even casual headshots require preparation. Make sure your clothes are clean and wrinkle-free, and that you're well-groomed. Striking a good balance of casual demeanor with professionalism is a bit of an art form, so think about your look, location, and personality you want to convey.

how to take your own casual headshot
Capturing Your Own Casual Headshot

With a good camera or a high-quality smartphone, you can attempt to capture your own casual or business casual headshot. Make sure to pay attention to the lighting and background, and take multiple shots to have options to choose from. Ideally, we recommend having a friend or colleague capture your headshot to get the best possible angle, and to use your forward facing camera which is generally higher quality.

Read more: How to Take a Professional Headshot at Home

Capture the Perfect Casual Headshots

In a world that increasingly values authenticity and individuality, a casual or business casual headshot can be a powerful tool in your professional toolkit. Get started with Snapbar Studio today!