There are a few things to keep in mind when taking a photo yourself. Here are six tips for making sure your business card with a headshot will look their best.

Business Card Headshots: Do’s and Don’ts

Having your photo on your business cards is a request our graphic designers often get. It’s popular with realtors, medical professionals, people in banking, and others whose fields require facial recognition. But many times, there is some confusion as to what makes the best headshot to use.

The question is, should you have a headshot on your business cards? We’ll discuss the dos and don’ts, including the best practice for taking a business headshot. Not only can the headshots be used for your business cards, but they can also be used for additional marketing materials, social media profile pictures, and your website.

Whether looking to include a headshot for your real estate business cards or other industries such as finance, entertainment, photography, and more. We’ll discuss how to get started with your headshot.

Resource: Free Real Estate Business Card Templates

So, is it time to get a business card with a headshot? My first recommendation is always to hire a professional photographer. Business headshots are quick and usually relatively inexpensive. Ask other colleagues who’ve they’ve used or even google photographers in your area. If you find someone online, be sure to check out their portfolio or ask them to send you samples of their work before hiring them.

Having a professional headshot conveys professionalism and provides people an idea of your personality before they actually meet you.

People who smiled in their headshot were seen as far more likable and influential than those that didn’t.

Hire a professional photographer. Business cards with headshots are quick and usually fairly inexpensive and are great for including on your business cards.

Working with a professional is also a way to ensure that you receive a high-resolution file and (probably the best part) many photographers will offer to retouch. Professionals have trained in the best lighting, the best poses, and the best way to make you look good!

If going to a professional is not an option, there are a few things to keep in mind when taking a photo yourself.

With help from our in-house photographer, we have a few tips for making sure your photo presents you in. From lighting to attire, we’ve covered it all.

Headshot Photography Tips

Not sure how to take a business card headshot? Well, photographing a headshot can be challenging. People are generally are critical of themselves when it comes to being photographed. There are some easy ideas that you can prepare to make it easier. From the lighting to choosing the background, we’ve listed some tips on how to take a professional and great headshot.

Get Help

Selfies are for Facebook, not your business card. Ask a friend to help you take the photo. If a friend is unable to take the photo, look into hiring a professional photographer.

Know Your Audience

Before you get started with photography, take a moment, and think about your outfit. What would you wear to the first meeting with a client? Depending on your industry, formal attire can mean very different things. Pay close attention to others that work within your industry.

You don’t have to have an identical style, just get an understanding of your industry. Keep in mind there are four common types of business attire: business professional, business formal, small business, and business casual.

What to Wear?

Be sure to wear solid colors and nothing that has writing on them. Black, dark colors or jewel tones tend to photograph the best and look good with almost all skin tones. Rather than wearing black, go with charcoal, grey, or navy blue as they are considered to be more professional. For men, incorporate a colorful tie as this can help not only with a personal brand but brings out your personality.

Make sure that you pick an outfit that fits you properly and is comfortable. Ally Whitlock is a professional photographer and provides excellent tips on what to wear for a business headshot.

Selecting the Background

Stay with a neutral color scheme and nothing that is too busy or eye-catching, as it may distract from your face. The background must also make sense of what you do/sell. And we don’t recommend using props. Traditional backgrounds include black, white, natural, and brick. Just remember that the background shouldn’t distract from the individual.


The composition is described as the placement of elements and objects in your art. It’s an important aspect as it helps directs people’s eyes in the photo. The rule of thumb is to keep it clean and less is always more. Try to leave enough space around you so that you don’t blend into the background and that it doesn’t appear like objects are coming out of your head.

Tip: try not to be in the middle of the image. Learn about the Rule of Thirds and how to implement it into your photography.


Natural lighting is best. Morning or evening sun will give more soft, flattering lighting. Try to avoid harsh lights and shadows. If getting outside isn’t possible, then being near a large window may work as well.

Natural lighting is best. Morning or evening sun will give more soft, flattering lighting.

Image File Size

Do not downsize the image. Set the camera for the largest file size possible. Photos used on your website or email signature are too small to print on your custom business card. If your photo looks blurry on your computer, it will look blurry on your business card.

In a world full of social media thumbs up and thumbs down, remember that people are quick to judge you by your photo. So smile bright and present yourself in the most professional way possible.

Whether you are needing photography business cards or realtor cards, we can help! Did you know that we now offer realtor business card templates? You have the option to upload your realtor headshot and create a custom one-of-a-kind card.

If you are looking for a custom business card design, our graphic designers will be happy to help. To get started, please complete our online form.

Not sure how to take the best headshot to include on your business card? We've listed six tips on how to have a business card with a headshot.


Brooke is the Sr. Director of Design & Branding at Primoprint. With more than 20 years of experience, she oversees the design department, assists with client graphic design projects, and develops all internal branding for Primoprint.