4 Local Photographers Who’ll Make You Look Cool and Confident in Your Next Headshot

In our increasingly virtual world, you need a go-to headshot. Here, tips for nailing your portrait.

headshot photographer

Looking to hire a great headshot photographer? These pros can help. Photograph by Nell Hoving Dixon

That 2016 pic of you and your Labradoodle in Ventnor? Not gonna cut it anymore. Philadelphians are rushing to get professional portraits done so that in the many places where their faces appear — LinkedIn accounts, company bio pages, Tinder profiles — they look cool and confident. And thanks to social distancing practices, it’s safe to get a new pic. Here, four trustworthy photographers.

For Mega-Convenience: Happy Hour Headshot

Photog Jennifer Buhl makes picture-taking painless by posting up at spots in different neighborhoods throughout the week. On the day of, you’ll chat goals, head outside for a 25-minute shoot, and figure out how to best select photos (virtually or in person). The whole thing takes about an hour. The results? Polished shots with lots of spark. Packages start at $289;

For the Staff: Jeff Wojtaszek Photography

Corporate shots don’t have to be dull to telegraph “We do serious work here.” Wojtaszek works with large and small businesses to capture every team member’s best self, be it with black-and-whites, environmental shots, or (the increasingly popular) lifestyle-leaning images. His use of light, color and composition makes every subject pop — and he’s easily able to stay six feet away while he does his thing. Price upon request;

For Suburbanites: Ivory Tree Portraits

Ivory Tree’s studio shots are consistently soft and bright, but the (masked-up) photographers here love to pop outside for some background texture (a nearby brick wall; the Wayne train station). They guarantee the photographer will be the only other person in the studio; everything is sanitized between clients, and photos are reviewed virtually. Packages start at $125;

For Newbies: James Kern Photography

Book a “starter package” with Kern and you’ll get: a custom Pinterest board with style inspiration; a 30-minute socially distant alfresco or studio shoot; and three images. Doesn’t matter if you’re a budding actress, launching a business or joining Instagram — you’ll get pics that capture your je ne sais quoi. Packages start at $150;

A Word With … Jennifer Buhl

The owner of Happy Hour Headshot on how to nail that photo every time

headshot photographer

Jennifer Buhl. Photograph by J. Bergeland

People have photo angst because … once you’re over 18, you’re more aware of how you look. No one knows how to pose perfectly — we all need coaching.

My number one tip is … accentuate your jawline. I call it “turtling” — jut your jaw out softly and bring your head toward the camera. It feels weird, but it works. Practice!

Looking confident is … all about standing up straight and doing a natural little eye squint. We’re going for the opposite of deer-in-headlights.

Never wear … anything that draws attention away from your face. Simple patterns are fine, but I cringe when people wear five pieces of bling and scarves and lots of layers.

Dating-profile pics are … tricky. Most people don’t know what they want, but they want to look attractive and real. We do some looking away, a little wider, so it doesn’t look so business-like.

A photographer’s biggest job … is to make people feel safe. That way, we can share vulnerable moments. This is when people look really good. I’m all about positive encouragement.

Published as “Smile Like You Mean It” in the September 2020 issue of Philadelphia magazine.