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Eleven Popular Professional Headshots Questions

Have you ever looked at a ho-hum headshot and thought “There’s got to be a better way?” As a seasoned professional headshot photographer I completely understand that first impressions matter. Your professional portrait is often the first interaction you might have with potential new employers, prospective new clients or future employees.

With over 20 years of experience, I’m passionate about crafting scroll stopping professional headshots that not only capture your likeness but also showcase your confidence, personality and professionalism – headshots that get results.

Professional Headshot Photographer Chris Cottrell looking directly at the camera lens for a headshot. Wearing his signature black fedora style hat, black tee shirt and denim jacket. Set against a grey, textured backdrop with added blue light behind.

Over the years I’ve fielded countless questions from corporate and individual clients just like you. So, buckle up and get ready for some headshot intel straight from behind the photographer’s lens! I’ve compiled the eleven most frequently asked questions that I hear and delivered the honest answers that you might need to navigate your headshot journey with confidence. So, let’s dive in and ensure you find the perfect headshot photographer and land the best headshots ever!

How much do Professional Headshots cost?

Headshot prices vary by location, photographer’s credentials, and what’s included (pre-photo session, during, and post-session). Don’t be fooled by a budget options – remember, this is your professional image! Here at Cottrell Photographers (Jacksonville, FL), I’ve seen countless clients ditch their cheap, unusable headshots and come to me. Trust me, bad, unusable business portraits are a huge waste of money, even at a low price.

My qualifications and expertise will get you top-notch, world-class photos that deliver. They’ll represent you or your brand flawlessly, and that’s a career or business investment worth making. Plus, I offer a 100% money-back guarantee (though let’s be honest, you’ll love them!).

Business executive smiling while looking at camera for professional headshots. With light brown, hi lighted and curly hair and dark brown eyes. Wearing whit top and black blazer set against a black backdrop and shot under studio lighting.

Can I see the photos right away?

Absolutely! I shoot tethered to a computer, so you’ll have the advantage of seeing your headshots on a large screen almost instantly after each click of the shutter. Apart from allowing me to be even more creatively and technically accurate, you’ll be able to review your un-retouched photos instantly which really allows for solid real-time collaboration. Seeing your photos and how your hair, makeup, and outfit look right on the computer screen will allow us to make adjustments if needed and then go on to select the photos you love and would like to have me retouch.

Construction industry executive with a grey beard, grey hair and bright blue eyes smiling while looking at camera for professional headshots. Wearing an open-collar white dress shirt and dark blue jacket. Shot under studio lighting and set against a dark grey backdrop.

I’m terribly camera-shy, can you help me relax and feel confident in front of the camera?

Another great question and one of the most important ones in my opinion. I have a fundamental belief that everyone, me included is somewhat camera-shy. Knowing and understanding how it feels to be photographed should be a prerequisite to being a portrait photographer and being able to make people feel totally at ease in the studio or on-location is an absolute must. 

I understand how camera shyness can be a real concern probably better than most.  With almost a hundred 5 Star Reviews, many of my most camera-shy clients have mentioned how I was able to make them quickly relax and feel confident and turn their nervous start into a fun, creative and productive photo session. 

“With years of professional portrait photography experience and my welcoming personality I seem to have a natural ability to help even the most camera-shy individuals feel at ease”

– Chris Cottrell, Professional Headshot Photographer

Small business owner smiling with a slight, empathetic tilt to her head. With short, dark blonde hair and brown eyes. Wearing black top and brown jacket set against a grey textured backdrop.

What kind of poses should I do?

This is such a great question! When someone is looking for a headshot or portrait photographer, I feel it’s important for them to feel super confident in the photographers ability to position them in the most flattering poses.  

While over the years I’ve honed my skills posing countless individuals and teams, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer!  The best poses for your headshot will depend on your objectives, your overall look and of course the image you want to project.  That said, please do not worry or lose sleep about posing as I’ll guide you through a variety of subtle shoulder, chin and face positions that will make you look intelligent, confident, approachable and your absolute best! 

Insurance industry female executive smiling and looking directly at the lens for a professional headshot. With long, light brown and blonde hair and red lipstick. Wearing white top and dark blue blazer set against a dark-grey backdrop under studio lighting.

What should I wear to my headshot session?

When it comes to attire or wardrobe for your headshot, aim for professionalism and clothes that make you feel confident. Some say “stick to solid colors neutral tones”  I think you should wear what looks and makes you feel good! 

Don’t worry about patterns but make sure that the style, colors etc. work for you. For ladies a classic long-sleeved dress, or long-sleeve blouse with a nice blazer are all great options. For men a well fitting suit, dress shirt and tie (business formal) will always be timeless. If your industry allows, a well-maintained business casual outfit can work too. It’s also important to note that ultimately you need to dress for the role you want or the role you currently are in and leave the flashy outfits for another occasion. Lots more information in my complimentary “What to Wear” guide.

CEO smiling and looking at camera for professional headshot. Wearing a light grey suit, white dress shirt and dark brown and orange tie. Set against smooth, black backdrop, with an orange light behind which picks up the subjects eye color and tie.

What is your experience with headshot photography?

I’m a seasoned professional portrait photographer with over 20 years of experience. I graduated from Brunel Technical College in the United Kingdom, after studying graphic design. My ability to put people completely at ease in front of the camera has been noted by many nervous clients and is one of the factors that help ensure you receive the beautiful images you seek.

My work has been recognized in various magazines, such as WNC magazine, Jacksonville Magazine, and has been published in many business magazines. I’ve won awards for my photography from various entities. As a Certified Professional Photographers of America (PPA) photographer, I 100% guarantee my work and keep it to high standards for my clients.

My expertise lies in Professional Headshots, Business/Team HeadshotsCorporate Lifestyle/Environmental, and Lifestyle/Branding photography

CFO smiling and looking at camera for corporate lifestyle and branding photos. With long brown and blonde hair and dark brown eyes. Wearing a cream color top and a little gold necklace. Shot in the reception with shelves holding products behind her.

Can I schedule a hair and makeup appointment with you?

Booking hair and makeup appointments  aren’t mandatory for your headshot photo session, but I highly recommended them!  Because headshots are often the first impression potential employers, clients, or customers, so looking your absolute best is key. 

Although I don’t offer in-studio hair and makeup as we are located within minutes of some of the regions top salons, I can offer you recommendations of the best beauty salons in the Jacksonville and the Beaches metro area.  Professional Makeup Artists can help minimize blemishes, balance skin tone and apply makeup specifically for the bright studio lights. I often advise my clients to not try new hairstyles immediately before their photo session, but go with a tried and true style that makes them feel and look good. Having a blow dry and makeup just before your scheduled photos session can significantly boost your confidence and that will always translate well in the final photos. Lots more information in my complimentary “Professional Headshot” guide.

Commercial Real Estate Consultant looking at camera and smiling. Wearing a white top and black blazer for this business formal professional headshot.

Do you offer wardrobe consultation or advice?

Absolutely! I have a great eye for color and even though I can’t see your wardrobe, I can provide general advice based on my experience photographing professional portraits prior to your headshot appointment. We can discuss in more detail colors, styles, and what kind of image you want to project during our pre-photo session call. I advise to bring more outfits than you think you need and I can work with you to create the right look. Feel free to message me any outfit ideas you have and I’ll help you choose the most flattering and professional option. My complimentary “What to Wear for Your Professional Headshots” guide offers lots of ideas and information. 

Real estate Agent looking at camera for an on-location photo shoot in Downtown St. Augustine Florida. Wearing a dark blue spotted top and standing next to an ancient wall with George Street blurred out in the background. She has mid-length dark-brown hair and dark red lipstick.

Where will the photoshoot take place (studio or on-location)?

Your professional business portraits and headshots can be either photographed  in my studio or on-location, depending on your objectives and preference. My studio provides a comfortable, controlled environment with consistent lighting and many backdrop options, ensuring a professional, polished look. 

I often do on-location professional headshots for my clients. Being on-location can offer a little bit more insight into who you are and where you live/work etc. Outdoors can present some challenges like the weather or crowds, that said, we can usually work around that and with what’s going on at the time.

On the subject of on-location photography,  sometimes my clients opt for a photo session in their work environment or somewhere that reflects their industry. Think about an architect, she or he might benefit from a backdrop featuring their latest project, while a local entrepreneur might like to highlight the downtown area in the background of their photos. Let’s talk about your vision and how we can make your professional headshots quickly connect with your audience. 

Tech industry executive looking at camera for professional headshot. Wearing a light blue dress shirt, a light blue, purple and red tie with a dark grey jacket. Set against a dark grey backdrop.

What’s your turnaround time for retouched photos?

I do all retouching in-house and I can get your professionally retouched headshots back to you quickly! My normal turnaround time for edited photos is a brisk 72 hours (let me know ahead of time if you need a quicker turn around). Which means that within three business days, you’ll receive your professionally retouched, ready to post images. My professional retouching service can include  teeth whitening, blemish correction, fly away hair removal, lint removal, redness or blotchy-ness correction, face or body shaping and more. The results are natural, polished and confident looking portraits.

Leadership consultant looking at camera and smiling. With short, grey hair and grey goatee and a small earring in his left ear. Wearing light mauve dress shirt and blue jacket with a light blue patterned pocket square.

Can I see your headshot portfolio?

Absolutely!  As an experienced professional headshot photographer with over twenty years of professional photography behind me, I’m happy to show anyone my portfolio and work! Best to head over to my website Cottrell Photographers: and look at the galleries of Professional Headshots. You’ll find a variety of captivating headshots from a wide variety of my clients from all walks of life. Additionally, check my social media feeds, particularly LinkedIn that showcase my ability to capture personality and professionalism in every frame.  These examples will give you a strong sense of the style and quality you can expect for your own headshot photo session.

Free Guide:
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Successful headshot & branding photography

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