Creative headshots - Professional photography - Professional headshot LA

What Are Creative Headshots?

Creative headshots are a specialized form of professional portrait photography often utilized by artists, innovators, designers, writers, and those seeking to showcase their uniqueness through their headshots. For creative individuals, a well-crafted professional headshot is a powerful tool for promoting their published works, advancing their careers, and boosting sales. Unlike conventional professional or business headshots, the primary objective of a creative headshot is not merely to project a “friendly” or “professional” demeanor but rather to evoke an air of intrigue and fascination. The crucial elements that define a creative headshot include the skillful utilization of shadows on the subject’s face to create a more daring and cutting-edge aesthetic. Nonetheless, a creative headshot can also be lighthearted and amiable. Additionally, employing imaginative background colors, such as matching the subject’s attire to a dark background or employing vibrant, friendly colors to make the subject stand out, further enhances the visual impact. A creative headshot goes beyond the confines of a traditional “stand there and smile” pose, instead embracing a distinctive expression or pose that challenges expectations.

Are Creative Headshots Important?

Have you ever encountered someone whom you instinctively either liked or disliked? It’s fascinating how we can form these “first impressions” in a fraction of a second, even without fully understanding why. These initial perceptions significantly sway over whom we hire, purchase from, and listen to. In today’s digital age, these first impressions often occur online. Thus, if you aim to persuade others with your ideas and expertise, it’s crucial not to appear dull or uninteresting.

What Do I Wear for Creative Headshots?

Your clothing choice depends on your personality, the theme of your work, and where your photo will be showcased. We generally recommend opting for “smart casual” attire for these sessions. However, if you want to make a statement, unique clothing can be a great way to do so in your photo.

In any case, solid-colored clothing generally photographs better than busy patterns or faded/pastel shades. If you still need clarification, feel free to reach out to us! We’re always delighted to provide guidance and assistance.

How Do I Pose for Creative Headshots?

Unlike other headshots, feel free to experiment with exciting poses for your shoot. We can provide some simple options, but if you’ve booked this kind of session, it’s recommended that you research and gather inspiration for unique poses beforehand. Pinterest, Instagram, and other blogs can be excellent sources of creative ideas. If you’re looking for a more artistic approach to your headshots, bring several examples on your phone to your session.

To start, warm up with simple and straightforward poses. Just stand tall and smile. As the session progresses, we’ll gradually introduce more complex head tilts and poses to capture your unique personality.

Creative headshots - Professional photography - Professional headshot LA
Creative headshots - Professional photography - Professional headshot LA

What Backgrounds are Best for Creative Headshots?

The selection of attire and the conceptual direction will shape the approach we adopt for your headshots. Generally, we recommend creating a professional and business-like feel by ensuring a noticeable contrast between your attire and the background. Nevertheless, in the realm of creative photography, there is flexibility to deviate from this guideline.

While we might recommend a background color that contrasts your outfit, monochrome clothing combinations can also create an interesting visual. You can find an example of this on our website. Please take a look at our headshot backgrounds page to see previews of all the available options.

If you prefer an outdoor or office setting for your session, we can suggest some great locations for your shoot.

At Zen Studios LA, we offer studio backdrop options for you.

How Should I Prepare for Creative Headshots?

Proper preparation is key when getting ready for your headshot session. Here are three essential steps to ensure the best results:

Firstly, prioritize rest, exercise, and exposure to sunlight in the weeks leading up to your session. Though our editing team will airbrush your chosen photos, your preparation will contribute to a natural and flawless look.

Secondly, a few days before your session, briefly wear the clothing you plan to wear for your headshots. This will allow you to make any necessary adjustments and ensure a proper fit without any last-minute surprises.

Lastly, take some time to review your previous photos and identify any shots that you particularly like. Sharing these preferences with your photographer upon arrival at the studio will help us capture your best angles and make you feel confident.

Follow these steps and get ready to shine in your headshots!

What If I’m Not Photogenic or Hate Getting My Photo Taken?

Here at Zen Studios LA, we’ve got you covered! Unlike many other portrait photographers, we understand the importance of creating a comfortable and enjoyable environment for our clients. Instead of forcing awkward poses, we take the time to truly understand what our clients are looking for in their sessions. We value feedback and make it a priority to involve clients in the process of creating a fantastic headshot that they’ll proudly display online. Upbeat music sets the tone in our studio, ensuring a stress-free experience. Let us capture the best version of you in a headshot you’ll truly love!

How Much Do Creative Headshots Cost?

Creative headshots can cost between $225 and above, depending on geography, package, and provider. When pricing, it is essential to consider two key factors: licensing and retouching fees.

When it comes to licensing, it is common for photographers to grant ownership of photos only when they are “bought” from them. This ownership fee is separate from the “session fee,” which covers the time spent in the photographer’s studio. Additional licensing fees may apply if you intend to use the photos for a press release, advertisement, magazine, or book cover. Regarding retouching, many photographers charge $225 and above per photo. It is advisable to factor in these fees when calculating the total cost of your session.

Welcome to Zen Studios! Our sessions start at an affordable price, and you also get to keep 100% usage rights for ALL images from your shoot. And that’s not all! You’ll also receive a custom-retouched image of your choice. Exciting. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, we’ve covered you with our Virtual Headshot services. Don’t wait; book now and let us capture your best self!

Creative headshots - Professional photography - Professional headshot LA
  • 1 Look (1 Outfit / 1 Backdrop)

  • Wardrobe Consultation

  • 1 Hi-res Retouched Image

  • Women – Makeup – Add $140

  • Men – Grooming – Add $125

  • Contact us for Spring Promo 2024!

  • 2 Looks (Outfits and/or Backdrop Change)

  • Wardrobe Consultation

  • 2 Hi-res Retouched Images

  • Women – Makeup – Add $140

  • Men – Grooming – Add $125


  • On-Location Shoot – 120 min Session

  • Wardrobe Consultation

  • 10 Hi-res Retouched Images

  • Women – Makeup – Add $200

  • Men – Grooming – Add $125