Your headshot isn’t about capturing the moment. It’s meant to help you capture leads.

Real estate agent headshots are often responsible for creating a professional, trustworthy, and memorable first impression that has the power to build connections and attract potential clients.

Your headshot will “say” a lot about who you are and how you do business. You are literally the face of your brand. And if you use your headshot the right way, it’ll show up in some important places. For example, it could be on your website, business card, email signature, and direct mail marketing pieces.

So when it’s photoshoot day, remember – you’re not simply getting your picture taken. You’re actually getting a valuable marketing tool.

As you’ll see, it’s not hard to learn how to do it the right way. Here are five quick tips and five do’s and don’ts (with examples!) so you can avoid common mistakes and easily maximize the effectiveness of your headshot.

5 Quick Tips For Getting the Best Real Estate Agent Headshots

Follow these best practices to ensure you won’t mess things up and allow your bad headshot to squander any lead generation opportunities.

1. Get Ideas & Inspiration First

Your photoshoot will go much smoother and your end result will be much higher quality if you first establish a clear vision of what you want your headshot to look like. Getting real estate headshot ideas and inspiration will help you articulate to your photographer what you’re looking for regarding your poses, background, and overall presentation.

  • Browse on social media – Search on Pinterest for boards related to “professional headshots,” “real estate agent headshots,” or “headshot photography.” Check out what others have done by browsing profiles of real estate agents on Instagram and LinkedIn.
  • Look for headshot inspiration on Unsplash Unsplash is a website that offers a vast collection of high-quality, royalty-free images. Searching for “professional headshots” or related keywords can provide you with a huge variety of headshot styles and compositions to spark ideas.

2. Work With a Professional

It’s not as easy as it looks to produce a high-quality, effective headshot. Photography and photo editing are crafts that require the technical skills of a specialized expert. The stakes are too high to rely on a selfie or a friend’s smartphone snapshot. Only a pro has the expertise, equipment, and knowledge of lighting, composition, and posing techniques required to provide what you need.

3. Convey the Right Message

You only get one shot at forming a positive first impression. And it happens quickly. Studies have shown that we can form a first impression in as little as a tenth of a second. What do you want your headshot to “say” in that brief moment?

As you’re dreaming up real estate headshot ideas, consider the message you want to convey to your target market and ensure that your expression, posture, and overall demeanor are in alignment with your brand identity. For example, maybe you want to show you’re approachable, trustworthy, experienced, or confident. Talk with your photographer about how exactly you can convey those messages.

4. Reflect Your Target Market

As with any marketing campaign strategy, it’s always a good idea to start with your audience. Who are you targeting? (If you haven’t figured that out yet, this step-by-step guide to real estate farming will help.)

From there, consider the ways you want your headshot to show you’re relatable and you’re from the local area. For you, that might mean you have the photos taken in an area that your target audience would easily recognize, such as a local park or notable landmark.

Or maybe for you, it’s more about what you wear. If you sell real estate in casual Manhattan Beach, California, you might not want to wear a suit and tie. But in sophisticated Manhattan, New York, you might want to consider it.

The point is, pick your outfit according to the neighborhood’s culture and style and what “I’m the agent you’ve been looking for” looks like for your particular area. Presentation is everything.

5. Give Yourself Options To Work With

It’s a good idea to have two or three real estate headshot ideas on hand so you have options to choose from for each marketing channel. For example, you might want to have a standard, corporate studio shot to use for your social media profile and a business-casual, outdoor shot to use for your neighborhood’s “just sold” postcards. In that case, you may want to try different outfits, backgrounds, looks, poses, and lighting conditions during the photoshoot so you can have plenty of versatile options.

Do’s & Don’ts: 5 Real Estate Agent Photo Ideas To Learn From

Here's an example of a real estate agent headshot that expresses confidence and professionalism.

✅ Look (& Feel) Your Best

It’s important to dress and style your hair and makeup in a way that is both professional and resonates with your target audience. But at the same time, make sure you also feel confident. If you don’t, it’ll show. As a result, it’ll be harder to convey a message that says, “I’m fully competent, and you can trust me.”

You nailed it, Nick Lambert (EXIT Strategy Realty, Chicago, IL).


In the best real estate agent headshots, the agents who smile "smile" with their eyes.

✅ Smile With Your Eyes

Your facial expression is important. It can make you appear to be angry, intense, and serious (which will likely turn leads away). Or it can help you exude friendliness, confidence, and genuine happiness (which are definitely the traits your leads are looking for).

The secret is to pay attention to how you s

mile. As studies like this have shown, your smile has the power to build trust – a key ingredient to getting more leads and turning them into clients.

Don’t just “say cheese.” Instead, think about something that makes you happy and smile naturally. Show emotion in your eyes by relaxing your facial muscles and softening your gaze with a slight squint, and – voila! – you’ll shine with a great-looking smile like Mandy Fulford (RE/MAX Southern Shores, Myrtle Beach, SC).


For real estate agent headshots, it's a good idea to try a variety of postures and poses to see which communicate the right message.✅ Pay Attention To Your Posture and Pose

Slouching and letting your arms hang awkwardly to your sides has the potential to make you look unprofessional and too relaxed to be taken seriously. But you can easily demonstrate confidence and warmth by simply adjusting the way you’re posed.

“Power posing,” for example, (which has been proven to influence our mental state) involves standing or sitting straight and tall, spreading your arms or holding them at the hips, and keeping your legs hip-width apart. It’s one of the best real estate agent photo ideas because it helps you feel the way you need to look.

Great pose, Laura Smith (Keller Williams Bluegrass, Lexington, KY)!


The background in real estate agent headshots should be simple, not distracting.🚫 Don’t Let the Background Steal the Attention

If you’re going for the studio shot, choose a solid background color that compliments your skin tone and helps you stand out. For outdoor or “on-location” photos, it’s best to keep it simple. Otherwise, the background may sneak into the focal point a little too much, as is the case with this example:


🚫 Don’t Pose With Props

Real estate agent headshots can go from classy to cheesy almost immediately if there’s a prop involved. Leaning on a chair, resting your hands on a Roman column, or holding a phone to your ear likely won’t help you connect with your target market and generate more real estate leads.

And standing next to a “sold” sign will likely say more about the quality of the photo than your ability to close deals. So as you and your photographer are coming up with real estate agent photo ideas, keep in mind that it’s probably best not to get as “creative” as this agent…Real estate agent headshots don't need props.