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Real Estate Agent Headshots in San Francisco

Get More Listings. Close More Deals.

In today’s digital world, many people are using the internet to search for real estate properties. As your prospective clients look for real estate agents online, you can make a positive first impression with a good headshot. While it’s only a photo, a headshot plays an important role in your ability to stand out from your competitors and attract new customers. Follow this comprehensive guide to create a winning real estate headshot.

What Are Realtor Headshots?

Realtor headshots are closely cropped portrait photos used for various professional and entrepreneurial purposes in the real-estate industry. Placements typically include LinkedIn profiles, websites, business cards, brochures, advertising, and other professional media placements.

Real estate headshots are different from other types of headshots, as they should ideally be focused on showcasing professionalism, friendliness and competence of the agent or broker. Acting/modeling headshots, in contrast, are more focused on showing the subject’s personality and emotional range.

Typically, real estate headshots are also cropped a bit wider than entertainment headshots.

Traditional professional headshot style (left) vs creative entertainment headshot style (right). The traditional headshot is cropped from further away and includes lighting in the background. The creative entertainment headshot is cropped closer and removes the backlight. If you work in real-estate, you don’t NEED to get a traditional headshot style – depending on your market/brand, you might want request Creative Edge lighting. We offer clients the choice for all studio sessions. Photos captured by HeadShots Inc Head Photographer Dan St Louis in San Francisco.

Are Real Estate Headshots Important?

As a real estate agent or broker, you’ll meet and interact with countless clients on property listing sites and professional social media sites. For these websites, you need to include a headshot in your profile rather than a selfie. When visitors see your photo, they’ll quickly form opinions about you. If you look overly casual or untidy in your headshot, you’ll give your potential clients the impression that you’re amateurish or disorganized. A professional-looking headshot, on the other hand, suggests that you’re trustworthy and have great attention to detail, which can go a long way in helping you gain your customers’ trust.

Additionally, a good recent headshot shows your prospective clients that you’re constantly staying up to date. Some real estate agents take headshots when they begin working and use the same photos for the rest of their careers. If your headshot is outdated, your clients may not be able to recognize you when you meet them, which can make them think twice about doing business with you. Constantly updating your headshot not only eliminates doubts about your identity, but it also helps keep your image and personal branding fresh and appealing.

On LinkedIn, company websites, and business cards – it’s extremely easy to notice who has a professional business headshot versus who has a selfie or outdated photo. Photo taken by a HeadShots Inc photographer in San Francisco.

What Backdrops Are Best for Realtor Headshots?

It depends on your personality, market, and placement!

For commercial real-estate sales or larger residential markets, we strongly recommend neutral backdrops based in white, gray or black. With those colors, we can get some really crisp shots that convey reliability and consistency.

If you’re representing smaller listing, or you’d like your photos to have a bit more “pop,” feel free to pick a colored studio backdrop or try an outdoor/in-home session. These photos often have a bit more personality. At our studio, we offer five shades of neutral colors, along with five colored backgrounds (yellow, light blue, dark blue, orange and red.)

If you’re an experienced realtor, consider getting several photos of yourself that you can use across platforms. Ideally, you would have a couple outdoor/upscale home photos to supplement your studio headshots.

If you have the same exact headshot on LinkedIn, the company website, and press releases, it can look a bit amateurish.

Headshots background options
Standard HeadShots Inc studio backdrops available for all studio sessions. Depending on your goals and industry, you may want to get an outdoor or in-office session though.

What’s The Best Way to Pose for Realtor Headshots?

No need to go crazy on your poses for real estate headshots. In our sessions, we tend to focus on minimalist poses. We’ve seen other photographers capture business headshots with some truly bizarre poses. However, we avoid this practice like the plague.

We are, after all, showcasing your professionalism — not our photography.

At the beginning of your session, you should warm up with simple and straightforward poses. Simply stand there and smile. Later, we will work toward some arms-crossed headshots and perhaps a couple candids.

What To Wear for Realtor Headshots?

We typically recommend formal clothing for realtor headshots. Either a suit or button-down with a blazer will work well.

Select clothing that fits well (check that your collar fits snug against your neck), with no spots that look too loose or tight. To look your best, visit a tailor or seamstress and get your suit fitted. Then, remember to iron it before your photoshoot. Your hair and jewelry should look as classic and understated as your clothing. Avoid large bracelets, necklaces, or earrings that could draw attention away from your face, and don’t change your hair too much. It should look similar to the way you wear it every day.

Getting a haircut or having your hair styled by a professional before your photoshoot is a great idea, but you should choose a stylist that you trust. A bad haircut could force you to reschedule your headshots. For men who tend to get five o’clock shadow, a fresh shave may be necessary right before afternoon appointments. Agents and brokers with beards should make sure they look neatly trimmed.

What Are Common Mistakes for Real Estate Headshots?

Here are the top four mistakes we see:

  1. Don’t skimp out with an uber-cheap photographer and/or friend. They likely won’t have the same equipment, experience, or willingness to retouch your photo afterward. (We have yet to meet someone who has perfect pearly white teeth, hair that never moves/frizzes, and no bags under their eyes.)
  2. On the other hand, don’t book a photographer who will overly photoshop your image. Make sure to review their website photos. Some headshots look like wax was poured over the client’s face.
  3. Don’t fall for the idea that your headshot should be super casual. You can wear a t-shirt once you’re a billionaire, not before.
  4. Remember to update your photo every two years. Hopefully, people will actually recognize you when you meet them for the first time.
female realtor headshot example
Simple poses can help you look cool and collected in your headshots. Photo taken by HeadShots Inc Head Photographer Dan St Louis in San Francisco.

What Are Some Tips for Great Real Estate Agent Headshots?

Here are our three keys to success.

First, make sure to get the right photographer. Don’t pick a generalist who does 50 types of photography. The right headshot photographer will help you sort out all of the above questions during the shoot.

Second, try to get some rest, sunlight and exercise the week before your shoot. You’ll bring a lot more energy and freshness to your shoot. It’s not always possible, but it helps.

Third, try to relax! Even if you’re nervous, remember that you only really need one to three awesome headshots. At HeadShots Inc, we tend to laugh a lot, dance to funky upbeat electronic music, and generally have fun during our shoots. Try to pick a photographer who does the same!

How Much Do Realtor Headshots Cost?

Realtor headshots cost between $65 and $750 depending on geography, package and provider. The upper end is likely a complete rip-off unless you’re looking for an extremely specific style. The bottom end is going to produce some truly terrible photos.

When considering pricing, remember to look at a) licensing (who owns the photos) and b) retouching fees.

In terms of licensing, photographers typically only give you ownership for photos that you “buy” from them. This fee is separate from your “session fee,” which just covers the time spent inside their studio. If you want to use your photos on a billboard, or in print, or somewhere else, you may have to pay additional fees.

For retouching, many photographers charge between $50 and $100 per photo. Calculate those fees into your total session cost.

For reference, HeadShots Inc sessions cost between $150 and $400, you get 100% rights to all original photos, and  you get one airbrushed photo included (additional are just $25 each.)

Where Can I Get Realtor Headshots in San Francisco?

Come on down to HeadShots Inc in San Francisco! We offer sessions for both realtors and brokers at our studio, your office, outdoors, or inside one of your listings. We’d love to capture some awesome photos that help you build trust with both buyers and sellers online. Visit our Individual Sessions page for details on pricing and how it works. If you’re booking for a real estate team, go to our Team Sessions page for more info and to request a quote.

dan st louis headshot photographer

San Francisco’s #1 Rated Headshot Photographers

About the Author

Dan St Louis is the Owner and Head Photographer at HeadShots Inc. As a headshot and portrait specialist, his work has been featured on the larget photography blogs in the world including: 500px, PetaPixel, Fstoppers, DIYPhotography, ShotKit, and

To get professional real estate agent headshots that help you get more clients, check out our Individual Session page for booking options.

Studio Sessions start at just $150.