Trying to choose the best photos, especially artist headshots, can be difficult – particularly for the newbies. All too often, you may find yourself stuck for hours going over and over again, and trying to figure out which ones are worth keeping and which ones are not.

If you want to speed up this process and keep yourself from too much caffeine and headaches, there are a few tips that you could try:

View photos as thumbnails

The best way to start going over your headshots or portraits is to look at them as thumbnails. Admittedly that size won’t allow you to see much detail – but you would be able to spot those photos that are utterly unusable.

In short, this is a quick and easy way for you to differentiate between what’s worth keeping and what must be discarded.

Moreover, it should be noted that if you find yourself eliminating too many photos, you should consider being slightly more selective. Taking fewer photos that have better composition and quality can help a lot – this will let you have fewer and better photos to choose from later on.

Group similar photos together – and choose the best ones

Try to identify those photos that look similar in thumbnails and group them together. Next, compare them side by side, and pick the one that you want to keep – and get rid of the rest.

The exact reason why you choose this one photo over the rest can vary. It could be so because of its particular style, lighting, its quality, or just that the subject looks better – or literally anything.

In some cases, your heart may want to keep more than one photo despite the fact that both of them are similar. You have to suppress that urge if you don’t want to end up scratching your head and wasting another hour of sorting and picking.

Be ruthless in removing the blur ones

You’re looking perfect, the lighting is perfect, and the overall photo is giving a very aesthetic vibe, but its blur – and that’s enough reason why you must eliminate it immediately. While you may think the Photoshop Genie could answer your prayers, it may not. The results are rarely satisfying, and you’re more likely to add noise into the photo.

Instead of wasting your time on Photoshop and finding ways to fix the blur – be ruthless and remove that blurry photo, no matter how pretty it is.

Look for visual clutter

As you go over your photos, pay close attention to any visual clutter that may be present in some of them. That could be people accidentally photo-bombing it, stray elements that somehow became a part of the composition or your own baby hair strand.

The question you must ask yourself in such a situation is: whether the clutter is disrupting focus from the subject? If it doesn’t, keep the photo, but if it does, that photo needs to be removed.

Get some coffee and a fresh pair of eyes (maybe) for the last round

After you’ve successfully passed through the initial stages of selection – take a break. Walk away from the PC, get a cup of coffee, read a book, watch TV, or anything to take your mind off the photos.

Then go back later on, and with a friend this time (if possible). A fresh pair of eyes and your own fresh mind will help work through them more quickly. And the second opinion from a friend will help you make better choices.


Are you looking to get some affordable professional headshots done? You know who to get in touch.