National Headshot Day

A group of diverse individuals smiling confidently for their headshots, dressed in professional attire, against a modern and vibrant city backdrop.
National headshot day illustration

If you've ever cringed at a passport photo or tried not to squint in a too-bright flash, then boy, do we have a day for you! Introducing National Headshot Day! Yes, you heard it right, a whole day dedicated to those sharply-tuned, perfectly angled profile photos that give LinkedIn its flavor and resumes their zing.

When is Headshot Day?

It's national headshot day on the 28th April.

A snapshot of National Headshot Day

Often lost in the mix of fun, food, and frivolity associated with other national holidays, National Headshot Day deserves its spot in the limelight. With a grand total of 701 mentions online, this day really came into focus on April 28, 2018, when internet chatter about headshots reached a fever pitch.

Through the lens of history

A more recent addition to the pantheon of themed days, National Headshot Day is a nod to the digital age where first impressions are often made through profile pictures, employment websites, and social media accounts. In essence, it's a day to appreciate the art of a perfect headshot.

Smile – it's your day!

People celebrate National Headshot Day in a variety of lively ways. Some book sessions with professional photographers, others play around with filters on their smartphones to spruce up their online avatars. It’s also a great day to recognize the skill and patience required by photographers who spend countless hours ensuring you look your best.

Putting a face to the day

And just as every face is unique, so is every headshot. So, this day is also a celebration of diversity, of individuality, and of the creative ways we express ourselves through our most public image - our headshot.

History behind the term 'Headshot'


Birth of photography

In the late 19th century, photography was becoming more widely accessible to the general public. The term 'headshot' did not exist at this time, but it marked the beginning of capturing people's portraits and faces through the lens of a camera.


Birth of the term 'headshot'

The term 'headshot' originated in the world of photography and initially referred to a close-up photograph of a person's face, particularly emphasizing their head and facial features. This term was first popularized in the 1980s with the rise of corporate headshots for business professionals and actors' headshots in the entertainment industry. Headshots became essential for individuals seeking to portray themselves in a professional manner.


Head-and-shoulders pose

During the 1930s, the entertainment industry started popularizing a specific pose known as the head-and-shoulders shot. This type of shot focused primarily on the person's face and upper body, allowing for a clearer representation of the subject. It became a common style for actors, models, and public figures.


Headshots in gaming

In 1993, the term 'headshot' found its way into the gaming community, particularly in first-person shooter games. Players began using it to describe the act of accurately aiming and shooting an opponent in the head to achieve an instant kill. This skillful and precise shot became highly sought-after, as it often resulted in an immediate elimination of the enemy player and added an element of strategy and skill to the gameplay.


Advent of digital photography

With the advent of digital photography in the 1970s, capturing and editing images became more accessible. This technological advancement led to a surge in professional photographers offering headshots as a service. The term 'headshot' started gaining popularity in this era, commonly referring to an individual's posed portrait.


Headshots in competitive gaming

Throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, the significance of headshots in gaming continued to grow, especially in the competitive gaming scene. Professional gamers and esports players started emphasizing the importance of headshots as a measure of skill and accuracy. Achieving consistent headshots became a mark of excellence and resulted in players gaining recognition and sponsorship deals.


Headshots in broader cultural context

The term 'headshot' transcended the realm of photography and gaming, and in the mid-2000s, it became a widely used phrase in various aspects of popular culture. It found its way into movie dialogues, television shows, memes, and even social media. 'Headshot' became a metaphorical expression to describe an impressive or precise execution of a task, extending far beyond its original photographic and gaming roots.


Headshots in the digital age

In the 1990s, the rise of the internet and digital media propelled the significance of headshots to new heights. Actors, musicians, and professionals began using headshots as a means of promoting themselves on websites, social media, and online portfolios. Headshots became an essential marketing tool for individuals in various industries.


Headshots in modern culture

Today, headshots continue to be a vital part of many industries, including entertainment, corporate, and professional networking. They serve as a visual representation of an individual, conveying their personality, professionalism, and brand. Whether for auditions, job applications, or online presence, headshots remain a powerful tool for leaving a lasting impression.


Ongoing usage and evolution

Today, 'headshot' has firmly established itself as a versatile term in both digital and offline contexts. It continues to evolve alongside photography, gaming, and cultural trends. The term is commonly associated with professional photographers, gamers, and the entertainment industry. Moreover, the word has even expanded to other domains such as corporate environments, where it represents efficient problem-solving or impactful decision-making. 'Headshot' remains a widely recognizable term that connects various spheres of our visual and competitive culture.

Did you know?

Did you know that the right headshot can increase the perceived trustworthiness of your online profile? So, get clicking and start updating that profile picture!


awareness fun social media portrait photography

First identified

30th March 2017

Most mentioned on

28th April 2018

Total mentions


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