It’s especially important to consider this question when it comes to your headshots — because that’s when the message really counts.
The face you show the business world affects your credibility because it separates the professionals from the amateurs. It’s also central to your marketing in this digital age.
So, to help you better align your headshot and your message, here are the five elements of a headshot that tell a story.
When a headshot is done right, the viewer’s eye should be immediately drawn to a person’s expression. It’s the first thing people look at, and it’s one of the best ways to infuse a headshot with emotion. Essentially, your expression sets the mood for the rest of the body — and the rest of your headshot’s story.
So what different emotions can you elicit from expression in a headshot?
♦ A big smile with a slight head tilt says, “I’m relatable and trustworthy.”
♦ Straight-on gaze with a slight cute smirk says, “I’m excellent at my job.”
♦ Sideways glance with a laughing smile says, “I’m fun and approachable.”
♦ A serious face with a slight tilt to the side says, “I hear you, I see you, and I understand.”
♦ A relaxed smile with a straight-on gaze says, “I’m here to serve.”
Body language is the second language we all speak fluently, even if we weren’t formally taught. We’re constantly reading each other’s body language, even when we aren’t aware we are doing it. In a headshot however, you have the power to be deliberate in your posing, so your body language communicates exactly what you need it to.
♦ One arm on the waist and one arm near the neckline says, “I’m relatable and trustworthy.”
♦ Standing straight-on with hands on hips says, “I’m excellent at my job.”
♦ One hand in the hair or a jacket over the shoulder says, “I’m fun and approachable.”
♦ Sitting/standing with arms crossed, “I hear, I see you, and I understand.”
♦ Sitting while leaning forward into the camera says, “I’m here to serve.”
Of course you want your clothes to be flattering; however, you always want to think about the message your outfit is sending. Different styles of dress, for example, can communicate different levels of formality, so when choosing the outfits for your headshots, here are a few important things to consider:
♦ Are my clothes distracting? (i.e. busy patterns, clashing colors, etc.)
♦ Do the colors of my clothes match my brand?
♦ Would I wear this outfit on a regular work day?
♦ Does this outfit make me feel confident?
Lastly, the most important factor when communicating your message in a headshot is connection. Have you ever looked at a friend’s headshot, for example, and instantly loved it, not just just because it looked good, but also because it looked like them? There was something about it that just felt authentic and real — true to their spirit, even. Well, that photo had great connection! It happens when you’re being genuinely open with the camera, and it shows through the eyes.
So how do you create connection? Well, it’s just like it sounds. You stay genuinely engaged with the camera and the photographer. You remember that there’s a real person on the other end of this photo, and you smile as if you’re smiling at them. Here are a few tips to increase the connection in your next headshot:
♦ Think about someone you love.
♦ Look away, take a deep breath and look back at the camera.
♦ Make a conscious decision to leave your fears and self-doubt at the door.
♦ Have fun with it!
I have all kinds of other tips and tricks to help you along the way. So, book your Headshot Session with me today! chelseaflowersphotography.com