We’ve all seen “those” headshot photos. A perfectly posed photo with the normal business attire and the neat hair with nothing obviously out of place. But….there’s clearly a coldness to the image. Maybe it’s the glazed-over eyes, or the forced smile, or the excessively airbrushed skin. For some reason, many people think headshots should look a certain way and end up getting “corporate” photos that are dull and boring. Other times, you’ll see headshots with great smiles, but their sparkle has been robbed by poor lighting and bad editing.
Trying to avoid the “zombie” corporate headshot? Follow these 5 key elements to help your professional portraits stand out and really engage with your viewers.
A good headshot connects you with your audience. It portrays your message and shows off your personality. For me, it’s all about the eyes. The eyes tell the story and connect me to who the person really is. Next is the expression. Personally, I prefer a natural, soft look. The person should look comfortable, not posing or being false. I like it to feel real and authentic. The most important “look” is being you.
Working with a skilled photographer (ahem - Kasey Grim of Fractured Frame Photography) will help you present your very best self AND will take the stress out of the whole process. By understanding the subtleties of body language and expression, a photographer can guide and coach you to create your favorite portraits. You'll even have some fun doing it!
If you’re ready to step up your headshot game, shoot me a message. I’d love to create outstanding photos for you. Okay, shameless self promotion over. Back to the story.
Let’s break down the anatomy of an engaging headshot:
1. It looks like you Keep your headshots current and aim for looking like you on your very best day, one of those days when you look in the mirror and say “oh yeah”. You want people to be able to recognize you from your photo - so lose the crazy retouching, style your hair how you would for a nice event, and rock the glasses you normally wear.
2. It conveys something meaningful about you
You’re a unique and fabulous individual, so tell the world! Maybe it’s the twinkle in your eyes, your powerful presence, or the little smirk that’s just your own. It could be your larger than life personality, a deep intelligence, or that can-do attitude. Show it off and stand out from the crowd of sameness that most headshots suggest.
3. Clothes flatter, but don’t distract
You are the most important subject of the image, not your outfit. Solid colors are your best bet, but simple patterns can work too. Make sure your clothes are freshly pressed to avoid wrinkles. You can also create multiple outfits to give yourself more options and let your photographer help you decide.
4. Simple background A plain color works great, as well as a blurred environmental background. Choose a background that compliments your style and the message you want to send.
5. Comfortable, genuine expression
Images are all about emotion. Rather than a cheesy "smile for the camera" grin, aim for a real smile. Connect with your audience and share your happiness with the camera.
Are you ready to learn how a personal branding photo shoot can help your business? Check out my personal branding gallery or send me a message below. I'd love to get to know you and hear all about your passions.
Sending good vibes and love!
- Kasey, Fractured Frame Photography