How important is your Headshot ?
There is no escaping the need for a decent headshot nowadays. How do we know if we have decent Headshot, what is a decent Headshot ?
Lets talk about being Photogenic. Being Photogenic is the ability to be able to look good in a photograph. For many people, lucky people, this comes naturally and it could be attributed to genes or face shape. For others its more difficult and for most, having their photograph taken is about as appealing as going to the dentist.
I firmly believe that being photogenic is a learned skill and with the amount of social media and the number of cameras everywhere nowadays its important to have the skill to be able to look good whenever someone pokes a camera in your face.
Thank fully there are a few little tricks & tips that you can employ to enhance any image that you appear in.
Firstly, make sure you are well lit, being either with a flash or with loads of natural light.
Secondly, make sure the camera is at your eye level and then lean your forehead towards the camera by just pushing your head out, kind of like a turtle. This will create distant between your chin and your neck and tighten the skin under your chin and around our jawline. Then we tilt our head slightly downwards. This will hide anything that we have going on under our chin and give us a slightly humbling look, which is not a bad thing anyway.
Thirdly, we need to pretend that we are in an eye doctors office trying to read the bottom line on his eye testing chart. We are really raising our lower eyelids to give ourselves that really engaged look we get when we are really interested in something.
Fourthly, you need to be able to smile on queue and make it look natural. For this you need a funny thought that you can pull up at will that allows you to smile naturally. A smile can be large, mid, small or you can have a closed mouth smile. Any of these are fine but it needs to suit your industry and or your personality. What I mean by this is, for example, if you are a solicitor you wouldn’t want to have a large almost laughing smile on your face because people will not take you seriously. Your look has to suit your industry or profession !
Finally, you will need to know your side. Most people have a side that is stronger than the other. You probably already know your side, just look in the mirror and make a note of the side of your head that your hair is parted on. The majority of people will part their hair to one side. This will often coincide with the side of their bigger eye. Many girls that I shoot tell me that their hair is parted on that side because it just goes that way. My usual response is, because they have been brushing their hair that side since they were 3 years old so either they or their mother decided it was their stronger side when they were quite young.
Thats it really. If you employ some of these little tricks your headshot will start to improve. If you are trying to take selfies or a friend is using an iphone it should help your images look better. Of course, there is no substitute for a professional headshot photographer that knows what he is doing.