The Makings of a Strong Headshot

It has become a bit cliché these days to talk about a three-legged stool. Since I’m a photographer I refer to a tripod, which is a tool I use every day. Let’s use a realtor as an example. Your personal brand is a sum of three parts: your online presence (e.g., website, listings, etc.), written copy and your headshot. What happens if this third leg is extremely weak or doesn’t convey trust and approachability? The tripod, with your brand on the top, tips over. You don’t want your business prospects jeopardized by a poorly taken headshot!

Today most people have access to photography equipment. Gone are the days of needing access to chemicals and a dark room or having to pay a lab to print every photo so you can pick just the right one. What is a barrier is the knowledge to use the equipment and direct the model (you) into the right position and expression.

There are plenty of technical aspects of getting a good headshot. (My wife likes to remind me how technical the lighting and camera settings can be.) Your successful headshot should be:

  • Superior quality
  • Recent likeness of yourself
  • Well-lit
  • Posed appropriately
  • Re-touched

The most important ingredient to a successful headshot is your expression. If your headshot hits all of the points above, but you look frightened, intimidated, too energetic, or startled… then your headshot is sending the wrong message to prospective employers or clients. A good headshot should evoke thoughts like “confident”, “approachable” and “professional”.

This is where a skilled photographer comes in. It is my job to know what to say, how to act, and how to help you relax during a session to give me the confident expression that makes a good headshot. This is why I specialize in headshots first! My mentor, Peter Hurley, states that as a headshot photographer he is 90% psychologist and 10% photographer. All of the gear and technical understanding won’t give you a kickass headshot! I have the gear and the tech down, but the third leg of the tripod is my ability to coach you into the right expression.

Contact me now to book your session and together we’ll start your personal branding session with a strong headshot that conveys approachability and confidence, but most of all, represents YOU!