What Happened to the Top of My Head?


Nearly sixty percent of online viewing today is done on a phone or mobile device. That makes the prime real estate of your headshot even smaller when viewed on a handheld device. The more of your eyes and expression that I can get in that amount of real estate, the more impact it will have on the viewer.

  1. Negative Space - By cropping in at the top of your head the negative space disappears from above your head to beside you. This delivers a stronger impact. Negative space in the headshot gives the illusion that you have room to move.
  2. Focus on Your Eyes - The idea is to keep the focus on your face putting your eyes in the upper third of the image. This provides a strong image of you. A headshot is all about your expression.
  3. Aspect Ratio - Images are a 4x5, 8x10 or square representation to suit your needs. Some sites (e.g., LinkedIn) show your headshot in a circle, so the cropping of how you show up is important.

The viewer’s eyes fill in your hair without it actually being in the image and the viewer doesn’t notice that the top of your head is ‘missing’. For this same reason, I don’t crop too tight below your chin. The imagination however, does not fill in what you’re wearing. I leave just enough of your shoulders and clothing for the mind to recognize that you are dressed professionally/appropriately. Quite frankly it also shows that you are not a head floating in space. Nobody wants that!

These simple changes turn a boring school or typical passport photo into an attention-grabbing headshot.