Category Archives: subject

Boring old headshot… really??

I recently saw a statement on social media that made me read further… it read ‘don’t want a boring old headshot?’ It occurred to me that I’ve never seen a ‘boring old headshot’ – a poor one perhaps, but not boring. It might be poor in its technical production, for example, poorly lit and too dark, too much contrast, out of focus, an old holiday snap, wrong angle… and then there’s the expression… stiff, nervous, apprehensive, serious and decidedly questionable. So if the offering to pep up a ‘boring old headshot’ is to put someone on a brightly coloured background,  what about that expression??

90% of the success of a good headshot is in the expression. Many people who dislike their photograph being taken, will also say they would like to be captured as ‘friendly and approachable’. Yes you can have a fantastic fine art portrait of someone with a non-smiling expression. It could be wistful, contemplative, cheeky, thoughtful… but for business engagement that’s probably not the best style to go for. There is a friendly and approachable expression in all of us… after all it’s part of our personality.

Our image says a great deal about us and if you form opinions of others by their online image before you get to meet them, you can be sure others will be doing the same about you.

So if you want to encourage trust and engagement with others in your business world, friendly and approachable is the best way forward. Not fixed and posed, but natural and spontaneous… and definitely not boring, whatever background is decided upon.

Professional headshots - wall of fame

Professional headshots on different backgrounds.

Professional headshots packages for those less than comfortable in front of the camera.

Why do we respond as if it’s our fault?

It gives us a nice feeling when we see a good picture of ourselves – but it’s quite disheartening when looking at photos you’re in, only to be disappointed with the results.

We’ve all heard people say, “I’m not very photogenic”, or, “I don’t like my photo being taken, as I take such an awful picture”.

We take it on board as if it’s our fault!

Who/what is a bad photograph really down to?

No wonder, if we are among those who feel this way, when we find ourselves lens side of the camera, it’s difficult to relax, we become self conscious and don’t enjoy the experience.

It’s not about looking like our favourite superstar, or fixing every reason, we might not like pictures of ourselves. But don’t underestimate what a good photographer should be able to achieve for you.

A pro photographer will not only know their equipment thoroughly and what settings are needed – works with the lighting they have (whatever source it may be) to achieve the results – but will also be able to respond to their subject, encouraging them relax, be themselves and enjoy being photographed. Those great shots that the subject will love and want to have, can then be captured.

If I could package and give to my subjects, an essence I truly see in each of them, whether we spend 15 minutes or several hours working together, perhaps they wouldn’t be among those who consider themselves ‘not photogenic’.