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.