Headshot training 101!

Headshots are a great free perk offered at many Coworking spaces. We offer headshots at our location and it’s always a big hit! I have noticed over the years however, that some people don’t end up using their headshots. I took an informal poll of these members and found they all have the same thing in common; they aren’t really preparing in advance for their headshots. With this in mind, I thought I would share some tips on what you should consider and practice at least a week prior to your scheduled photo shoot!

What do you want your headshot to say about you or your company?

Headshots are often like meeting someone for the first time. Really take some time and consider this. Is it most important to be seen as trustworthy, professional, established, or do you want to be seen as creative, free spirited or edgy. The way you dress, accessories (hats, ties, etc.), and your hair/makeup can tell your story before you have even met the person.

Pictures always look best when you know your best angle. Headshots should be personal, like a handshake, so you need to look at the camera. After that rule, everything else is unique to you. Try to practice for picture day, take a minute or two and look at yourself in the mirror everyday of that week in advance. Do you look best when you are looking straight ahead, or with a little twist or tilt. Practice a few poses you like daily so it becomes natural for you to pose like that on picture day.

To smile or not to smile? Like the initial suggestion, this does depend on the message you are trying to send to your clients, but having a few facial expressions to choose from is always best. You will want your smile to be genuine, so try some of these visualization techniques. Soft smile: When you are practicing in the mirror, try to think of something or someone that makes you really happy and allow yourself to smile naturally. No smile: Next, take a slow breath and try to think of a place that makes you feel content (with this thought you may not actually smile at all, but your face will still express happiness). Real Smile: Lastly, visualize yourself in a crowded room/airport, whatever, and you and your favorite person in the world see each other. This smile should be big and really convey happiness.

Still feel awkward? Try standing (with one foot closer to the camera than the other) or sitting (on the edge of the chair, but no slouching!) where you can shift your weight forward. This forces your chin up and will always provide a better pose.

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I hope these tips help you prepare for your picture day!

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