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4 Key Elements To A Great Headshot

Updating one's professional image should happen every year for those with a career in the public eye and every two years or so for the rest of us. Especially if there is a change in employment, a desire to level-up your position or if you're starting a business.

But for more superficial reasons, it's also important to get new headshots if you've changed your hair color dramatically, or your body weight has fluctuated significantly or if your professional dress style has gone from say, suit and tie to jeans and button down shirts.

So if you're thinking about refreshing your image - I'd like to share key elements that I believe will help you maximize the results of your photoshoot experience.

Number 1: The Wardrobe - It all starts here.

It’s vital you feel good in what you’re wearing. You should feel attractive, empowered and fashionable. Unless you're an artist or fashionista, opt for a classic yet contemporary style with a simple pattern and a complimentary color palette for your skin tone.

Fit is everything! Both men and women should opt for tighter fitting clothes. They look smarter and photograph better.

An outdated look can make a potential client question your relevance in today’s marketplace. If a person hasn’t updated their wardrobe in 20 years, what else might they be out of touch with?

Number 2: The Environment - You are where you are

The setting for your headshot should match your personal brand not distract from it. Are you someone who works in a modern, minimalistic office or are you a fashion-forward consultant who feels at home in bright, colorful spaces? Consider how the vibe of your desired environment supports your professional look.

Here mood-boarding and collaboration are vital in helping the photographer decide where the session should take place. The more you can share about your brand and visual ideals, the better.

Client example:

Lynn R.

Public Speaker

Heath and wellness consultant.

Wanted us to capture her down-to-earth personality, joie de vivre and her ability to engage any audience.

Bright natural light, big smile (in the moment feel), white non/corporate jacket has an almost clinical appeal, and the green shirt complements her redder skin tones as well as denotes nurture, healing, nature, growth.

Number 3: Posing - Is the hardest part

Try to relax in your body but don’t slouch. Find a position that feels natural but engaged with the viewer, as if you’re having a conversation with someone you like.

For sitting poses start with the jawline and angle of the shoulders, regardless of body type. But helping you find the best poses for your natural demeanor and body type is what you’re paying the photographer to do. It’s our job to help you emphasize the best and hide the rest!

For standing poses, start with the feet and angle of the hips, regardless of body type.

Number 4: Expression - Is Everything

No matter what you do, most viewers want to see someone they could do business - or work with, as engaging, friendly, trustworthy and competent.

A genuine smile says so much. It is the holy grail of an authentic moment that connects you emotionally to the viewer. This comes down to your ability to let go and be present, and the photographer’s skills in helping you feel comfortable and at ease.

A photographer with a friendly, relaxed demeanor will get you to mirror the same.

And sometimes a great headshot is all about showcasing unfettered self confidence!

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