Okay, well admittedly I've been so focused on shooting real estate, architecture and editorial projects that I haven't been trying very hard (or, um, even at all) to get new headshot work.
Good news for y'all, that's about to change! I had so much fun shooting the lovely new agents at Cascade Sotheby's that I'm going to try a little harder to make myself available for headshot work.
Most people are not professional models, nor do they spend hours in front of the mirror turning their body parts this way and that and figuring out how the body looks most pleasing to the eye.
So here are some tips for all my potential subjects out there! You can use these tips to improve how you look in any photo - not just professional headshots.
1. Don't be nervous! I'm sure you've seen lots of terrible photos of yourself. Everyone has, and your photographer will likely get at least one terrible shot, but if they are good they will know what to delete. You chose your photographer because you like their work, so have faith! Your photographer's goal is to make you look confident and capable. As your photographer, my goal is also to help your own personality shine through. And, I want to make you laugh, which is really hard if you are nervous or worried!
2. Prepare yourself for the shoot. Wear clothing and accessories appropriate for your profession and you'd best feel utterly confident when you put them on! Wear whatever colors you feel good in, but make sure you and the photographer are on the same page for the background - you don't want to be wearing a color that clashes with or matches too closely the background! Form fitting clothing will do beter to hide or minimize your body parts than anything loose or flowing. Loose, baggy or flowing clothing will make you appear larger than you actually are, so wear something fitted. A dark jacket does great things for minimizing anything you want minimized above the waist, including the stomach, chest and arms. Just before the shoot: Check your makeup & lipstick. Long hair makes a nice frame around the face, so pull all of your hair over your shoulders on either side - do not have stray hairs in the back or hanging around on your shoulders as it looks sloppy and requires a lot more photoshopping to make it look nice. Arrange your clothing neatly. Don't be afraid to ask the photographer to take a look at you, head to toe, and help make sure you look neat.
3. Basic standing position. If you want to appear somewhat masculine/aggressive/extremely confident, face the camera full frontal. If you don't want to appear aggressive or if you want to appear slimmer, turn your feet sideways and twist slightly at your hip, bending the knee closest to the camera slightly. This pitches your chest at an angle to the camera.
4. Posture. Roll your shoulder closest to the camera back and away from the camera. This helps create a more confident posture, further opening up the chest and lengthening the neck. Optional:Put your hand on your hip. This will pull your arm off of your body, making your arm and your body both appear to be slimmer.
5. Face. Again, full frontal is a more aggressive look which works well for many personalities, but perhaps not everybody. Most people will look best showing 3/4 of the face. 7/8 is also a good angle for the face. The nose should not break the line of the cheek! Once your face is at the correct angle (the photographer can help you with this), aim your ear toward the shoulder you just pulled back (to angle your face slightly) and point your forehead slightly down and out toward the camera. You'll kind of feel a little like a turtle sticking it's neck out. It won't look like that on camera.
Practice these posing tips before your next photo session, and remember, when adjusting your position for a photographer, you'll make small movements, not drastic ones! Often just the slightest change of angle can improve a look dramatically.
I hope this helps and please get in touch when you need a headshot!