“Wow — I’m so glad that all of my clients absolutely love getting their picture taken and just adore being in front of the camera for hours on end.” – said no photographer ever.
Granted, yes, there are those individuals who have acquired what seems to be a strange mutant like ability to become even more natural in front of a camera, but for the majority of us, it’s usually an uncomfortable, awkward experience that is so much better as soon as it’s over.
But in the world of
running your own personal empire leading as love, it’s often an absolute necessity to provide a headshot at some point along the way (social media! your about page!). (headshot: a vintage term for the current “profile pic”)
And while it may seem semi-appropriate to dig out a photo from three summers ago and crop out your BFF’s face (albeit leaving her arm around your shoulders) — a good headshot actually has the power to help your business, strengthen your message and create connections.
So yes, essentially here — the lesson is to not use the old, blurry photo from three summers ago. And since I personally understand the aforementioned awkwardness — here’s some handy guidelines to remember as you get a new headshot.
1. Show your true self!
It seems fairly obvious — but being authentic in your photos is critical to finding your people, that audience that connects to your real self. This past winter I worked with a fantastic pair of entrepreneurs who wanted to be photographed at a botanical garden. Since their business has truly nothing to do with flowers, I pushed a little harder to find out who they are — and when I asked what their days look like they cringed a little and laughingly told me they really don’t do much but drink coffee and talk. There was a tad bit of resistance, but I ended up convincing these business partners to spend a morning with me in a coffee shop in Brooklyn. The result? They absolutely loved the story my photos told of them — you guessed it, drinking coffee + talking — and me? I was just grateful I didn’t have to think up clever ways to pose them around tropical ferns.
2. Surround yourself with your passion!
If you ever want to realize how awkward hands can be — that’s right, hands — schedule a photo shoot. I worked with a very talented, creative lady who, as soon as she stood in front of the camera, would make fists with her hands. When I noticed and asked her to relax, she apologized and instantly her hands became dead-like limp. I noticed again and she corrected it by forming her hands into, well, claws. It can tend to be intimidating being the sole focus of someone taking your photograph – and it can be rather easy for your own body parts (I’m looking at you hands) to stage a minor revolt and not cooperate. But there’s a fix — with this creative woman, she put her hands to use. Once her hands felt the familiar recognition of creating, they relaxed, she relaxed and we captured natural, beautiful images of her in her element. So, if you’re a dancer, dance. If you’re a painter, paint. If you’re a a comedian, tell jokes. Those in between moments will provide an authentic portrayal of exactly who you are, sans claw hands.
3. Love that head!
Around here, we know the heart is a real attention hog, winning
the majority all of the heart vs head battles … but getting your headshot taken is a chance for you to foster a real appreciation for yourself and really, your head. And honestly, your head deserves some love. So post shoot, when you’re deciding on which photos to use — find the photo that speaks to you – that tells your story – that takes that beautiful head of yours and reveals all your heart. And really, most, most, most importantly — love your head.
Jen Brister | NYC Portrait Photographer @ LAL™: Where Love Thrives! *
For more of Jen’s work check out her PORTFOLIO
*If you love Jen’s work but do not live in the NYC area, travel arrangements can be made.