Do you look at yourself in photos then cringe......?? 😬
✅ I do.
The good news is, you are not alone.
Most folk "dislike" (thats a polite was of saying "hate") their photo being taken and indeed the photos themselves.
This Blog (and Part 2 to follow) are going to change all that.
I shall be discussing tips on how to stand for your Headshot or Portrait photograph (Part One) to taking control of the mindset when entering a Headshot or Portrait photo session (Part Two).
I shoot Portraits or Headshots a lot. I've done 1000s. These may be shot outside where I'm mixing natural light and flash to photographing folk indoors working within the controlled environment of a photographic studio set up. Either way those having their headshot or portrait taken usually appreciate a tip or two on what to do. This could be from how to stand to where to put your hands. It bring out the best in the photo session.
"So, when the time came to update my photo, I could think of no one better or understanding of my intense dislike for having my photo taken - and my Mum likes the outcome too, high praise indeed."
Dr Susan Scurlock MBE
I usually boil it down to a few helpful tips otherwise there is overload.
So let's get going.
Turning slightly side-on can help your Headshot pose.
It tends to make the body look narrower in the photograph.
This is suitable for all. It can also give the appearance of slimming down the body. This works for men and women equally and of all ages, shapes and sizes.
It's a great starting point. I suggest this to all.
It could also be said that being slightly side-on looks more natural than standing straight on to camera.
Straight on for your headshot is of course an option but tends to infer power, strength and perhaps suggests a bit of a challenge to the viewer.
Dancers tend to move with their weight one one foot so that the other leg can be positioned to look good. Same idea with a photograph.
This tends to be a bit more natural in a photography than standing with weight evenly distributed.
Leaning helps massively in a photoshoot.
It just settles folk down. I know it myself.
I was raising money for the UNICEF Nepalese Children's Appeal a few years back following the earthquake there. I was selling prints taken in Nepal, with all profits going to the charity.
A full double page spread of pics was being published in my local paper to help promote the cause and the reporter needed a headshot. I had the studio lights set up etc.etc. and nothing seemed to make me happy. I disliked every shot.
I nearly had a tantrum and ended up leaning against a wall outside for the photo and, hey presto, sorted.
So find a wall and lean into it. Find a table and place a hand on it. Railings. Whatever. There are loads of things you can lean on, just have a look around - it will help with making your photograph more natural.
The nightmare bit.
As soon as you are in front of the camera for you headshot photoshoot your arms seem utterly useless. Dangling. In the way. Awkward. Even if they are not to be in the shot.
So, to keep it simple:-
Put your hands in your pockets.
Some folk might not like this. It might appear too "casual". But it is better than leaving them awkwardly to each side of the body. So if you are struggling, try it.
You may also want a little gap if possible between the body and the elbow. Bend the elbow too.
This helps keep the arms in the shot. Some might say this is a "defensive" pose but that depends on the accompanying facial expression. For me its tidy: as long as it suits the shape of the body - it doesn't suit everyone.
The whole photo shoot experience for many can be a nightmare.
I know. I've had to endure it myself.
But it really does not have to be that way - it can be fun! I tend to have a relaxed approach to headshot and portrait sessions - its a collaboration. We chat over ideas. We talk over concerns. And we pick away at them one by one until we are both happy.
"Delighted with the results and with Guy's fun, relaxed, professional approach to the photo session on the day."
"..when the time came for me to get a professional headshot then he was the person I contacted first. His experience and encouragement in the lead up and on the day was amazing as I am not a person who likes to be in front of the camera. Guy even captured photos of me smiling which is rare! "
So to help this the next blog will be looking at how to manage your anxiety, nerves and confidence before your next Headshot or Portrait Photoshoot.
I have met with Glasgow-based Performance and Sports Consultant Jeffrey Webster who has kindly offered a fantastic performance coach's insight to achieving the best you can.
So make sure you follow Guy on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin or Instagram (as well of course at the website) for details of Part 2 which is sure to be full of top tips from a expert in getting everyone achieving their very best.
✅Posing for a photograph is not a "one size fits all" thing.
✅Everyone is different, which is why its more of an art rather than a science.
✅Not everything here may work for you - just give it a go - it is designed as a starting point for your next headshot or portrait photo session.
You'll be able to see other portrait and headshot posing styles in my Headshot and Portrait pages:-
"Guy took all the hassle out of a full set of sales team head-shots. The whole process was run so smoothly by Guy and nothing was a problem. His attention to his clients requests was brilliant and the results were fantastic."
And of course, if you wish to have a chat on any award-winning 🏆 headshot or portrait requirements you may have, then email [email protected].