This is not a time to be a beauty queen, a rock god or your favourite Marvel character. What you need is to give business associates and clients an accurate version of you! It’s important to look like you in your headshot.
The whole point of any promotional headshot is that it must look like you. If you meet somebody for an interview or audition, it is important to look like your picture. If not, what is the point?
Where do you start?
So, let’s start by getting rid of that 10-year-old headshot. Stop using super retouched, soft-focus, slimmed-down picture that doesn’t look like you. I want you to believe in yourself. The aim is to boost your confidence. Then, you can go into a session feeling assured, comfortable and the best version of yourself.
Your headshot or personal branding image is to show off the best current version of you. Anything less, meaning hiding behind old photos or ideas, won’t do you any favours. Your audience will find you out. So, don’t let your first impression be a dishonest one. That’s not a good way to start any relationship, personal or professional.
Things that hold us back?
There is always something nagging or putting you off getting a professional headshot. Sometimes you gained a little weight, lost a little hair or a chipped tooth – Take a deep breath – It’s okay! We all have nagging issues in some form or another.
The good news is that nobody else is worrying about your issues. Why, because they’re all too busy worrying about their own issues. So you’ve got to let it go. To the people who matter, you’re perfect. As you get ready for your session, follow your normal routine. Don’t try any new tricks with your hair or makeup. If you’re getting your hair cut, get it done a week or so before. If you wear glasses, then wear them, after all, if you do a zoom call, you can’t function if you are not wearing them.
The photographer is there to help you
I hear things like I don’t like smiling a lot! Don’t avoid it, especially if you’re trying to hide your teeth or braces for whatever reason. Make the photographer aware of any concerns you have. Then you work through them in the session. You can solve problems with good posing, lighting or a combination of both.
The actual session is not the place to filter your look. If you try to do that, you’re going to end up with a bunch of forced expressions. You’re going to look stiff. Believe me. The tension will shine through.
So you’ve got to relax, play along, and enjoy yourself. That means laughing at our bad jokes too. You have to do anything so that you look like you in your headshot.
It’s all about psychology
When I thought about the psychological aspects of having a photograph taken,
I thought the psychology of having headshots is related to self-confidence. That and the fact that in today’s marketing world, we compare ourselves to an impossible and unreal standard. Sure, those reasons no doubt come into play, but it turns out there’s a lot of psychology at work here.
Yes! There are actual psychological reasons why we dislike ourselves in photographs!
The psychology of why you hate yourself in photos!
- Some people hate the way they look in photographs.
- Some people think they take a bad picture!
At the time of a particular shot, you might have felt good at the time of the photo being taken. But, when you look at the final photo you don’t see that. Instead, your eye goes straight to the bits you don’t like. You see your double chin, that extra roll around your middle, the size of your arm or whatever body bits you don’t like! Well, let me share some news with you. You are not alone!
My guess is that 95% of people I talk to tell me they hate having their picture taken or that they take a terrible picture. I have even had clients apologize that I’m going to have to take pictures of them because they don’t photograph well.
Have you ever seen a picture of a friend and thought it looked amazing. But they are hyper-critical of themselves in the picture. All the while, you can’t understand why?
Through social media, we are bombarded with people overhyping themselves. They hide behind all kinds of filters to make themselves feel better about their appearance. If you hide behind a lie, you will invariably get found out. Don’t be influenced by others on social media. Here is an interesting article on Mental Health and the detrimental way Social Media works in terms of how we perceive ourselves.
I have a statement that I make to every who comes through my door. The feature you hate most about your face is what makes you, YOU. It will sell YOU and in the end, will be your biggest and best selling point.
7 Point Conclusion
- Don’t compare yourself to others.
- How you look is how you look – If you don’t like it you can’t expect others to.
- Let yourself off the hook and be the person you want to be and the viewer will feel that.
- The feature on your face you don’t like is what makes you unique.
- When you have doubts it is your brain lying to you.
- Other people don’t care and don’t look at you with the same negativity that you do. All they see is a headshot and they can relate to you or not.
- Find your inner confidence to be and look like who you are. Stop beating yourself up and being hypercritical. – It is a waste of energy. All you have to do is look like you in your headshot.