The Killer Headshot

There has been much written about capturing the killer headshot. It is a magic combination of light, skill, a relaxed subject, and knowing just when to push the shutter.

I’d like to use this space to talk about how to know that the picture you have would make a good headshot for professional use.

The photograph on your profile is the first impression someone will have of you. No matter what interaction you have in the future, the first impression will be the one that will stick. Make sure it says what you want it to say.

There are three basics that make up a great headshot:

  1. The eyes. The eyes really do a lot of talking.

    Eyes that are clear, sharply focused and that sparkle say that you are engaged with life, that you are eager for what is next.

    Eyes that are averted and still focused and clear, say that you are shy or flirty or thinking.

    Eyes that lock with the viewer engender feeling of honesty and openness.
  2. The light. Light can convey many messages about a face. A face that is lit with split-light conveys mystery or dark character. A face that is lit with soft, contouring light can say that the face is gentle and kind. A face that is fully lit can say that the face is open.
  3. The expression. Relax. It makes the difference between a closed expression that repels the viewer and a relaxed image that pulls the viewer in and makes them want to learn more about you. You can portray a character in your photograph and be relaxed. To really speak to the viewer of the image, it is essential that you look through the camera, to the ultimate viewer. Then you can share with them the message you’d like to convey with your expression.

Take a look at your promotional images and ask for honest reviews from friends and family. Make sure that the pictures you are sharing to get work are saying the message about you that you want the viewer of the image to hear.

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