I’ve photographed everyone from presidents of the United States to CEOs to child actors, and these basic rules hold true:
#1: A great headshot looks like you
People should be able to recognize you when they hold up your headshot next to “3D” you. Keep your headshots current (not that ten-year old glamor shot), and don’t “lose” fifty pounds through crazy retouching. You want your headshot to look like you on your very best of days, one of those days when you look in the mirror and say “oh, yeahhh!”
Basic retouching is encouraged to fix a temporary flaw like a blemish, a stray hair, a wrinkle in your shirt, a sunburn from Central Park. But keep it real. The authentic you is the best you. Own it!
#2: A great headshot conveys something meaningful about you
And by “you,” I mean you, the person reading this right now. You’re as unique as your fingerprint, and we’re going to convey that. Maybe it’s your commanding presence, or the twinkle in your eyes; a bemused smile that’s just your own, or a big/roaring personality; a deep intelligence or a can-do attitude. Show off what sets you apart from the sea of sameness most headshots suggest.
#3: A great headshot is about you, not your photographer
This isn’t to say that you don’t need a great (ahem) headshot photographer. But your headshot should be all about your brand, not the photographer’s. If their galleries all look alike–same angles, same lighting, same off-kilter positioning–keep looking. Find someone who can express who you are, not just use you to express who they are. Right? Of course, right! This is your career and your hard-earned money. If you want a great headshot, I’m ready to help you share that beautiful mug of yours with the world.