Five ways to Rock a Headshot quickly

Does your blood run a little cold when you hear the ominous words at work of “We need your headshot”?  And what if you don’t have enough time to make an appointment for a headshot (we prefer the term business portrait though!) with a professional photographer so you can get something really fabulous?  Don’t worry, in the meanwhile, we have you covered with these quick 5 tips on rocking a headshot image in your office!

1. Plan your outfit carefully.  Depending on what industry you are in, you’ll most likely want to dress in professional clothing which has a high chance of meaning suits.  Women, avoid strong patterns, deep necklines and showing bare arms as that will take attention from your face (you can see how bare arms affects the portrait with my clothing choices below…).  Colors such as jewel tones tend to be very flattering when paired with a neutral jacket.  Guys, skip that white shirt and pull a solid color shirt.  Avoid selecting a tie that is busy and colorful, we want to see your face first in an image…not your tie!  

2. Don’t let your coworker with the camera put you up against the wall for the picture!  There is nothing more unflattering to a body than photographing straight on.  Women, try standing at 45 degrees to the person taking the picture, put your weight on your back leg (the one furthest from the camera) and bend the front knee (the one that is closest to the camera).

See how much more fabulous I look with the booty to the back?  Popping that knee makes a HUGE difference!

Guys, try finding something to lean against…a corner, a wall, a chair, etc.  Use your shoulder and bicep to lean against a wall or a hand or an elbow on the back of a chair or even sit on a desk.

3. Have a double chin?  Not to worry!  Take some images from a higher vantage point as well as some at eye level.  If you have a double chin, taking an image from above you will eliminate your double chin because you’ll be looking up at the camera and stretching out your chin.  Having the camera at the same height as your face means you’ll just need to stretch your chin out towards the camera and then tilt your jaw down just a bit.  It’ll feel a bit like you are a turtle but you’ll love the way it tightens up your jawline! In fact, see what happens when Jonathan leans forward in the above image on the right?  Check out that chiseled jawline!

4. It’s the little things that count!  Guys, show your cuffs.  They should peek out of your sleeves by about 1 inch.  Pocket squares are helpful for pulling attention upwards to your chest as opposed to your stomach that might be bigger than you remember.  If you sit for the headshot, unbutton your coat.  If you stand, button up.  But remember to leave the bottom button undone no matter what!  Ladies, do not wear makeup too heavy.  Style your makeup as you would wear on an average day, not an evening out and avoid makeup that is shimmery or frosted. Keep your jewelry small and simple.  Remember to clean off any old nail polish.

5. Go to the light!  What that means is get away from the office lighting (thank you fluorescent lighting for turning us all a sickly shade of green!) and find some window light.   And heck….turn off that icky overhead light while you are at it.  Preferably you’re looking for a window that does not have sunshine streaming through it.  North facing windows are best for the soft wrap-around light that will best highlight your features.  Stand perpendicular to the window with the majority of the window in front of you.  Being closer to the window means softer light.  See how soft and pretty the light is right by a big window?  Not bad with a cell phone and a window!  Tighten the crop on head and shoulders and you’ll be covered until you can get in for a professional business portrait!

6. Ready for your closeup now?  The last crowning piece is your smile.  Take a deep breath, relax and think about someone you love for a smile that will show in your eyes.