I’m a bit uncomfortable in front of a camera. It’s true. I love the idea of taking photos but I find myself to be overly critical of the outcome, like a lot of folks. The funny thing, when I was child, I was told that whenever a camera emerged from someone’s bag, I was the first one to run in front of it. According to my father, I was always camera ready. Sometimes I wonder what happens to the childlike confidence we have when we grow up? For some folks, it just goes away. Society, right? Let’s blame it on society. It took two photo shoot sessions for me to figure out some helpful tips for successful headshots.
Most of us, within a certain age group, are at a point where we probably need some headshots. Whether you’re an attorney or a chef, chances are, someone is going to ask for a professional photo of you. That’s what really prompted me to finally breakdown get some non-iPhone photos. As I started to branch out on my own and do consulting and events, I realized that brands and clients DO NOT want some weird selfie of me as my “professional photo”. We all know our iPhones take awesome photos but sometimes it’s nice to have someone who is an actual photographer with a camera, take our photos from time to time.
If you’re like me, you may be at a point in your career where you need some legit photos. If you’re even more like me, you may be dreading standing awkwardly in front of a camera but don’t worry. With these tips, your photo session will be a breeze.
Simple tips for successful headshots
Find a photographer that you have a relationship with
Or at least find one that you like. How many times have we had to sit through a party or a business meeting with folks we don’t particularly care for? It’s difficult, right? Why choose a photographer that you’re not fond of – it makes no sense. The photographer I chose to do our headshots, was someone who was recommended and someone who I’d met before. Not to mention, I enjoyed being around her. Hi Lindsey!
There’s nothing worst than being very uncomfortable while trying to give off vibes that you’re in fact, comfortable. Clothes that make you feel self-conscious, leave it at home. Shoes that pinch your feet or you can’t walk in, adios. Now, for my sessions, the shoes were part of my outfit but they weren’t the most comfortable shoes. So, I brought an extra pair of shoes that I could change into as we walk from location to location.
Think outside of the [wardrobe] box
Depending on your career path, gone are the days of boring blazers and stiff poses. Don’t be afraid to wear something fun and unique. For my first set of headshots, I wore a blazer but I stayed away from a serious black blazer (I wore a green one instead). We chose fun backgrounds because I wanted to exude FUN in my photos. In my most recent pictures, I wore a fun sequins dress (because, hi sequins). I want my headshots to show my personality and brand and sequins pretty much sums it up. Here’s a link to the dress I wore in my most recent session (it’s on sale but it may be sold out now – hurry!).
Don’t be afraid to research pose ideas
For someone who’s uncomfortable in front of the camera, finding poses that you like is key. You don’t have to practice so much that you seem stiff during your session but you can certainly study the type of poses you like. Assuming this isn’t your photographer’s first rodeo, he or she will be able to suggest some poses for you too.
The last tip for successful headshots is…
Relax (and have fun)
I know, this is easier said than done but it’s the most important. If you arrive to your session tense, scared and very uncomfortable, trust that it will show in your photos. Whether you prefer to meditate or have a cocktail beforehand, do it. Do whatever you need to do to allow yourself to relax.
Thanks to Lindsey Lowe for hanging out and taking many, many photos of me despite my fear.