Here are three simple tips that I use to coach people to nice, engaging, and natural headshots!
1: Engage with the camera
It all sounds good in theory, right? But how do you “engage” with the camera. It sounds so cliche to say. It’s actually very simple. I ask everyone who steps in front of the camera to lean their torso toward the camera. Look at the two pairs of images below. The ones on the left are just normal relaxed positions. Then I asked each of them to bring their torsos towards the camera (*images on the right). Doesn't that look much more engaging? Simple, but effective!
2: Forehead OUT!
It looks pretty silly to jut out your head in normal everyday life. But it looks amazing for headshots! Trust me. In every single image in my portfolio the client’s head is “turtled” out. Doing this helps bring out the jaw line in the shot. It’s a more attractive look for everybody. Try this in the mirror for yourself to see if it works! So get those foreheads out people!
3: No whites under the eyes
I generally don’t like to see any whites under the eyes. On camera, the client will look very wide-eyed if you can see the bottom whites of the eyes. When you can’t see them – it exudes confidence. Look through my portfolio – in most of images you will notice this. Go to Google and type in your favorite actor or actress. When you see a picture of them on the red carpet – you NEVER see their bottom whites! Peter Hurley, my hero in the field of headshot photography, uses the phrase “Confidence and Approachability”. Well, when your eyes are right you exude confidence but yet you are still approachable.
NOTE: Both of the images below are beautiful in my opinion. But the eyes look more engaging in the image on the right.