We get it. Sometimes you feel that no matter what you do, you can’t get yourself to look right in a photo. Your nose looks too big, your smile too forced, your skin to “blah” – we’ve heard it all. After a few failed attempts trying to snap that winner-take-all photo, you blame genetics, your camera phone, and/or the lighting. You might even tell yourself you’re not photogenic enough. But let’s dispel that myth right here and now: anyone can look attractive and confident in a photo. It just takes a little practice, a little technique, and a little time.
Here are a couple tips to help you achieve what you feel is impossible: an awesome headshot photo.
Tip Number One: Wear something that makes you feel good.
Seems like an obvious thing, but we can’t even count the times clients have come to us with clothes that feel alien on them. Stop projecting what you think people want to see. Come as you. Trust us, you are good enough. Bring the clothes that boost your confidence and communicate your personality. Preferably something in a solid color to help frame your face better – and bring options to experiment with. When you feel good, the camera picks it up.
Tip Number Two: It’s all in the eyes.
We encourage you to look at LinkedIn profile photos and notice one thing: people’s eyes. Go ahead. We dare you. All the best profile photos focus on a person’s eyes – and these eyes say I am good natured, confident, and ready to help you achieve amazing things.
This is not an inherent personality trait that only a few of us can muster. Everyone can achieve this look. We like two techniques to get them: the “smize” and the “squinch.” You’re about to look amazing in every headshot with these tricks, so keep up.
The “smize” was coined or invented by supermodel Tyra Banks. It’s simply “smiling with your eyes.” Wherever you cast your gaze, think about something awe-inspiring and bring it to your eyes: laughing with your best friend, squeezing your kid, imagining yourself looking into the eyes of someone you love (or biting into a doughnut) – anything that makes you warm and happy, so when people see your photo, they feel warm and happy.
The “squinch” is a little different, but no less effective. Coined by New York photographer Peter Hurley, he advocates using this technique to take better photos and inject some confidence into your look. The squinch is achieved by squinting a little bit – without fully closing your eyes. Sort of like peering into someone’s face and saying “we can do this.” It’s a powerful thing.
Those two tips alone will up your headshot game 1000%. Whether you’re taking the photo yourself or having a professional headshot photographer do them, use these tips and take better photos instantly. Congratulations, you are now photogenic.