In Part 1 of this blog I spoke about the chin or the jawline and by jutting it out towards the camera you can make it look like you have a nice tight jawline, even if you don’t.
In this installment i am going to talk about facial expressions. Most of the comments that i get about my work, people never fail to mention the expressions that i capture. It’s no accident ! I work hard at eliciting expressions from my clients and in fact my whole system is set up to do just that. My Headshot shoots are not about the studio or the lights or the white background or even the camera, I think 90% of what i do is about the expressions I can glean from my clients during the sessions.
I have a routine that I follow and it generally follows the same pattern but it all comes back to being able to communicate with my clients about their subjects of interest. I was in the hospitality Industry for approximately 20 years so communicating with people is something that i do pretty well.
My goal in every session that i do is to make the client relax to a point that they are not thinking about the fact that they are having their photograph taken. In other words, the poses, the jawline, the look & the facial expression all become natural. If you look through my portfolio none of my clients have deer in the headlights expressions, out to lunch or even forced or faked smiles on their faces. The secret is getting them to relax & I do this with the atmosphere that I create in the studio. Is it easy, sometimes yes & sometimes no. Very rare is the person that is immediately comfortable in front of a camera you can even go and look at some old pictures of someone like Brad Pitt and see some pretty out to lunch type of expressions from his early days.
Photography is very visual and that probably sounds a very stupid thing to say but people forget( I think it has to do with the digital age) about the visual message they are sending. If you bring up your own profile Image, whether its your linked in profile picture or Facebook profile, website profile, whatever, and really think about what your image is saying to people when they look at your profile Image. Are you happy that you are sending the right message ?
The early part of my sessions are spent working out what type of look works best for your particular industry. What do i mean by that ? for example, if you were scrolling through websites looking for a solicitor or an accountant and their website looked really professional and clean but then you clicked on their profile image and in the image the solicitor was laughing, or looked angry, would you be inspired to do business with this person ? As a solicitor, I think you need to have just the right expression on your face, not too happy or people might think you might take things seriously enough, not to angry because they might think you are not warm enough. You need to be able to say approachable, warm, friendly but also professional, all with the one look. This is what my work is based around.
I love people that tell me that they never look good in photos. They never look good in photos because they have never been told how to stand, which angles or expressions suit their face, they have never been coached properly. Do you know what expression suits your face, your profession ?