Should you give input during your headshot session?

There are a lot of good headshot photographers out there. However, sometimes when I’m scrolling through Facebook or LinkedIn, I will see a beautiful headshot that just doesn’t convey the personal image the person should be promoting (in my opinion).  

When you want a headshot to promote your in-home day care, perhaps an angle shooting you from above – and focusing a little too much on cleavage – is inappropriate. 

Or, maybe you want a headshot for your mortgage business. Leaning your head on your hand – with your hand looking larger than life, balled up in a tense fist by your chin – just distracts viewers from your actual face. It might come off as either Glamour Shots'ish or even like you're a little sleepy.  Do mortgages make you sleepy? Don't answer that...

Little things like too much cleavage or awkward hand placement can actually negate an otherwise beautiful photo. Instead of people looking into your eyes and getting to know you, feeling the connection you're seeking, people are going to be staring at whatever seems uncomfortable or odd. They may not even remember your face. 

Do you remember Glamour Shots from the ‘80s and ‘90s? What do you remember about them? When I think of them, I think of bare shoulders (or sometimes shiny wraps), big hair, and lots and lots of makeup. I don’t remember the person’s eyes or smile. I just think about all the “stuff” that was done to the poor customers. 

Although photographers don’t go that far today, the resulting headshots can be just as perplexing. 

If you feel awkward, muscles all over your body and face tense up in weird ways. Even if you smile through it, you still aren’t going to appear relaxed and confident.  

If a photographer is putting you in a position you don’t like and doesn’t feel natural to you, then let him/her know. Tell the person that you feel uncomfortable and you would like to try something else. Most photographers will respect your wishes and either show you how it looks on camera (because sometimes it actually looks great on camera!) and if you still don't feel comfortable, they will just move on to different looks.

I understand that sometimes speaking up for yourself is hard - especially when you might already be nervous about getting your photo taken. And I know that it might feel whiny or combative to speak up against someone who is supposed to be the “expert.” Trust me, it’s not pushy or argumentative, or anywhere in between. Photographers adore input. 

I love when customers communicate during their headshot. Just because I have an idea of how my clients want to brand themselves, it doesn’t mean that I know everything going on inside of their heads. If someone wants to stand instead of sit, I’m cool with that! If they only want photos from their “best side,” I’m fine with that, too. Sometimes, my clients just want to see what i'm seeing so they can say "wow!! I do look really amazing like that!".  

I’m not saying that you need to go in and start barking orders at your photographer. That probably won’t go over very well. I’m just saying that you should feel comfortable giving input into how you’re going to be portrayed. Headshots are an essential part of branding yourself. Make sure you are getting a photo that meets your goals. 

Headshot photography in Leesburg, Virginia

Alimond Photography Studio specializes in creating strategic corporate headshot portraits for not only the individual small business entrepreneur, but also the Fortune 500 Company.  Alimond Photography Studio is located in downtown Leesburg, Virginia, where they will create the perfect look for you in their 1300 square foot photo studio.  If you have a large team or you have a specific vision you want to create, we can also come out to you on location of your choice.  Please go HERE to get more info and set up your session.