Are you a professional who needs to cultivate the right image to connect with your audience? Or perhaps a presenter or journalist who wants your audience to connect with you as well as your words?
It’s important for you to look confident, you don’t feel good about your current profile image, you want to start the year with a fresh headshot. It might even be something that you have been putting off… You don’t know what to expect and you don’t want to stand like a lemon in front of the camera.
How on earth will you know what to do…
does having your headshot taken fill you with dread?
If this all sounds familiar – grab a cup of coffee, sit down and let me tell you why you don’t need to worry about it.
I had the pleasure of working with the fantastic presenters from Radio Gorgeous. Like you, they wanted to know exactly what happens when you have your headshot taken – they came to find out and interviewed me at the same time…
radio gorgeous is not like any radio you’ve heard before!
First, let me tell you about Radio Gorgeous – it is the longest-running all-women podcasters show, established in 2011. It is full of irreverent and uncensored interviews, life stories, conversations, and debate.
They cover a range of topics including books, art, music, theatre as well as health and lifestyle issues.
An example of their episodes are:
- Tuning Into Your Core Values
- Invisible Loneliness & How To Break The Cycle
- Live Like You Give a Fuck
- Sainsbury’s Magazine Mexican Pulled Turkey
- Maria Alyokhina of Pussy Riot
- Menopause & Sex
- The Autobiography of an Orgasm!
the presenters of radio gorgeous had their headshot taken
Since I started listening to their show I have been drawn into their witty ways and find myself laughing out loud to their show. I feel like I have found new friends who I can relate to – they empathize with their guests, are kind and funny, interested and interesting, edgy and sometimes controversial.
If you want to cheer up your week, giggle whilst you listen, be informed on all manner of things, download the show on iTunes to listen to the velvet tones of Josephine and Donna, and receive the latest episode.
Josephine was very happy to be in front of my camera, she is a confident character who in her past was in an all-girl trio called Pussies Galore – she was famous for one summer and was on the cover of every magazine and newspaper – they played in iconic clubs like Heaven, The Hacienda, and The Cafe de Paris.
Donna was not so keen to jump in front of the camera, she is a native of New York who writes and has worked variously in tv production, translating, waitressing, wine sales and interior design. After I had met her I went to a pop-up evening of Sushi at a local wine bar which she had prepared – a lady with many talents! On the morning of our shoot, she had just jetted back from Italy and was feeling tired.
what happens when you go for a headshot?
The ladies arrived fresh-faced and went straight about fixing their make up. Josephine was a makeup artist in her past and swiftly worked magic with her brushes to make them both look glamorous.
If you aren’t confident with your own makeup I can arrange a makeup artist for you either at my headshot studio or at a local nearby salon. If you can afford it, this is a great service to take advantage of, because not only will it make you feel good, it will even out your skin tone, brighten up shadows, cover blemishes and give you a confident start to your shoot.
I must mention here – it is important that you feel happy with your hair otherwise you won’t be happy with your headshots. I advise you not to have a cut straight before your shoot, and to practice styling how you want it to look. If you are after a polished appearance I can arrange a blow-dry for you.
I asked the ladies to remove all visible jewelry because I didn’t want anything to distract the viewer from them in their finished headshots.
Before I started with each of them I asked them to stand as they normally would in front of a camera – this would give us a benchmark on how far they would come in their shoot.
posture for a headshot?
I began by explaining how important posture was to the outcome of their headshot.
Josephine went first and I asked her to stand tall as if she were being pulled up towards the ceiling – to engage her glutes and pull her stomach muscles in – and channel her inner ballerina.
She was a big hair flicker – whilst this is fine in real life – when caught in a moment on camera your hair can look messy. I encouraged her to tidy it and stop flicking!
When a camera is pointed at you it is natural to pull back a little – this encourages your jawline to blend with your neck. I aim to create a defined jawline for all of my clients and asked her to push hers out towards me.
Like many of us, Josephine had one eye larger than the other – another thing which isn’t noticeable in everyday life but when caught in a moment on the camera it can look exaggerated – and is often the reason why people don’t like photographs of themselves. I encouraged her to engage her lower eyelids, especially with the larger eye.
looking for your best headshot angle
I wanted to find Josephine’s most flattering angle so we took images straight on and from both sides. I directed her exactly how I wanted her to stand, which way to look and how to position the angle of her head. All the while we were chatting and I was doing my best to take her attention away from the fact that she was in front of a camera.
I encourage my clients not to care about the outcome of their headshots and I find that the less they care the better the results are. It is often after a series of unflattering images that the magic begins to happen – I ask them to let me worry about how they look and I will direct them to look their best.
All of this sounds like hard work and it is – but it is worth it to create an image of yourself which you will be proud of. We then took a break and reviewed Josephine’s images on the computer and decided between us which were the most flattering. This process allows you to see how good you can look, and if there are any problems we can identify and work to eliminate them.
Josephine got changed into a different outfit and we took some more shots. This time we were able to go straight to her good angles and learn from the lessons we had discovered in our first round of pictures.
I encourage my clients not to care about their headshot
are you nervous about the way you look?
You may have a facial marking or deformity which puts you off being photographed – I understand you will be nervous and encourage you to embrace the skin that you are in and learn to love yourself – I know its not always easy but it’s especially important for me to show the world the sparkle in your eye, your cheekiness and personality – and I will do my utmost to make you feel more confident by the time you walk out of my door.
Donna changed into a striking red outfit with matching lipstick – by now her confidence was growing and she rocked the rest of the shoot – she was happy to have fun in front of the camera and you can see from these images that the magic happened.
To listen to my interview and download regular podcasts from Radio Gorgeous go here: