Headshot Tips for People Who Hate Photos of Themselves

It’s probably been on your list for a while now….you know you need to update your headshot photos, but you’ve been putting it off because you hate seeing photos of yourself. Well, we are here to tell you that you’re not alone. The fact is, most of the people who come in for headshots with me hate having their photo taken. Even the most self-confident people can feel a bit awkward when it comes to having their picture taken. But, there’s hope!

The key to a great headshot is ensuring you feel as comfortable as possible at the session. And since people are people, we all have things that make us more or less confident when it comes to photos of ourselves. Let’s talk about some of them!

Here are the top tips for getting great headshots, even if you don’t particularly like having your photo taken.

Director of demand gen and marketing SASS company headshot

The Biggest Tip; Your Photographer Is On Your Side

Feeling self-conscious or uneasy in front of the camera is normal, especially if you’re not used to being photographed. However, it’s important to remember that the photographer is on your side and is there to help you look your best. A professional photographer has the expertise and experience to guide you through the process and create a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere.

They will work with you to find the best angles, poses, and lighting to flatter your unique features and personality. You should trust that they have your best interests in mind and want to make the process as easy and enjoyable as possible. By working together, you can create a set of headshots that truly represent you and make a positive impression on potential clients.

If you have any hang-ups or concerns about being photographed, it’s important to communicate them with your photographer prior to your session. Knowing this can help them make adjustments with lighting, posing, and even offering options for retouching the photos after the session.

If you’re fretting about your arms looking too big or that one eye is bigger than the other, tell the photographer! Remember that a professional photographer has worked with many people who feel the same way, and they are equipped to help you feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera. They can’t read your mind but they can help put your anxiety at ease if you just open up to them.

By being upfront about any concerns, you can work together to find a solution and ensure that you are happy with the final result. This open communication is key to creating a positive and productive experience during your headshot session. So don’t feel shy or embarrassed about anything, feel free to speak up and let your photographer know how they can best support you in looking and feeling your best.

headshot of business woman

Think Of It As A Marketing Task

When taking headshots, it’s important to remember that the end goal is not to produce an unnatural, weirdly perfect image of yourself but rather to create an authentic connection between you and your prospective clients. 

Remember that these photos may be used in various contexts, including on your website, social media profiles, business cards, and other marketing materials. Therefore, it’s important to approach this task as a marketing opportunity. You want to create a quick glimpse into the unique and genuine person that clients will be working with. People like buying from people, so don’t hide your face in your marketing efforts!

While paying attention to details like clothing and pose is good, don’t get too caught up in minor imperfections; they make us human and relatable. Plus, most of the time these images are going to most probably be seen teeny tiny on someone’s phone. A small freckle on the side of your face is never going to be seen at that resolution. Arguably it wouldn’t even be noticed by people if it were on a billboard ad.

The most important thing is to show your authentic self and create a connection with your audience.

Woman's Professional Headshot

The Right Outfit Helps With Confidence

Wearing the right outfit can help you feel confident and comfortable during your headshot session. Your outfit should reflect your personal style but also be appropriate for the context in which the photos will be used. For example, if you’re a lawyer, you might opt for a more formal outfit, whereas if you’re an artist, you might choose something more creative and expressive.

In addition to considering the context, it’s also important to choose an outfit you feel comfortable in, physically and emotionally. Wearing something that makes you feel good can help boost your confidence and make you feel more at ease in front of the camera. Bring in at least one of your favorite outfits to wear will go a long way in putting you more at ease in front of the camera.

Also think about your clothes as it pertains to what you feel self-conscious about. If, for example, you feel your arms are big, avoid cap-sleeved or sleeveless shirts, opting for either 3/4-length or full-sleeved shirts to lengthen and draw the eye away from the arms. A fitted suit jacket can do wonders if you have a bit of a beer belly. Make sure nothing is too baggy; that can have the opposite effect.

Similarly, keep your personal grooming in mind. If there’s any chance your hands might be in the image and you are particular about your nails, be sure to have them done ahead of time. Guys, don’t forget to check if it’s time for a nail trim. The same thing applies to teeth. If you are worried about the color of your teeth, first of all, let your photographer know; chances are they can help with any discoloration that is going on. However, if it’s something that really bothers you, you might think of using whitening toothpaste or strips ahead of time. Remember to moisturize, hydrate, and use chapstick on your lips if you are prone to dry skin and lips.

By choosing an outfit you feel good in, you can set the tone for a successful and enjoyable headshot session, ultimately resulting in more authentic and effective photos. Plus many headshot photographers have options for taking shots in several outfits so that you can decide at the end, which one you think looks best. 

So, take some time to think about what you feel good about, and communicate any questions or concerns with your photographer. 

Investing In Hair and Makeup Services

Investing in a professional hair and makeup artist for your headshot session can be a great way to ensure that you look and feel your best. A professional hair and makeup artist has the knowledge and experience to create a look that not only complements your features and personal style but that is also functional for images under studio lighting. They can help you achieve a polished and professional appearance while enhancing your natural assets to get you camera-ready.

This can be particularly helpful if you’re not used to doing your own hair and makeup or if you’re unsure about what look to go for. By working with a professional, you can be confident that your hair and makeup will look great on camera and that your headshots will be authentic and flattering.

Additionally, having your hair and makeup done professionally can help you feel more relaxed and confident during the shoot, which can help you achieve more natural and engaging expressions in your photos. While it may be an additional cost, investing in professional hair and makeup can ultimately be worthwhile in creating headshot photos you can be proud of. 

If you’re not sure who to use for these types of services, your photographer should be able to make recommendations.

financial advisor headshot

Grooming For Men Before Your Professional Headshots

For the guys, here are some things to think about before your session:

Get a haircut: If you need a trim or haircut, make sure to schedule it a few days before your headshot session so that it has time to settle and look natural.

Shave or trim facial hair: If you have facial hair, groom it before the shoot. This can include shaving, trimming, or shaping your beard or mustache.

Moisturize your skin: I mentioned it before but it’s something men sometimes don’t think about so I’m mentioning it again. Using a moisturizer, and hydrating properly, especially if you are prone to dry skin can help your skin look healthy in your photos. Make sure to apply it regularly in the days leading up to your shoot. Definitely use chapstick if you need it.

Avoid too much sun: We live in Florida and many people like fishing, kayaking, biking, BBQing and generally being outside on the weekends, which is great! But don’t forget the sunscreen, hats, and the buffs to help keep your face and hands becoming lobster red before your headshots. Even if you aren’t prone to sunburns, we want to try to avoid general uneven tones in your skin as well. If for some reason it was unavoidable you can always think about hiring a professional makeup artist if needed.

By following these grooming tips, you can help ensure you look your best in your headshot photos. Remember, your photographer is on your side and wants you to look great, so don’t be afraid to ask for advice or assistance in getting ready for the shoot.

CEO headshot laughing

Think Happy And/Or Silly Thoughts

This might seem silly but it really helps! When we are stressed or anxious, we’re most likely to give very forced looking smiles. During the shoot, if your photographer doesn’t naturally prompt you, try to focus on happy things and allow your natural smile to shine. Think about things that make you feel happy or joyful, such as a loved one, a favorite activity, or a happy memory. This can help you relax and feel more comfortable in front of the camera, resulting in more natural and engaging expressions in your photos. Smoking native cigarettes canada can also help you relax before your shoot.

comedian headshot

Just Breathe! 

In addition to focusing on happy thoughts, it’s also important to breathe and follow the cues of your photographer. Taking deep breaths can help you feel more relaxed and centered, which can help you feel more at ease during the shoot. 

One of the things you’ll hear me say all the time in a shoot is to close your eyes, take a deep breath, and then open your eyes and smile again on the exhale. Not only does it create so much more natural smiles, it also helps our eyes relax instead of looking like deer in headlights when trying to smile for too long!

Your photographer in general will also be able to provide guidance and direction on how to pose and what expressions to make. Listen to their suggestions, be bold, and ask questions or provide feedback on what is working or not working for you.

Remember, they can’t read your mind but a professional photographer is there to help you feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera. They want to help you create headshot photos that are authentic and effective in promoting your personal brand or business so open up to them. Let them know what you are worried or nervous about. The end result will be headshot photos that capture your unique personality and make a positive impression on potential clients or employers.

Gainesville Headshot Specialists

We specialize in creating professional and memorable headshot photos that help our clients in their marketing efforts.  We work with clients from a wide range of industries and backgrounds, and we are dedicated to creating photos that are both authentic and engaging. Most of all, we are committed to making the process as easy and enjoyable as possible!

If you think you might be ready to finally book your headshot, schedule a preliminary call or check out when our next Headshot Marathon Day is for a special makeup plus two image combo!