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Do you know what your headshot says about your brand? While you may have a professional headshot, have you ever stopped to think about what your picture is actually saying?

If you’re using your headshot to attract clients or employers, you should really give thought to these questions. That’s because these scenarios are exactly when the message really counts.

In business, your headshot is your first introduction. It’s the way you get noticed. Headshots communicate who you are and what you’re about to everyone who visits your website or social media channels.

The face you show the business world affects your credibility because it separates the professionals from the amateurs. It’s also central to your marketing in this digital age.

So to help you better align your headshot and your message, consider these elements of a headshot that tell a story.

Expression

When your headshot is done right, it draws the viewers to your expression. Expression is the first thing people look at, and it’s one of the best ways to infuse a headshot with emotion. Your expression sets the mood for the rest of your body — and the rest of your headshot’s story.

So what different emotions can you elicit from expression in a headshot?

  • A big smile with a slight head tilt says, “I’m relatable and trustworthy.”
  • A straight-on gaze with a slight smirk says, “I’m confident that I excel at my job.”
  • A sideways glance with a laughing smile says, “I’m fun and approachable.”
  • A serious face with a slight tilt to the side says, “I hear you, and I understand.”
  • A relaxed smile with a straight-on gaze says, “I’m here to serve.”

Consider what story you and your brand tell. Write down a few notes and consider what expressions exude that. Next, look in the mirror to perfect the look, and take a few snaps! While creating your Heroic Headshots photo, you’ll have ample opportunity to practice and adjust, unlike a traditional photo shoot. Have you ever spent time and money on a photo shoot, only to get the photos and think “oh no, why did I make that face?”

Now you won’t have to worry about that mistake! Take as many photos and make as many tweaks to your expression as you need. Then, when you find a photo that nails what your headshot says about your brand, that’s the one you’ll submit for retouching.

Pose

Body language is the second language we all speak fluently, even across cultures. We’re constantly reading each other’s body language. And we even communicate back with our own posture and posing! We do this all the time, without paying attention or focusing too hard. However, in a headshot, you have the power to be deliberate in your posing. Thus, your body language can communicate exactly what you need it to.

So what different emotions can you communicate with posing in a headshot?

  • One arm on the waist and one near the neckline says, “I’m relatable and trustworthy.”
  • Standing straight-on with your hands on your hips says, “I’m full of confidence.”
  • One hand in the hair or a jacket over the shoulder says, “I’m fun and approachable.”
  • Sitting with arms across the body says, “I hear, and I understand.”
  • Sitting while leaning forward into the camera says, “I’m here to serve.”

Once again, consider the story you aim to tell. Make sure there is consistency between your expression and your pose. Keep in mind that certain combinations can create different meanings. For example, a serious facial expression and calm, posed body could imply that you’re reliable, serious, and focused. But a stern look and two hands on your hips might come off as angry or intimidating.

Attire

Clothing should be flattering, clean, and well-fitting. But it should also be part of your branding. You always want to think about the message your outfit is sending. Different styles of dress, for example, can communicate different levels of formality.

Therefore, when choosing the outfits for your headshots, here are a few important things to consider:

  • Are my clothes distracting? (i.e. busy patterns, clashing colors, etc.)
  • Are my clothes appropriate? (i.e. well-fitting, clean, etc.)
  • Do the colors of my clothes match my brand?
  • Would I wear this outfit on a regular workday?
  • Does this outfit make me feel confident?

For more details on how to dress, check out these articles on men’s attire and women’s attire.

Now that you’ve considered expression, pose, and attire, take some time to consider your goals. What your headshot says about your brand should be reflected in each of those categories. Additionally, there are a few universal messages you want to communicate in your headshot:
You can count on me, I am a trusted professional, and I’m relatable and approachable.

You can count on me.

Your headshot is the first step in making potential customers feel comfortable investing in your product or service. Your smiling face will put people at ease. So just relax and get comfortable during your photoshoot.

I am a trusted professional.

Your headshot shows that you have experience and expertise in your field. With Heroic Headshots, you can easily choose a clean, professional background. Wear an outfit that makes you feel confident and professional in a color you love. Even better if it coordinates with your brand!

I’m relatable and approachable.

Your headshot is a tool to share a quick taste of your style and vibe, so let your personality shine. Take some time to think about how you can insert a little of “you” into the photo in a subtle and classy way. This will help you connect with your target audience on a deeper level.

What Your Headshot Says About Your Brand

Now it’s time to pull it all together and review! Does your business headshot reflect your brand? When someone looks at your image, they should be able to tell what it is you do or determine certain things about you. Review the photos you’ve taken using the tips above. Can you find a shot that accurately reflects your brand? Once you narrow it down, our world-class editors will retouch it to add that professional polish.

Remember, your headshot is the gateway for someone to take the step to get to know you better. A great headshot can be just the encouragement a prospect needs to click on to your website or take that next step to work with you. Thus, what your headshot says about your brand is vital to your success.

For more tips on planning your branding headshot, download our guide. We’ll walk you through key questions to help you determine what your headshot says about your brand. And how to leverage the best version of you!