Can’t decide what you look like?

January 15, 2012 Published by . Leave your thoughts

Most people are not like my dad, who has had the same haircut since the late 1950’s*. We like to change our look here and there and even on a daily basis… one day we’ve got a beard, the next day it’s a mustache. The day after that it has vanished to mustache heaven.

Although I wear contacts 95% of the time, I walk my dog every morning before I put my contacts in, and I always see the same early morning commuters and dog walkers around the neighborhood who only see me in my big, black librarian glasses and red and white knitted hat. They must think I always dress like I’m in a “Where’s Waldo” book.

So how should your headshot look if you’ve got so many different looks? I always vote for the majority. (we’re not talking about political stances, by the way, just portraiture trends.) If you usually wear your glasses when meeting your clients for the first time, then wear your glasses in your headshot. If you’re usually clean shaven and only sport a mustache to go with your Tom Selleck Halloween costume, then leave the mustache at home for your headshot.

Or in some cases- if you’re an actor and want to have multiple looks for different types of auditions, then take photos with all those looks so you’ll have a big pool to choose from. Auditioning for a lumberjack role? Send them that bearded headshot! Trying for the part of a young librarian? Send them the naked cheeks and spectacles look!
*true story.

Spit out your gum.

January 9, 2012 Published by . Leave your thoughts

There’s nothing worse than an amazing photo of yourself where your smile looks so perfect, your eyes sparkle, your head is titled in just the perfect angle that makes your nose look so cute… but there’s one little hair sticking straight up. Or one little fingerprint on your glasses. Or one little fuzzy from your sweater resting on your lip.

Or one little glob of bright pink chewing gum mashed between your teeth.

Sometimes we can stress ourselves so much about having our photo taken- timing the next haircut and color perfectly or when to trim or shave the beard so it’s just perfect at the appointment, or choosing just the right shirt that brings out those itty bitty little blue highlights in your eyes…

For me it’s generally about seeing the forest instead of the trees. People are drawn to portraits of friendly faces that catch your attention because of the warmth of the smile and the natural, confident, comfortable ease in their face. It’s the overall tone of the image that’s the most important in making it successful in grabbing and holding someone’s attention.

But something that distracts from that will ruin it and cause the viewer’s eyes to go to that one spot in the photo- instead of to the whole photo. Something like a huge, sparkly piece of jewelry, or bright purple polkadots on a tie… or a piece of pink gum poking out of someone’s mouth.

So before you have your portrait taken, spit out your gum.