Happiness is the most important expression for a great headshot because you need to look friendly and approachable.
However, confidence is probably the second most important emotion you'll need to have if you want a photo that really stands out. There are many variations of confidence, and it can manifest itself in many other emotions as well, meaning you can show intensity and confidence at the same time, or happiness and confidence at the same time.
Even though confidence is extremely important, it rarely shows up in photos of people. Most of us just don't know what to do to bring out confidence in our expression, and we believe that the reason is because whenever someone gets in front of a camera, they put on a false persona to hide their feelings of insecurity. Most of us are a bit afraid that the camera will capture something we don't like about ourselves, and so our fear masks our natural confidence, and then we try to mask our fear by fake-smiling.
A headshot photographer's job is to bring your regular personality back and help find the confidence beneath. So how can you bring out your own confidence next time your on-camera? Let's find out.
To begin with, let's take a look at the shot above. In real life, this person was a bit uncomfortable in front of the camera, as most people are (especially when the shoot first started). However, through some little tricks, we were able to bring out a confident expression that gives him dominance in the image.
Take a look below at some synonyms for the word confidence. The following words are closely associated with confidence:
Do these words get you thinking? They all explain what we feel and how we act when we are confident. Think of confidence as knowing exactly what you're doing, and knowing that nothing can stop you from reaching your goals.
Confidence comes from both determination and excitement in moving towards a goal. When we think about the whole idea of confidence, we have to think about the feeling we get when nothing can stop us in our quest for something. By thinking these things, certain looks will come to our face, and it will show on the outside that we're really feeling good about ourselves.
The best way to describe what confidence looks like is a slight smile on the face with a little bit of squinting in the eyes. If you were to take a look at a bunch of celebrities, you'll notice that in most of the portraits and headshots they do where they are posing for a camera, they have the tiniest bit of a squint going on in their eyes. You can tell that they are really feeling good about themselves. That is the look you want in your headshots and it's exactly what the client is doing in the photo above. Just remember not to overdo it or it will look like you're trying too hard!
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