When preparing to participate in physically challenging activities it is essential to warm up and to stretch your muscles in order to perform to the best of your ability. Some find it hard to believe but there are 43 muscles in your face (although some do have fewer muscles) and in just the same manner it’s important to warm up your facial muscles before your photo-shoot. There is a lot more that goes into a shoot than you might imagine and without always consciously realising it you will be tensing your face, holding positions you are not used to and using your muscles in a completely foreign way. As bizarre as it may feel, and believe me many people have told me just how odd it feels, these looks achieve great results.
Each individual muscle in your face works to create a different expression and it’s always a good idea to know what look you are trying to establish for your headshot. In the majority of businesses it will be a confident but approachable look that is most desired but in more creative industries individuals may be going for more unique looks. My personal preference is a confident smile – it is charming and gives a quiet air of confidence without appearing too cocky.
One of the essential features to a great headshot is of course the eyes. The eyes have to look engaged and convey a message to your audience. I encourage a slight squint with the eyes to establish more personality in the image; the squint of the eyes adds character and almost gives off an impression of ‘I know something you don’t know’ which will keep others engaged. The key to achieving this look is to raise the lower eyelids by tightening the Palprebal ligaments; this will narrow the eyes, which increases the energy within the photo.
Clients are often shocked when I ask them to squint particularly if they consider their eyes to be their identifying or best feature but when the eyes are left wide open they seem to get lost in the headshot. The eyes start to look vacant, as though there is nothing happening behind the eyes where as a slight squint brings that sparkle out. So don’t be surprised when I ask you for a hint of a squint. The opposite of course is to nothing at all with them at all and end up looking blank, out to lunch or like a rabbit in the headlights.
To find out more tips and tricks take a look at some of my other articles here.