Branding photo sessions can be intimidating and, for some people who aren’t use to being in front of the camera, a source of stress. It is very important that you go into your photo session prepared, so you can have many poses and options to choose from. The good news is I can help you get ready for your branding headshot photo session!
Aside from reviewing wardrobe options, and booking a professional MUA/hairstylist of course, an experienced photographer would like you to prepare yourself for the actual posing that happens during a headshot session. Although, some photographers are ‘pose as they go’ photographers, it’s best to practice and be prepared so you can be comfortable for your photo experience.
Here are 4 tips on how to pose for your brand headshots:
1. Practice, practice, practice your facial look!
You will be doing a variety of facial expressions during your photo session. It’s best to practice (in the mirror) the type of smiles you want to capture. There are a number of smiles but common ones are big ol’ happy go lucky smile, semi-quarter smile, half-smile/smirk, closed-mouth joyful smile, even smize (this is smiling with your eyes)! It can sound like a lot, but the camera picks up emotions, so it’s important to over exaggerate each smile to give off the best facial expression. If smiling isn’t your thing and you prefer a more serious look, use your eyes! They are a gateway to your who you are. Whether you are looking directly at the camera or looking off to the side, your eyes must be engaged during the photo session. Just relax, think about your brand and where you want it to be in the near future, then let that feeling shine bright on your face!
2. Breathe, relax and practice good posture
Good posture is a sign of confidence. You want to breath in from your diaphragm and shake off the nerves. Being loose and letting your energy flow during the session will create a relaxed and confident posture. Depending on the vision of your brand session your hands (plus your forearms) may appear in your headshots. Be sure to let your hands drop naturally. If one part of your body is stiff or tense, then it will ultimately affect your overall posture. On the day of your shoot, practice breathing exercises, stretches and even meditate to get you relaxed as possible. Be sure to grab some food or a coffee (tea) to keep you energized.
3. Angles, angles and hand placement!
Most people do not like straight on photos, so let’s think angles! It’s a good practice to shift your weight to your dominate side. If you are right handed, then shift right. If you aren’t a fan of straight on photos (like me), be sure to align your body at an angle to the camera and position your chin down. I prefer fluid movement during my photo sessions, so I will have you repeat one or two moves while I press the shutter. In case your hands or arms will be showing in a few headshots, be sure that you are placing your hands appropriately in a comfortable manner. You can position your hands at your side on your waist, in your pockets if they are available, cross in front or even throw them up in a celebratory fashion, lol! Like “mamma I made it!”.
4. Always have fun and use your acting skills
Who motivates you? Is there a person that inspires you? For me, it’s Oprah!! Use them and channel their energy. Get into that character, have fun, use your time with the camera to express through your eyes and body posture. If the tone of your business is more serious in nature, be sure to express that as well! All in all, be true to you and let your personality shine from within.