Monday, August 03, 2009

5 Tips for Personable Headshots

99% of all lawyer bio photos look like mug shots of the rich and kind of famous. Nice attire, tasteful backdrop, deer-in-the-headlights. I would show examples but the defamation law suits for showing what is already out there would be endless. Go to justaboutanylawfirm-dot-com but your own and you will know I am right.

Several years ago I was fortunate to work with a great model photographer -- his simple tips were so good that ever since even my drivers license photo is complimented.

Stand Unnaturally: When we are just standing around (no cameras) talking away we naturally place our weight on one foot. This weight placement shifts our hips, our shoulders and our chin. But put us in front of a camera and suddenly we are straight and stiff. Force yourself to stand on one foot pointed a bit away from the camera. IT WILL FEEL UNNATURAL but it will be a much more genuine pose. Whether standing or seated the key is to never have your hips facing the camera.

Talk to the Camera: Yup, you heard me. Talk to the camera. Say something silly like "I only have eyes for you" or "What are you looking at big-eye!?". Maybe even name the camera... "O.K. Jim. What are YOU looking at!?" If the camera can become a personality your attitude and composure will relax.

Get Close with the Camera: Lean forward, like you are interested in what happens next. Literally. Lean towards the camera. It feels even more awkward but the results are amazing

Smile Like Recalling a Pleasant Memory: No one needs to see ALL your teeth. That's like serial weird crazy. And no one connects to people with tight lips. Think about a pleasant memory and wear the kind of blissful smile we all wear with warm memories. That does mean your cheeks and eyes are involved. If you do not feel the muscles in your face moving upward a bit you can always practice just a bit more....

Focus Your Eyes Above the Camera: Not like at the moon, but not "deer in the headlights" smack on directly into the lens. Look at anything close BUT NOT AT THE LENS!

If you have the presence to remember these few steps when a camera is aimed in your direction I guarantee you will never have to hide from you photos ever again... and at least your law firm web site mug shot will illustrate your personality.