Getting professional headshots taken can be uncomfortable for both men and women, but men often find it harder to pose naturally. Women usually have a wide range of things they can use to help them feel more beautiful and relaxed during a shoot, men don’t always have this same advantage. In trying to offer some help to the guys considering scheduling a headshot session, here are a few things that may help.
1. How Will You Use These Images?
First, you want to figure out what look you need to go for depending on the use of the photos. Most men want to look as masculine as possible but not a mean or unapproachable. For most uses of the photos, you will want to look friendly and inviting. When you let your headshot photographer know what the use will be it should be easy to determine how posing will go.
2. What Do I Do with My Hands?
It isn’t surprising that when someone doesn’t know what to do with their hands, they will fold their arms or put their hands in their pockets. Think about it, if you were standing in front of someone that had their arms folded, would you think they were approachable or open to your conversation? Most would agree this isn’t exactly inviting body posture. When I shoot headshots (from chest up) I often have the client do something that seems odd at first, until I show them why… “Pretend you’re holding a 4-foot-long Italian sub.” This will serve a few purposes, to get the posture of the shoulders back and it gives them something to do with their hands.
3. How Do I Stand?
Here is another observation about body posture and how we interact with people. When standing to have a friendly conversation with someone that you don’t know, you’ll find that most people turn slightly. This gives a less confrontational body posture that lets each person feel more at ease to conversate. So, turning slightly for your photos may give the extra bit of approachable-ness you need. Occasionally I will shoot men straight on but nailing the expression, often a large smile with teeth showing, is key to pulling this off. Which brings us to our next tip.
4. Facial Expression.
As mentioned above, figuring out what sort of look you’re going for is easy to figure out when you determine who your audience is. Trust, confident, friendly and down-to-earth are some of the traits you want to portray. It is always a good idea to practice your poses in a mirror and let your photographer help guide you the rest of the way. Example: When tilting the chin down, it’s good to stick it out slightly. This helps eliminate any double chin that may occur while the chin is down. Clinching teeth to get a more pronounced jaw line, also another trick that may help you nail the look you’re going for.
5. My Head, What Do I Do With It?
Most of the time it’s best to have men hold their head straight. Tilting the head too much is often reserved for female headshots. I personally, like the head tilted ever so slightly. That is something that we work on during the session to see what will look best.
If you feel like it’s time for you to get a new headshot, contact me and let’s get it scheduled.