Prepare to Ace Your Headshot

It’s not what you LOOK like, it’s what you look LIKE

Most of us arrive at the photographer’s studio thinking we’ll try to make the best of a bad situation when doing our obligatory headshot. We’ll hope that at least one of the pictures won’t make us look too ugly… I see it differently. I see it as an opportunity for you to present yourself in a way that will compel the viewer to understand that you are the right person for his/her needs. I want to help give the viewers what they hope to find.

For all that you are in the world, you will be appreciated by your client as a leader. Not a leader for everything in their lives but for the issues at hand that they cannot deal with on their own and need help in resolving. Easy examples are accountants, doctors, lawyers, and realtors. They have specialized skills and we need their professional help and guidance on occasion. So too the members of the management teams and boards of companies and organizations. We viewers are hoping to glean a sense of the timbre of the person and the company. Do these look like people I want to deal with and can have some respect for, straight out of the box? (“ I’d like to get a good sense of the person I have a meeting with next week about a proposal: what’s she like? Can I trust this person?” ) These are more the thoughts in the searchers’ minds than interests in the beauty or happiness of the person pictured. Knowing what the viewer wants, and keeping that firmly in mind when being photographed, is the key to presenting effectively.

If I think of what an appealing leader looks like to me I would say that she looks like an authority figure, in the kindest sense of the word. Not authoritarian, but someone who looks like she’s been around, she knows her stuff, and that she’d be worth listening to. She has a quiet confidence of years of experience. (That may not truly be the case, but she looks like it) Secondly, because I am likely to think myself the vulnerable party in this transaction, I would find him very appealing if I could see that somehow he was telling me that he will take good care of me in return for the power and monies that I will give him. Thirdly, I want to immediately sense that I can trust her. And lastly I want to see him as being up for the dialogue: he’s personable, a team player who will bring me up to speed and who won’t just blow me off when I have a challenge or suggestion.

And we can leave it at that. These are the key values that your viewer is looking for, making you appear to be the right choice. All the other things that you are, the sports coach, the Brownie leader, the dog lover, can be discovered later, perhaps. Right now we want to keep it a really simple message that doesn’t need to bare your sole or distract you with wondering how to explain yourself. This is enough. We’ve got someone who’s saying “I will use my professional sphere of influence to your benefit, I’ll take good care of you, you can trust me, and I’ll make it as pleasant as possible along the way.”

A natural sense of vanity will play a roll in the look of your outreach but it’s not what you look like, it’s what you look like.

I have a compelling set of “tools” and insights that we can incorporate into our session that will help you firmly connect with your viewers to help them understand that you could be just the right choice for them, or to appreciate what you bring to the table. This will be a portrait of a leader. Our sessions last an average of just over an hour and allow us to definitively choose a favourite image that I will retouch and send to you by email. And, as always, it will be unconditionally guaranteed to please you.

I am happy to tell you that I have been photographing portraits, advertising and commercial/industrial/architectural images for 40 years. I have received numerous meritorious awards and my work is widely published. Please have a look at a brief portfolio at and specifically business portraits at


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