5 ways to nail your personal brand with authentic headshots

How do you feel about your current headshot?

Are you using a selfie?

Have cut yourself out of a family BBQ picture?

Or are you using a photo you adore but it’s now rather old and looks nothing like you?

Time to get some new professional headshots!

You want your headshot to connect, gain trust and sell your personality all at the same time (no pressure) AND you want it to be a photo you adore and cannot wait to share. 

Here are 5 things to consider as you make that booking:

What kind of message do you want to convey? I think you should always include a welcoming slash approachable slash trustworthy type baseline and then you need to decide whereabouts on the traditional corporate professional to casual spectrum that fits. Throw in some words that describe your brand personality – are you also quirky? or passionate? or chilled? easy to a laugh? knowledgeable? Keep these in mind as you go through the list.

A headshot is not usually a full body shot but you still want to not just stand square for the camera like a passport photo!  Turn your body to a side whilst keeping your face to the camera or bring one arm in front of you and one behind to shape your shoulders. Always bring your face forward (think ears towards the camera) to elongate your neck.

Try a range of expressions from a slight smirk through closed mouth smile, natural open mouth smile all the way to laughter and see what you prefer (and if you’ve got time, throw in a thinking shot and a joy/celebration expression too as you’ll use these on socials).

And always make eye contact with the photographer – ignore that scary black lens and camera thingie between you. Look at them them using all the emotions you listed in messaging and like a new client you cannot wait to meet.

I give you permission to have your headshot on any background you like. You do standout on something a little plainer but just step off the background anywhere to stand out. Plain white backdrops, plain black backdrops, pink, red and blue backdrops are fine. Rendered walls are fine. Brick walls are fine. Fences are fine. If gardens or beaches are your happy place, they are fine backgrounds. If you have a loud mural or wallpaper you adore and it suits your business personality – then use it!  Stand in front of your favorite artwork. Being authentic is much more important than having a perfect traditional old school corporate headshot.

Where abouts will you be using the final product? The photographer will compose (fit you in) the photo differently depending on whether you need a circle profile pic for Facebook or a portrait image for your About page on your website so be sure to let them know.


Wear clothing that makes you feel great and fits with your brand messaging and personality. Fitted is usually more flattering than flowy but there are really no rules. You don’t have to worry about your outfit dating because this won’t be hanging on a wall for decades – you’ll be updating it regularly now!

Do pack a couple of tops with different necklines or add a jacket or scarf to your outfit so it doesn’t look like they were all taken on the same day.

If you don’t wear make up I suggest some mascara, maybe eyebrow pencil and lip gloss to make your eyes and smile pop. If you are all about the glam – get your make up professionally done prior to ensure the makeup behaves in the light.

I hope this helps you create epic headshots you can’t wait to use everywhere!  


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