Headshots, at Minimum, are a MUST
No matter what your business is, at some point you’re going to need to be in front of the camera. I can already hear you product-based business owners arguing with me, but you’ve got an “about” page on your website too, right? (The answer should be yes, because “about” pages are the second most visited page on most websites.) If you’ve got an “about” page, and it’s devoid of images of you, you’re missing out on a massive opportunity to connect with potential customers!
Having images of yourself on (at minimum) your site’s “about” page humanizes brands, and so much more (that we’ll talk about another day). This means that even if you have a business that is wholly product based, or even wholly e-commerce based, you’ll benefit from a sweet set of branded headshots. But… headshots require posing for brand photography, and that brings us to a big question. What do you do with your hands??
Top tips for Brand Photography Posing
1. If it feels unnatural, it’ll look unnatural too.
This one is first, because it’s the absolute most important thing you can remember when you’re posing during your session. If it feels weird, it probably looks weird. And sometimes weird is good! But if it’s not “wow, it’s super weird that I’m laying in a corner wallpapered with newspaper clippings” weird, and feels more like “huh, this pose makes me feel hella uncomfortable” weird, that’s when we run into issues.
No matter what, if a pose feels uncomfortable to you, it’s going to look uncomfortable in the final images. This isn’t even completely about the pose itself, it’s more about how being uncomfy will impact your overall vibe. Instead of thinking about what you should be thinking about (being really cool), you’ll be thinking about where your hands go, or about not falling over.
I’m using the term “uncomfortable” to refer to more than just poses that feel physically uncomfy to get into though. I also mean posing that just straight up feels unnatural for you. If you wouldn’t put your hand on your hip, guess what? It’s going to feel unnatural. If it feels unnatural (can you guess where I’m going with this?) it’s going to look unnatural. If you normally wouldn’t lean on a wall, or wouldn’t cross your legs, same deal.
Of course, you also likely wouldn’t normally hold a gigantic sword outside a warehouse, but here I’d like to refer to what I said earlier, because that kind of weird definitely counts as the good kind.
2. Tell your photographer (yours truly) if a pose feels weird.
Whether you’re working with me, or with another photographer, if you’ve been instructed to use a pose in your brand session and it feels weird (remember, bad weird, not good weird), say something! Look, us photographers, we get into a groove. I know how awkward it can feel to interrupt that groove, but to take a moment to get on my soapbox and speak for the collective here: we WANT the groove to be interrupted, if something feels not-quite-right to you. At the end of the day, we’re making art TOGETHER.
3. Stop thinking about your hands (no really, stop thinking about them.)
If I tell you not to think about a purple elephant, you’re going to think about a purple elephant. We all know that the human brain can’t work in the negative like that. But when it comes to being authentically “you” while you’re posing, part of making that happens is focusing on the right things during your session overall. I’m sure you’ll be shocked to hear that worrying about where you’re putting your hands doesn’t exactly help you place them in a natural way! (Please read that with the intended sarcasm.)
Instead, my recommendation is to think about your clients, and how you want them to feel about working with you. Then, instead of thinking intensely about tilting your head, or where you put your hands, you’ll be focused on the mood you want to create! Besides, in all honesty, I’m going to tell you when to tilt your head, and where to put your hands anyway, which brings me to tip number four:
4. Trust the process
Look. I’ve been around the block a few times. I do kind of know what I’m doing most of the time. During your session, it’s a big part of my job to think about all of this for you. I’ve spent years helping clients with their brand photography posing. Where you put your hands, how you move your head, how you hold the props we use (if we use props) – all those things are on my big ‘ol list of responsibilities as the person who showcases your badassery. During your session, you get to sit back, be you, and I promise I’ll take care of the rest.
I’m here to HELP.
So: trust the process. Give in to the *good* weird. Communicate about what’s uncomfortable, or what feels unnatural. Laugh at the awkward moments (because there will be some, probably caused by me…). Who knows, your favorite candid smile of our session just might come from one of those moments!
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