The Perfect Headshot Shows a Genuine and Settled Us

We do not want those fake smiles in our executive headshots. Get out of here! 

The perfect headshot will have a real expression, not something that looks like the photographer asked for a smile, or that it was held too long. We should look like we are connecting with the current viewer of the headshot, like we're looking at a colleague in conversation, not like we're looking at a camera lens. 

If the photographer is engaging with us, we'll be interacting with him or her. We'll be talking, really smiling, maybe even really laughing. The photographer's job is to catch us when we're genuine and settled. 

When we have a genuine smile, we don't look our best during every millisecond, when frozen in a picture, throughout the whole smiling process. So the photographer must get the person genuine and settled. 

The famous Chicago headshot photographer Amy Bissonette echoed this sentiment, “A genuine smile is valuable. You are rarely capture on camera with a genuine smile, when your clothes are put together, and you’re looking at a camera. That’s the magic part of what I do. I’m able to show people what their friends see in them.”

Let's take a look at our headshots. Do they meet this criteria? Do we look genuine and settled?

Check out the other eight characteristics of the perfect headshot.

My name is Jon Meadows, and I am the headshot photographer and expression coach at High-End Headshots based in Washington, D.C. I am honored to be an associate headshot photographer of Peter Hurley, who runs the Headshot Crew.

Headshot TipsJon Meadows