Grounding your best head shot image

We all have those moments when we need to have our photo taken. Easy. Smile. Click.

But, it’s not easy for all of us. For some, having a photo taken can be very awkward and embarrassing. True, we don’t need to delve into the psychology as to why it can be a challenge now but rest assured all is not lost. There are a few tricks to getting a good shot, other than learning not to blink, that will get you through.

Following on from a previous post of “7 Reasons to Have That Photo Taken Anyway


  1. We are assuming your hair, makeup and clothes are representative of “you” while keeping conservative, and singular (ie not too fussy and/or patterned).
  2. We are assuming you have good light – even if only to one side of your face; as while the moody blues are great for a sultry look, generally a good head shot image appears clear and bright.
  3. We are assuming you would be framed by limited distractions… Someone with a good camera can blur the background to focus on you though!

**If you are paying to have this done you will be charged anywhere from $50 to $500 to $5000 and this cost depends entirely on other styles of photos that photographer takes and how many more they will be doing that day etc etc. Generally the lower end doesn’t mean bad – it simply means they are non-fussy practical results.

General photo image capture help

Similar to taking a selfie, you may wish to experiment in the privacy of your own home to work out which is your best side and what your smile looks like. Learn if your head is better on a slight angle or bang on, front and centre.

That said, when in the moment, first up is to ground yourself. Feet. Firm. Flat.

Then get your mood right.

#1 Throw your head back. Laugh. Out. Loud. Revel in the confidence this brings into your body. It’s a feel good. You might be feeling a bit silly and simply giggle but just keep on keeping on.

Note **a good photographer – or a friendly one at least – will help get you in the mood using these types of techniques… it’s why we all say “smile”, “sexy” or “cheeeese”, to get us in the mood.

#2 If you are with a group of people and laughing out loud is completely inappropriate for the occasion or mood, throw your head back and take the biggest breath in you can muster for the occasion and then blow it out. In. Out. Slowly.

We are only talking a few seconds to do this step but it’s amazing how a dose of oxygen can lift our mood, fix the lines on our face and throw a sparkle into our eyes.

So, now that we are ready with our feet planted firmly (even if sitting – square them up) all we need do is to lean in. One. Shoulder. Forward. At the same time, keeping your chin up and square (and remember if you want to throw your head on that angle – now is the time). This angling will sort any under chin baggage we don’t need to show off. The position may feel weird and strained – but it works. Then look at the camera like a friend or just be plain wanky and think of something nice! Decide if you have mouth shut or mouth open in smile and go. Think. Smile. Click.

Being photographed with one or two others

Main rule here is to lean into each other. It’s basically a case of invading each others personal space. The photo always shows more style if this happens. It may be you all lean forward together, or simply hug (if you know them well enough). Remember to lift chin up and out for a nicer jaw line…

Outsider tips

Here are a few more articles:

From LinkedIn:

From Research:

And, here’s another Charlie post with more explanations :

3 Steps to Relieve Camera-Shyness

Step #1: Get used to your look.

Step #2: Practice.

Step #3: Work it.

Explained more here:

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