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  • Writer's pictureBri Costello


Most of us dread updating our headshot, but it doesn't have to be a bore, especially today! The workforce is more tolerant of fun, vibrant imagery that accurately portrays you and your personality. And with all of the virtual work these days and dependence on visual interest across your brand, an engaging photo is needed now more than ever.

Check out some tips below I have come across to make your image uniquely you.

1. Come ready to let your truest self shine through.

This here is my number one tip. It seems like not even a tip at all—but truly, if you come expecting to have a good time and allow yourself to be a bit vulnerable and you will get images that feel authentically YOU. Let go of who you think you *should be* and allow yourself to be who you really are to your team and your clients. It makes all the difference in the world.

2. Unexpected styling: Patterns

Look, I know "they” say to keep it basic, but goodness—how fun is it when you get to play with a bold statement piece and let it POP for you. Paired with either a more nuetral/chilled out background *OR*, almost surprisingly, a color behind you that is gonna catch an eye, you have a real winning image.

3. Make your outfit uniquely YOU.

You obviously want to take in to consideration the appropriate level of professionalism your image needs to maintain, but so many gigs these days allow for a LOT of freedom in wardrobe and personal expression and presentation. Don't be afraid to level up your business casual with some statement leather pants, or an unexpected blazer. Make it a bit more editorial with a casual hair do, put it up or pulled back, or fun outfit you would wear on a lunch date instead of a business meeting.

4. Give it a waist.

You can achieve a bit of shape many ways. One is by posing—pop that arm casually on your hip to pull your outfit in at the waist. We are not trying to create illusions here, simply working towards angles and a more interesting (and, yes—overall flattering) image.

Another way to achieve a waist is a little less noticeable, but you will notice if you are looking. Select an outfit that does cinch in at the waist. If you are wearing pants, let them find your smallest bit to hug. In a dress, I recommend you steer away from stiff materials that don't gather at the waist nor form to your body. Instead, opt for either a more flowy dress with movement or a fitted dress that will retain your waist.

5. Bring a prop!

What is something that is a normal part of your business? Baking tools, thread, a camera, notebooks or a laptop? Bring it along to give you "something to do with [your] hands,“ as well as give more information about what it is thag you do—all while adding a super-special touch of visual interest.

6. Make it modern or moody.

Headshots can be bright and fun, professional, serious, bashful and quiet and still be super-effective. Gone are the days of cheesy smiles plastered on awkward bodies—now we don't even have to look at the camera to get a shot that feels like us. The combination of color choices and posing here really helps to deliver a bit more of an elevated profile or headshot image.

7. Monochrome and color story.

This is one of the most powerful ones, in my opinion, and one that is almost all about our choices, which we can easily manipulate. So I will end it here with several examples of how playing with the color story of your brand or image is one of the most powerful tools to enhance the quality and interest of your image.

It may seem beneficial to have your outfit "stand out" from the background—and this approach certainly works as well—but time-and-time again, I am finding a monochromatic look reads so fresh and modern—giving "clean, relevant image,” energy, and I am here for it. Black-on-black, neutrals-paired-with-neutrals, imqges full of reds, greens, yellows and browns—HELLOOOOO. Love it. Opportunities are endless.

And voila! The same 'fit three ways. What do you know! Each one radiates a different vibe, so don't be afraid to pair the same top or outfit with multiple (even unexpected or not-preferred) background choices!

Talk about nailing a color story. In each of these three images, colors are intentionally paired with the background to elevate the look of each outfit, and each results in a completely different feel from the next.

More color-story wins. The grey of the backdrop in the first image pulls on the grey undertone of the blazer and allows the blue-ish seafoam tones to elevate this image. And HELLO YELLOW, who knew how good you could be!?!?! Give us all the yellow-on-yellow. Finally, you can keep it a bit subtle with a blazer (and some eyes to match your shirt and the background, obviously) with an icey blue undershirt to really make your shot say "HIIIIII, I am your gal (or dude!)."

And finally--check out these different pairings of the same person, even in the same outfit, on a different background. But just notice how each image, especially when you can view a look side-by-side, works to tell a different story. Come ready to play because one of the most common feedback phrases I hear is, "WOW, I did not expect to like that (outfit or that color background) so much!"

Hopefully some of these tips resonate with you and make it a bit easier to pull the perfect pieces from your wardrobe to create an image that will tell your story.

Thanks for checking out the tips, and to learn more about scheduling a private Houston Headshot experience, head here to contact me directly.

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