I am often asked what difference a headshot photographer can make. You may know a great street/wedding/newborn/family photographer, so why hire a headshot specialist? The answer comes in the details. Headshot photographers study the human face. Not just how to light it, but how to read and stimulate emotional reactions. Those reactions form the foundation for the photograph. Adding to that foundation, the experienced headshot photographer also understands the subtleties of how best to present the face to convey a feeling in the person seeing it. As Gary, an accomplished photographer in Louisville put it, as photographers we must know how to reflect our clients’ trust and confidence in a single photograph. By spending hours at capturing people’s expressions, headshot photographers understand how to do this.

Besides my years photographing the face, I have additional years studying minute changes in expression people make. As an FBI Special Agent, I participated in thousands of interviews. I interviewed witnesses, victims, and bad guys. Each time, I had to pay attention to cues from the interviewee to help me decide the direction my questions would take next. These cures came from body language, verbal responses, and facial expressions. Often, those expressions were slight, such as a split second tic. I consciously registered these changes, but evolution has ingrained a subconscious recognition in humans as well. These subtle facial changes can affect whether or not a person is believable, trustworthy, or approachable.

Since a headshot must convey the best “you” possible, and the cues which convey those positive emotions that make up the “best” you are often subtle, shouldn’t you stick with a facial expert? You may already be nervous about getting the right look, or looking genuine, in front of the camera. Wouldn’t it be nice to let someone else worry about that, and just enjoy the experience?