Should you smile in a corporate headshot?

Your headshot photo will likely be the public image of you that receives the most attention for commercial purposes. And when thinking about having one taken, the majority of individuals often ponder themselves whether to smile or not. Are there guidelines to follow while having your picture taken, even if it’s not for business? Yes, but keep in mind that certain rules are meant to be disobeyed. In light of this, should you smile?

Read on to find out whether there is a golden rule for smiling in headshot photography before scheduling a time for a picture shoot.

Elements of a good headshot

The first thing to ask yourself while deciding on a nice headshot stance and whether to grin is “What is the goal of the photo?”

Sometimes, the answer to smiling in business headshots may be a simple “No.” If your organisation has a policy on this already, enquire about it. If it’s for the company website or brochure, they could have a standard you should adhere to, and that standard might include advice on smiling.

If not, a number of variables will affect the enquiry with a smile. Think about the following:

Where the picture will be utilised.

The persona you wish to project.

How at ease you are grinning.

The type of business you run

Uses for Professional Headshots

Whether or not you should smile will depend significantly on how your headshot will be used. A corporate website is different from a social media platform. Even in the business world, the business headshot photo will vary depending on whether it is used for a brochure or another type of profile, like a Twitter account.

In your headshot, show some personality

Even if you are aware of the intended use for the image and have decided to smile, you are not required to do so.

First impressions do matter, as the adage goes, and this is also true of photographs. Whatever the reason for the headshot, it will likely be the first time many people have ever seen you. Your personality as well as your physical appearance must be shown in the photo. Even from this one picture, people should feel like they know you. One reason a professional headshot photographer should be hired to take the photos is because they have experience showcasing personalities.Find a corporate headshot in Sydney with good services.

One of the keys to a great headshot is that you should appear at ease and be instantly recognisable to the viewer. So, if you have a big smile naturally, go for it. It might be advisable to keep to your typical demeanour if you tend to be more serious since an unpractised effort at a grin may come out as fake.

But it is important that your smile is genuine, so practise before the booking. 

During your real picture shoot, try a few smiling poses. Don’t grin if it simply doesn’t seem natural. It is preferable to appear serious and sincere than to grin inappropriately.Your photographer will be able to give you guidance during the session, so listen to their advice.

The aim is to show your personality, but it won’t shine through if it is obscured by an unreal-looking expression.

Opinions will vary here, however, in a survey by the Coffee Meets Bagel dating app, they found that almost 80% of people prefered photos of men who smiled with their teeth showing. The same stat came in a little lower for women at 58% – but still a significant majority.

Along with the tooth topic, lighting is an additional element to take into account. If you’re not too sure about your teeth, chat to your photographer and attempt a few images with or without revealing them; depending on the lighting setup they employ, you could be pleasantly pleased. You can read more about it here.

In the end, whether or not you grin while showing your teeth will depend on your level of confidence; whether you do so in your headshot picture should be determined by how you feel.

Confidence rules the world of headshots. You will project confidence if you feel confident. Whether you grin or not, your ultimate goal should be to establish a connection with the image’s viewer. You have the best chance of doing this if you are at ease and just be yourself.

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