Trying too hard for headshots. Sincerity needed. Wasn’t it the comedian George Burns who said, “Sincerity – if you can fake that, you’ve got it made.” Sincerity is a genuineness. You are who you are. We’re in the business of creating sincerity in your Sydney Business Headshot.
Have you ever done an online search for headshots and seen photographs that seem too perfect, too retouched, too adjusted, too good looking, too fantastical?
I wonder, in part, if that’s because there’s a disconnect happening during the photography stage. No, so much that we’re dealing with insincere people (and then seeing lots of those images online) but that the person is so discomforted by the experience, and the photographer too timid to comment, that the insincerity is amplified.
Have ever watched audience participation when someone is asked to act. “I want you to be an astronaut”, and you can tell that they are trying hard but all you see is someone who’s a space cadet? And on the other hand, have you watched a professional and believed in the appeal of their character?
We often see photographs where it appears that someone has been asked to look like they are, for instance, (to choose a much-loved role) a bank manager. It seems like they are acting in character rather than living it. It creates a jarring note.
Everything can be technically right about the photograph and the pose of the person, but there is not a sense of sincerity and, for the viewer, a corresponding discomfort and detachment from the scene. For example, a doctor doesn’t sit, smiling, holding a stethoscope in a sterile office devoid of paperwork, while looking at a camera. We might expect to see that on a low budget soap opera. In our sense of real life, we then feel a disconnect between our own experiences with working professionals and a glorified version of what the professional is and does (for example, not all photographers click the camera ad nauseam while rotating the body in a meaningless arc).
We would rather believe what we’re seeing is happening and real. It gives the viewer no reason to question what they’re seeing. All too often we’re seeing headshots that are seeking to replicate a perceived reality, and they risk dying in the execution. A great headshot is a headshot showing the person, not the role. If we play up to the role we, the photographer, risk making a mockery of the person in the process.
Stop using cliches like that corporate shot where you sat on the corner of the desk “engaged” with other employees. If it has the slightest ring of artifice about it, it will sell you short. A Sydney business headshot, showing no more than head and shoulders, is a vote in your confidence. It’s a sincere engagement with the viewer. It rejects pretence.
The novelty of “branding” yourself does not make for the most honest headshots when being used for that purpose. It should be a simple statement image of you. You are the brand, especially on LinkedIn. An engaging, sincere headshot is you, just presented and is not difficult to execute. When we see the genuine you, in a current and straightforward headshot, it says volumes about your professionalism and self-belief.
One business author writes, “Sincerity makes you believable because it gives you credibility.” Add in equal measures of friendliness, humour, warmth, spirit – if that resonates with you – and you have the makings of a strong corporate headshot. It will be equally at home on company websites, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media, or to be used as collateral to support articles, blogs, videos and podcasts.