The Unexpected Power of a Good Headshot, and How to Get There

We all know the feeling: you need to get your professional headshot updated into something a little sleeker and modern. You get dressed to the nines. You’re ready to go. In front of the camera, you take a deep breath, throw your shoulders back, and give it your best 100-watt toothy grin. You feel calm, cool – regal, even. You feel a little something like this…


…but in reality, you look a little more like this…

crazy cat 1

…or this…

crazy cat 2

…or maybe even this.

crazy cat 3

Something about being in front of a camera changes a lot of people. We go from well-adjusted, functioning human beings to something that looks like Dr. Frankenstein got a little too carried away halfway through and then gave up. We go from the Jekyll of our regular personas to the Hyde of our photographed selves. There are so many rules about how to hold yourself to put your best features forward – and the more you try to follow them, the more those features go running for the hills and your worst features decide to throw a party in their absence.

You also need to think about what your headshot says about you: the best professional headshots will communicate that you’re serious and competent, but also affable and approachable, with a background to match.

Never thought this hard about the psychology of your headshot before, or not quite sure if you believe in it? Let us prove it to you with the help of the BBA’s own Director of Communications, Kerry Crisley, who has bravely offered herself as a subject of our headshot What Not to Do portion and has personally provided candid interpretations of what her past headshots are really saying.

What Your Headshot Says About You

In the “no, never” category:

And in the “nice try, but still maybe not” category:

If you’re starting to feel a bit sheepish about your own headshot, don’t worry: as usual, the BBA has you covered. With the backdrop of the BBA’s classy-chic Claflin Center, we’ll be hosting a headshot photo shoot for BBA members from 2:00-6:00 on Thursday, April 2. Just sign up here, email Maggie DeMoura with your preferred time frame, and you can get on this level:


p.s. here’s a picture of a kitten with a camera. Because – well, do we really need a reason?

kitten with a camera