Why do I hate headshots?

May 2, 2016

Very often I have clients say “Just before we get started…  I hate having my pictures taken!”.  It’s a typical occurrence and one that I enjoy overcoming and ending the session with ” Wow, this was a different experience, I loved this session.”

The following are some of the most common reasons why people hate headshots and who to blame for feeling this way…

1 – Blame the photographer; If you had a bad headshot experience it might have been by someone who isn’t a professional in the field.  It might have been a photographer who is dedicated to capturing weddings, buildings or products and photographs portraits for additional income. It could have been an amateur…  Having a great headshot session is like going to a five-star hair studio vs getting a haircut by an amateur who is improvising while cutting your hair.  A passionate capturer of people’s energy will be excited about who you are 

canon 6d

and will make you feel great and will usually be confident enough to allow you to reshoot.

Recently I posted a job our new headshot photographer – out of hundreds, we found but one person.  She was kind, intelligent and talented.

2 – Blame yourself; It’s a portrait of you and you might have high standards for yourself.  Your portrait has to match your standards and if you are like me it rarely happens.  More often than not, the picture I see isn’t up to my standards and I becomes a disappointment.  Hire a talented, professional and dedicated to headshots photographer, he or she may surprise you.

Carol's Headshot

Carol’s Headshot

3 – Blame GQ, Vogue and all the major productions; hiring 17 yrs old models pretending to be male business executives and 14 yrs old pretending to be female business executives distorts our reality and expectations.  Making us believe that beauty is in the flawless skin instead of what I consider to be an outstanding headshot – a portrait of a seasoned professional with life experience and an untouchable integrity.

Younger does not equate to beauty.

4 – Blame your brain; according to recent forensic studies (Discovery News Article ), our brain protects us by making us feel more beautiful than we think.  My brain blames other photographers, if only they were headshot photographers like me – I would have better results.

5 – Blame your anger, smile, seriousness or the basic you; might get in trouble here.  Would it surprise you to read those angry people will often be angry at their portraits because they came across angry?  Would it surprise you that smiling optimistic people will look smiley, the serious will look serious?  For some reason, people want to look like another person instead of honoring themselves.

6 – Blame your measurement tools; is a great portrait a picture of themselves that makes them look younger, richer or taller?  Or is it a portrait that builds a relationship with the viewers?  A vivid image that feels great while looking your best.


1 – http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2012/6736/personal-branding-trends-for-2012-part-1

2 – http://www.marketingprofs.com/opinions/2012/23614/19-reasons-your-headshot-may-be-an-epic-fail

3 – http://news.discovery.com/human/psychology/why-we-dont-see-ourselves-as-others-do-130423.htm

4 – http://artofheadshots.com

5- http://forum.vancouveractorsguide.com/showthread.php?2624-hate-my-headshot-(

Art of Headshots Vancouver Studio

970 Burrard Street, Unit 234, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2R4

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Book an appointment with Art of Headshots using Setmore

Book an appointment with Art of Headshots using Setmore

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