Professional Headshots: To Smile or Not To Smile

It can be quite confusing for you to decide whether you should smile or bear a serious expression in your professional headshots. While it depends on the platform, where you’re going to use the image and the message you wish to convey, a simple smile can be of no harm, right? The headshot experts at can shed some light on the matter and help you pose perfectly for your professional headshots.

Why should you smile in headshots?

As the general rule goes, smiles are good for headshots or any other form of professional photography. This is because they help you relax while posing for the shoot and exude a sense of warmth through your images. Smiling images also help you connect with your audience on a genuine level, which is the key to building trust. The viewer feels more comfortable seeing a smiling picture, thus increasing his/her eagerness to work with you. Last but not least, smiles can help you look younger if that’s what you desire.

When should you smile less in your headshots?

However, there are instances, when the photographer advises you to work on your smile a bit. For example, if you have braces and don’t feel comfortable showing them, you should go with normal expression. It’s not advisable to bear a straight face though. Further, if your eyes get squinty because of your smile, you should tone it down a bit. Do you have wrinkles? It’s better not to smile broadly, as they can get emphasized in the image.

The importance of serious expression in headshots

Certain headshots demand you to bear a serious look to create the most impact. For example, if you look too young while smiling, you may consider a serious face to appear older and more experienced. For example, if you’re planning to apply to a law firm, you should bear a subtle smile on your face, not as broad as a grin but not even a frown to look just awesome in your headshots. Your photographer will give you suggestions to exude a sense of confidence in your headshots, coupled with approachability. However, don’t go overboard with your serious expression, as you may repulse the viewers then.

Wrapping it up

It’s the purpose of the image that determines if you should smile or not. If you don’t feel comfortable smiling, you can always ask the photographer to help you bear a non-serious, approachable and confident look on your face. As headshots should be genuine, your efforts and comfort levels matter a lot.

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