Here are two simple techniques to help you prepare.
This is where some of the acting skills we have been working on will come into play. You want to think about the type of photo you want to create or add to your portfolio. That of a carefree fun loving kid, a bit on the dramatic side, maybe a little hard edge or trouble-maker? The camera is not only your audience, but it becomes the character you are providing your expression to. Your trusted friend, your loving grandma, your arch enemy. It is all based on what type of expression or appearance you wish to add to your portfolio. If you are just beginning to develop your headshot portfolio, you want to provide a natural, pleasant appearance, show who you are, and make sure you look your age. In other words, show your best self!
There is a beautiful quote that says “Your eyes are the doorway to your heart.” Poets, writers and artists have always been inspired by eyes. Practice communicating with your eyes. Imagine that your entire face was covered except for your eyes, and the only way you could communicate what you wanted to say is through your eyes.
How would you tell someone you are happy, sad, feeling scared, feeling loved? This may sound crazy but try draping a scarf around your face with only your eyes showing. Look into a mirror and practice showing various emotions with your eyes. Might seem a bit awkward at first, but with time, you will be able to control communicating with your eyes. You do it all the time right now naturally, but you want to be able to control what your want your eyes to show emotionally. Your eyes are the most important part of the photo, they are what draws the casting agent into your photo.
Along with communicating with your eyes, you want to make sure you can also communicate with your different facial expressions. So take the scarf off for this exercise, and practice different expressions using different mouth positions, big smile, small smile, no smile. Watch your eyebrows, change the angle of your face, watch if you are showing too much inside your nose or too much chin. Stay in that mirror long enough and you will be surprised at all your different looks. You will also discover looks that you really like the best.
Those of you that attended the last workshop had a chance to practice the 10 second acting technique where you counted down from a really happy expression at 10 to a really sad expression by the time you reached 1. With each count, your emotion changed. While you will not used this particular technique for your photo shoot, definitely continue to practice in similar ways working with your differing smiles and eye expressions and I’ll see you soon!