4 Steps to Clarifying your Message through Portraits

Body language is everything when it comes down to communicating what we want and need to and from our clients. Our bodies sends out small signals that let other people know about our intentions, our desires, our drive and above all - about our interest in them.
Body language is often an underestimated subject when it comes to business portraits, no matter if they are traditional headshots or images for personal branding.
Sometimes, the message that you wish to convey to your future client is completely lost. Sending out a strong and clear signal to your potential customer can be the difference between success or failure.

So how do you go about making sure that your message reads loud and clear when you decide to have photography done for your business?

I have created a small guide to help you prepare better for your next photography session.
Remember, selecting a photographer that you like to work with, that you feel comfortable with and who knows what he/she is doing, is also incredibly important. The dynamic between the two of you, helps determinate the outcome of your photoshoot.


1.What’s your message?

Prior to your session you should sit down, preferably with your photographer, and figure out what message you would like to send through your portraits. This will help determine the best poses for your photoshoot and will help to clarify that message within yourself.
For example, if you are in a line of work where powerful signals are valued, then it would be beneficial to use powerful poses. If your photographer knows this beforehand, he or she can also adjust their shooting style to your needs and utilize different angles, lights and environments to help emphasize that signal. On the other hand, if you are, let’s say, a yoga teacher then those types of poses might not be the most effective for you. You should consider focusing on softer expressions, more relaxed and natural poses, softer light and deeper connection between you and the camera.


2. Practice makes perfect!

I bet you have heard the saying, practice makes perfect?
It holds true in most things, this included. I highly recommend that you practice your poses in front of the mirror. After following step 1, you should be more clear about your signal, and through there you can start doing more research. Pinterest is an amazing source of inspiration. Find pictures that appeal to you with poses you think holds true to your own image. Practice those poses while looking at yourself in the mirror. Will it feel silly to begin with? Yes, absolutely. But it will also make you come across as more solidified in your signals and in your determination.


3. Do exercises to build your confidence

There are multiple tools out there to help boost your confidence. It can be as simple as putting on your favorite outfit or dressing up a little extra, or it can be actual physical exercises that you go through to help you feel a certain way. This could be practicing power poses in front of the mirror. Be vocal about it. Look yourself in the eyes and tell yourself that you are valuable, powerful and strong.


4. Keep it personal

Last, but definitely not least, you should always remember to stay true to yourself and your brand. Don’t try to pretend to be somebody you are not. Your clients will see that you are pretending and they will turn around on their heels, or worse, find somebody else to do the job. People value honesty and true connections and they really like to get to know the person they are doing business with. They need to feel like you are relatable. So even if you are in need of some traditional, corporate headshots, I still recommend bringing yourself into it. You can do this through your clothing, through your facial expression or your body language. You decide in which direction you wish to go, but remember to try to be as relaxed as possible. I know having your portrait done can be grueling and most people feel some degree of nervousness and awkwardness in front of the camera, but once you are doing it, it can actually become quite a fun and empowering experience.