July 1, 2022
Collection of Headshots

Don’t focus on the backdrop of your headshot, the focus should be on you. This comes up a lot when I’m having discussions with clients about what should be in the background of their headshot. Sometimes too much attention is paid to what’s happening in the background.

The choices can be simplified to a block colour studio type background or ambient backdrop. Beyond that there are some considerations to be made but it’s important not to get too bogged down with this. 

The colour used for the background is an important factor but that can be a fairly straightforward decision. Where it gets more complicated is when you start worrying about the landmarks or location of your backdrop.

It’s surprising how many people want to have a specific landmark behind them. The Shard in London, the Bristol Suspension Bridge or Birmingham’s Selfridges building. I know right, a shopping centre – it does look pretty cool but it is just a shopping centre. 

The problem is that when you start thinking about what’s happening in the background you’re confusing your business headshot with a holiday snap. I get it, if you’re having a nice time on your hols,  you want people to see you stood next to the oldest bridge or whatever the town has to offer.

When yu start adding in these kind of visual references into a headshot then all you’re doing is confusing the viewer.

When people see your headshot you’re trying to make a first impression. If you’re inviting people to make decision about where to look then you’re not able to make that impression.

The most important thing for a headshot is your eyes. Your eyes and then your mouth. The brain will navigate the picture subconsciously and you don’t want it to get lost looking at an attention grabbing landmark.

I agree that a cool background helps to make the picture look better but don’t don’t let it become a distraction.

Written by Paul Tschornow

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