Tune in to Your Expression
Yesterday, I was in my car with my daughter, driving to and from the supermarket. I think I changed the radio station at least 20 times in the few miles it took to get to the store. We started with Motley Crüe, then on to The Eagles, then a ton of other amazing groups. We settled on Ed Sheeran's "Castle on the Hill" to round out the evening.
At the end of my brief stint as the car DJ, I began thinking about the need to change the music so frequently. Why on earth did I not want to hear Motley Crüe? or The Eagles? or Skid Row? Seriously, what was wrong with me?!
Part of me was trying to not torture my daughter with the incredible tunes of my generation, music she doesn't connect with, and can't appreciate. The other part of me simply wasn't in the mood. But, how could I not be in the mood?
The fact is, every song evoked a different emotion. The music made me feel a certain way. If I liked how the song made me feel, I left the dial alone. If I wasn't enjoying the vibe, I changed the station.
This is exactly how viewers of headshots and portraits operate. Whether they are casting directors, employers, or potential clients, they all view your image like a radio station. If the song playing has an enjoyable vibe, they're going to listen a little longer.
There's no escaping the fact that people ARE going to see your picture(s). Not only is it common these days, but it's a necessity in this visual age.
So, what is your song? What is the vibe you want your viewers to find in your pictures? Your expression is the key to the song. It's that hook, the catchy melody that people hum while walking through a store, long after the music has stopped playing.
A disingenuous expression is like a synthesized melody for an infomercial. It's fine for about 3 minutes. After that, no one cares about it, or remembers it. When the expression is authentic, honest, and reactionary, the feeling that it came from the heart is undeniable.
The impression that you made with that expression will last far longer than you know. When people think of your face, they may not remember your name, but they will remember how you made them feel, and THAT is extremely powerful!