So, you have shooting day behind your back and are biting your nails while you get your pics delivered.

Going through the images submitted by the photographer and choosing which photos to keep and which to forget can be time-consuming.

If spending too much time agonizing on each picture sounds like you, here are some tips that will bring you relief.

Why is it so hard to make a choice?

Budget limitations aside, we have a specific perception of ourselves, which doesn’t necessarily verify when looking at pictures.

When a portrait is done right, as soon as a viewer looks at it, their eyes instantly settle on the subject.

Since the idea is to establish contact with the viewer, the eyes do get their share of focus too, which might feel intense, as the eyes mirror the soul.

Getting all that attention might feel uncomfortable and feeds our inner critic.

Also, a good headshot says something about us, and most probably, it will be something different for each viewer. This might stir feelings in us, especially if we want to have everything under control.

No less critical, a portrait flatters the subject. Photographers work very hard to reflect the best version of us. And some of us have a hard time dealing with compliments 😊

“Experiencing dissonance between our perception and what we see in the pictures is normal. It results from the pressure to look like a model and our inner critic,” says Alice Patterson, who specializes in branding photography for women.

 

choosing-your-photos

​With that in mind, how do we choose the right pictures?

1) Trust the selection

Usually, photographers make a pre-selection based on the briefing and what they perceived about your personality during the session. If they don’t offer it, do not hesitate to request it, which will render the selection process much more efficient.

Luis Gómez, a photographer based in Washington DC, explains: “What people forget is that the images we are choosing are pretty much the same images other people will like.

 As photographers, we are outsiders, we’ve been there and felt your energy, and we have the other elements of the session that other people don’t see, like your background or how you reacted when we asked you something.

We try to include that in the selection we make. Trust that selection.”

2) Do it quickly

Yes, you read it right. Most people do not scrutinize a picture the way we do with our new headshots. People check if we exude confidence, seem reliable and are good human beings, and they do that in an eye blink. Do the same.

 

3) Feel the emotion

The easiest and most reliable way of choosing the right picture is keeping those that cause you some emotion. You can’t go wrong with that.

 

4) Let a 3rd party decide

If you have a hard time making a final decision, ask somebody else to make a selection: your VA, friends or other people in your professional circles. They see you with different eyes and without the inner critic.

 

5) If none of the above work

Patterson offers a lifeline: “If somebody is still struggling with their appearance, one thing that can be done is choose photos based on just purely the function of the photo, like I need a landscape with me on the left side. So maybe you don’t love the way you look, but there is a photo of you on the left side landscape.”

​With that in mind, how do we choose the right pictures?

1) Trust the selection

Usually, photographers make a pre-selection based on the briefing and what they perceived about your personality during the session. If they don’t offer it, do not hesitate to request it, which will render the selection process much more efficient.

Luis Gómez, a photographer based in Washington DC, explains: “What people forget is that the images we are choosing are pretty much the same images other people will like.

 As photographers, we are outsiders, we’ve been there and felt your energy, and we have the other elements of the session that other people don’t see, like your background or how you reacted when we asked you something.

We try to include that in the selection we make. Trust that selection.”

2) Do it quickly

Yes, you read it right. Most people do not scrutinize a picture the way we do with our new headshots. People check if we exude confidence, seem reliable and are good human beings, and they do that in an eye blink. Do the same.

 

3) Feel the emotion

The easiest and most reliable way of choosing the right picture is keeping those that cause you some emotion. You can’t go wrong with that.

 

4) Let a 3rd party decide

If you have a hard time making a final decision, ask somebody else to make a selection: your VA, friends or other people in your professional circles. They see you with different eyes and without the inner critic.

 

5) If none of the above work

Patterson offers a lifeline: “If somebody is still struggling with their appearance, one thing that can be done is choose photos based on just purely the function of the photo, like I need a landscape with me on the left side. So maybe you don’t love the way you look, but there is a photo of you on the left side landscape.”

What matters is using the RIGHT photo, and it’s often impossible to choose the right picture if you base your decision on what you think looks best (and we are more photogenic than we think!)

 

With special thanks to:

Alice G. Patterson  is a brand photographer and educator located in Syracuse, NY. She is changing how female entrepreneurs show up in their social media marketing with monthly photo sessions; and helping other brand photographers shift their business model with the invent of her group photo membership called Loving My Company LLC. Alice is currently accepting applications from photographers for her BETA training. When she is not working, Alice can be found cooking vegan food, bird watching, and enjoying the company of her rescue cat. You can follow Alice on Instagram at @lovingmycompany and @alicegpatterson. Check Loving My Company and Alice G. Patterson Photography

Luis Gómez is a freelance photographer and photojournalist living in Washington, DC. During his 35 years as a photographer, he has travelled the world collecting images for work and pleasure. Check Luis Gómez Photos and One Photograph a Day. You can follow Luis on Instagram @lgomez66.

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