Head Shot

“There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes.” Abraham Lincoln

July 24, 2013 | | Blogs | Community | Leisure | Two Blue Boots

Modelling is harder than it looks. A few weeks ago, I received a phone call from local photographer Rosemary Hasner. She explained that she had been commissioned to take a head shot photo of me for In The Hills. We set up a date and time to meet and I was instantly overcome with nervous excitement.

I immediately went online and researched “How to pose for a head shot”and I was overwhelmed by the volume of advice.

I efficiently summarized the tips and tricks:

  1. Look into the camera with your forehead “out and down.” This will accentuate the jawline and alleviate the appearance of the dreaded double chin.
  2. Standing at a slight angle to the camera and lowering your back shoulder is recommended.
  3. Posing with your ear toward the camera produces more natural-looking results.
  4. If you laugh—keep your head forward. Most people tend to throw their heads back when they laugh. The internal view of nostrils is not flattering.

On the “big day” Rose arrived promptly and she suggested an outdoor photo. She led me to a shaded area and chose a large tree as a backdrop.  “Alrighty, shall we get started?” she quipped.

I sprang into action, eager to demonstrate my new modelling skills.  I turned to face her and leaned into the camera. I pushed my forehead down and out – no, that didn’t feel right. I tried out and down—then down and out again.

After this display of spastic chicken pecking, I recalled that I had to lower a shoulder,  but which shoulder – the front or the back one? I decided to alternate raising and lowering each shoulder.

I remembered I had to point my ear at the camera, but which ear—the right or the left?  I rotated my head and pointed my right ear at the camera— then quickly switched to my left ear.  Neither position felt right.  My upper torso began to gyrate uncontrollably. I was a cowboy on a bucking bronco.

Did Rose notice my unco-ordinated gymnastics? “Let’s get you laughing,” she suggested. Oh man! Was I supposed to throw my head backward or forward when I laughed? I tried both ways…several times.  I was starting to feel like a whiplash victim.

I did my best to conceal my ineptitude. I chatted casually about the weather and feigned nonchalance as I stroked wayward strands of hair from my eyes.

“Alrighty, all done!” Rose announced. “You were a good model—it makes my job much easier.”

I peeked curiously at a few of the photos in her camera display.

Not too bad, I thought. Not too bad at all!  If my blogging career doesn’t work out, I may just take up modelling.

About the Author More by Laurie May

Laurie teaches Grade 4 at Island Lake Public School in Orangeville and writes in her spare time. She lives in Mono and looks for the humour in everyday country life. Check out her blog “Two Blue Boots”.



  1. Your picture is just ‘picture perfect’ my dear. That is the Laurie I know. Sue

    SUSAN TROWBRIDGE on Jan 7, 2014 at 3:31 pm | Reply

  2. Laurie, the photo is fabulous and the story is hilarious. I can just see poor Rose trying to caputure you between moves. If you do become a model, perhaps hand modelling would be less stressful. Diane.

    Diane on Jul 24, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Reply

    • Diane: What a great idea! I did some research—do you know that a good hand model can make $300.00 an hour??!!!!

      Laurie May on Jul 25, 2013 at 10:30 pm | Reply

  3. I tried all those hints as I read them here; not one of them felt comfortable. The best pictures seem to come when you feel genuinely happy. Great picture by the way.

    Deb V from Orangeville, ON on Jul 24, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Reply

    • Thanks, Deb! I think you are right—I would say that I’m a pretty happy person 90% of the time—but 10% of the time—Look out!!!!!

      Laurie May on Jul 25, 2013 at 9:23 pm | Reply

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