Whether we’re going for a fun headshot or a more serious look during a session, I always start by getting to know you. From there, we build a natural rapport. After spending 25+ years working in a wide range of industries and corporations, from small consulting firms to Fortune 500, we always find a commonality. Then you start to relax, to smile and just plain have fun! Because a smile isn’t a smile unless it’s a Duchenne smile, and it’s my job to get you there.
Essentially, a Duchenne smile is the most genuine smile you can produce. You’re not faking it if you’re laughing. Physiologically, as explained by French neurologist Guillaume Duchenne in the mid-1800s, it involves the raising of both the zygomatic major muscle around the mouth and the orbicurlaris oculi muscle around the cheek. Those raised cheek muscles form crow’s feet around the eyes. I am able to capture that effervescent twinkle that defines the Duchenne smile – the most engaging and charming in any professional headshot, because it’s uniquely associated with positive emotion.
Once I know I’ve taken you to that level – believe me, at least one of my jokes will be that funny – then we might hone in on some more serious shots. But that element of inner happiness we cultivated in the beginning is always there. Here are some of my favorite Duchenne smiles.
Colleen (top right) and I felt like we’d been friends forever. We shared our respective experiences in northern Massachusetts. We talked about colleagues we had in common. So the chemistry was natural. Kevin is so genuine—we explored the challenges and opportunities to move his organization forward. He told me about his boys and their career goals. Getting a “real” smile out of him was a piece of cake after that. And Twanya (bottom right) … well that’s a story! Moments after she walked in, I had this crazy flashback of her going into labor with her daughter more than twenty years earlier in the office next to me. Yes, after more than 20 years of our paths having diverged, we reconnected at that moment. We reminisced about working together so many years earlier and laughed hysterically about that day when she went off to the hospital to deliver her daughter. I harnessed that energy to capture some absolutely delightful headshots of Twanya.
We can always go for that buttoned-up, results-focused expression too if that’s your brand. We are all about capturing your unique brand, while keeping that underlying essence of approachability.
How We Capture Your Best Smile
Even if you’re not feeling up to your best Duchenne smile on the day of your session, we will:
- Put you into the right mindset: We are all about making you feel as relaxed as possible before the shoot with our in-house makeup artist, your own private dressing room, comfortable reception space and plenty of refreshments all designed with your headshot experience in mind. Our studio is designed exclusively for busy professionals and executives.
- Get you to remember how a genuine smile feels: Sure, I can make you laugh even on a bad day, but I know that it’s still hard to flash that same sort of grin on cue while staring at a camera, not a mirror. I will help you keep that energy going.
- Take care of the timing: Of course, no one can hold even the most joyous of expressions naturally for more that a few seconds. But no worries, I not only cultivate those expressions but capture them at their height.
Remember, a great headshot reflects the best, most genuine you—that’s why we get you to smile with your eyes, which comes from your heart, right from the start. Our value-promise is that we will CAPTURE YOUR BRAND Duchenne-style.