Are You Likable? Your Headshot Might Say No.

We all want to do business with people we like. Do you appear likable in your headshot? Today, most first impressions are made online. That means the first impression you make is with an image of yourself, so it’s more important than ever to pay attention to what your headshot says about you.

This headshot of me has some issues, but it’s likable and that’s what matters.

This headshot of me has some issues, but it’s likable and that’s what matters.

Most people are happy to settle on a headshot photo they think looks okay and move on, not realizing how much this single picture can affect their reputation and not realizing how facial expression can affect the way people feel when they see your image. Above all, your headshot should help make your audience like you.

You Can’t Fake a Likable Expression

I can tell you with confidence that my headshot is likable. I’m not trying to brag - this is an objective measure. I can also help you determine if your own headshot is likable too with a free resource. We’ll get to that shortly.

As photographer, I practice my craft often and that means, I practice by taking a lot of pictures of myself to try out different lighting, poses, etc. The one thing I cannot do is fake a likable expression. Nobody can. So, these images I produce are pretty useless and I would never use them for anything public. But, when you have the right person coaching you on the other side of the camera, magic happens and your expression comes to life.

Expression Matters Most

In the image above, my wife was on the other side of the camera that I had set up. She said just the right thing to get this expression out of me. Now, this is not a great headshot for a few reasons, I admit. My goatee isn’t trimmed, my clothing is pretty casual and the background is a bit dark. But, there’s one thing that stands out about my headshot, it’s likable and that expression overshadows everything else.

Putting My Own Headshot to the Test

When I’m sooting for a client, I can always tell when we get a great image because I know a natural, likable expression when I see one. But, I decided to put my own headshot to the test using This service uses algorithms and crowd sourcing to rate images based on certain attributes. Sure, it’s not 100% accurate, but it’s an objective way to find out if your headshot is working for or against you.

As you can see, despite the flaws, my headshot is in the top 5% for likability and it’s above average in competence and influence (with 41 reviews). Not bad. The point is, I use this image as my headshot because it’s likable and, I recognized that when I first saw it. The expression is what matters in a headshot more than anything.


What Does this Mean for You?

By using, you can at least get an objective opinion about the quality of your current headshot. This service isn’t perfect, but it will give you some idea of how other people feel about your current image. This will also help you determine if your headshot is helping or harming your brand.

Likability can’t be faked. A selfie or cookie-cutter headshot won’t get you a likable image. The right photographer will do this by taking the time to coach you. They will make you feel comfortable, confident and know when a likable expression has been captured. A spouse or friend will do in a pinch 😉.

If you’re ready to improve your likability with an exceptional headshot, click here to get in touch. If you’re not ready to improve your headshot now, leave your email address below and I’ll send you an exclusive offer in the near future.