Tips for great facial expressions

Facial expressions play an key role in conveying our emotions and intentions. In a headshot, they become the static representation of your personality, making it essential that they encapsulate the right message.

Every headshot should radiate three core attributes: confidence, approachability, and distinctiveness:

  1. Confidence showcases your credibility. A frightened or indifferent expression may deter trust.
  2. Approachability signifies likability, crucial as collaboration hinges on interpersonal dynamics.
  3. Distinctiveness elevates you above the sea of generic portraits, highlighting your unique persona.

Three facial features – the eyes, mouth, and eyebrows – govern these attributes.


Confidence is projected through the eyes. While wide-open eyes may betray anxiety, a subtle ‘squinch‘–a slight narrowing–emanates self-assurance.


Your smile communicates approachability. A neutral or stern expression can be off-putting, so even a minimal upturn of the lips can make you seem more amiable. The key is finding a genuine smile that fits the image you wish to portray.


The eyebrows convey a spectrum of emotions and intent. Whether it’s an intense furrow, a playful asymmetry, or a raised arch of surprise, eyebrows infuse personality into your headshot.