What makes for the perfect head-shot or selfie?

Research on what makes your head-shot or selfie successful –or not.

For those who know me it’s no surprise that I took an interest to this study. I am a nerd for any research that attempts to quantify anything art related.

The folks at PhotoFeeler started with the question:

“What elements reliably produce a better professional headshot photo (for use on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)?”

They then sampled over 60,000 ratings of perceived Competence, Likability, and Influence for 800 profile photos in their database.

These findings were then sorted into Eyes, Face , Body, Setting and “Editing” –defined as: sorted as Dark photo, High Color Saturation and Black and white.

While much of the research confirms much of what I already suspected, there are some interesting findings and insights.

The best scoring head-shot includes:

  • Eyeglasses (not sunglasses!)
  • Eye contact
  • A toothy smile
  • Laughing expression
  • Squinching eyes (it’s a thing)
  • Head shot only (not a full body shot)
  • Defined jawline
  • Formal dress
  • Neutral setting (although it seems the setting doesn’t really make a difference)
  • Color photo (natural lighting)

The worst scoring head-shot includes:

  • Sunglasses (or otherwise obstructed eyes)
  • An expressionless non-smile
  • Un-defined jawline
  • Full body shot
  • Highly color saturated editing

So I was thinking what could be done with all of this information especially with advances with facial recognition software. Recruiters might use this to sorting potential job candidates. Seems like a natural fit for online dating sites. Any other thoughts?

Oh and the best part is that if you go to the site you can upload your head-shot and have it graded (still waiting for the results on the head-shot I submitted). It’s free if you are willing to grade the head-shots of ten other people.

Interesting post, Read the original post.