We all know there’s an art to those celebrity shots you see in magazines, and it’s not just great photoshopping. While we can all benefit from some post editing – we always get asked to make them thinner or adjust some part of their body. More on that later. The real secret to brilliant shots is all about confidence and a killer pose. 

Sonny & Kat Photography use these techniques in every shoot to help you achieve the most natural and incredible images possible. But these tips can be used in your selfies as well. The following images are straight from the camera and out of the studio.

TIP 1. Let’s start with straight up confidence.

How good does it feel to be confident. You are at least 2 inches taller. You can take on the world.

That old saying “when you look good, you feel good” exists for a reason. Whether it’s your favourite shoes, that blazer that sits juuust right, or even something more hidden like a favourite pair of underwear. Whatever it is, it’s that piece you own that makes you feel like taking on the world. 

Here’s a great example, with Ariel from Couture Lashes and Browz. These killer heels are some of Ariel’s favourite. While she didn’t need heels for extra height, boy did she radiate when she put these on, taking her branding shoot from successful to stand-out.

Find that piece for your next corporate headshot branding session, or even just for a night out and you’ll be shining from the inside out.

Tip 2. Lead with the chin

Our faces are constantly on display in photos. But did you know we all have a masculine and feminine side to our faces?

Seriously. Try and take a selfie on both sides. For some people it is as clear as the nose on their faces.

Our masculine side will often give a stronger more angular look. These images are great for presenting a logical, analytical, tough stance. Our feminine side will be softer and more rounded or delicate looking. This side is great for producing caring, calming, more empathetic shots. This goes for men too.  

The chin too can be a powerful aspect of changing the mood of an image. Most of the time women like to try everything to remove that dreaded double chin and we have a few tips for that if you are interested let us know.

Check out these three different poses which have a slight variance in the chin. The stance is the same. The expression is the same. However, each image is sharing a different message. Can you see the difference? 

Woman in elegant blue sleeveless shirt and black pencil skirt posing in Sonny & Kat Studio

Three different chin positions, three different stories, right?

When you are getting your professional photos taken for headshots or branding photography, it’s so important to know the story you are trying to tell to your audience.  This is sometimes your only chance to connect with a potential client. So let’s get it right hey?!

Here’s a three-step corporate branding checklist to remember for your next shoot:

  1. What’s your story? Determine what you are trying to tell people with this image.
  2. Decide on how you want to be portrayed by someone who has never met you.
  3. How’s my angles? Move through the session for a variety of angles so you can find the shot that tells the right story.

“Okay, so what do I do with my hands?” I hear you ask.

You’re not alone, most people don’t know how to handle their hands . They are a weird shape and often cause quite a lot of distraction. Not only that, they can tell a lot about how someone is feeling.

Even just your fingers can change a story. Having control of the shapes they create can be the difference between an awkward stance and a confident pose. 

Check out this shot of Ariel with her hands in her back pockets. Putting her hands on her hips would have made them more of a focus of the shot, and made her look less relaxed.  Here Ariel keeps her thumbs out, because if her whole hand was in her pocket your focus would be on her missing hand. 

Here’s another couple images. Now, Ariel has beautiful, soft, dancer-like hands, but can you see how much difference the change in her hand positioning gives to the shot’s message.

That’s why Sonny & Kat Photography always wants to know what you are trying to convey in your headshot photos. Stiffness represents stress, or even anger. Whereas soft hands will give you a relaxed, comfortable shot.

Points to remember for your next branding session

  1. Soft hands, otherwise they look as though they are holding stress
  2. Fingers together, so they form a shape and are less distracting
  3. If in doubt, stick them in your pants pocket but allow either the thumb to hang out or pop just the thumb in the pocket and softly bunch the fingers together. 

Perfectly Imperfect

We all get so hung up on the little imperfections we have. That tan line on our shoulder, or the hair out of place, or  that spot on your forehead. Forget about them.

Seriously, that’s what Photoshop is for!  When we’re with the shoot we edit out the blemishes and redness, correct the odd shading and blotchy bits, and make your skin look model-perfect. There’s a caveat though. We never remove characteristics of a person unless asked to. If something is there 24/7 then that is what people expect to see.

Tip 3.

So stop stressing and let’s get in the studio and have some fun. 

Forget the stuff we can fix later, and focus on letting yourself shine through, because we don’t stop until we know we have got the real you. Not the fake smile or the contrived confident look – the real emotions of who you are.

Because when we get them, oh boy! Those photos just speak volumes. 

Often, when we show you these images you don’t even notice the pimple you were complaining about, or that grey hair you didn’t want visible. But we’ll edit them out for you anyway, because that way you get to shine all on your own. 

The most important thing to remember is that no-one, and I mean no-one, gets in the studio and is confident straight up. Not even the pro models we work with. But our best photos are always the ones where we are able to capture you just being yourself. 

So don’t beat yourself up, or worse put off being in photos or getting new branding shots? 

Wear what makes you feel confident, remember the story you are trying to tell, and move your body. If you do these three things, you’re guaranteed some incredible shots. 

We look forward to laughing in the studio with you and creating your fresh new corporate headshots or branding photos to share with the world.

Photos + Resume + Digital Footprint = Personal Branding

So you have your new photos…we have harped on about what is your story many times in this blog. It is vital that you update your messaging as well. A lot changes over a 12 month period which is why we recommend engaging us every 12 months for a fresh set of images. It is also the perfect time to update your LinkedIn bio, FB intro and potentially your resume if you are on the lookout for a new career or stepping up. We highly recommend Katie from ECM Consulting who has been specialising in crafting your story for resumes, LinkedIn profiles and your overall digital footprint for many years. ECM Consulting understand what the recruiters are looking for. They understand the jargon required. They understand how to promote your personal branding in a way that will be noticed.


Did you know most of us have a smaller eye. Determine which is your smaller eye and angle that one towards the camera to even it out due to perspective. Mind Blown! I bet you are going straight to the mirror…I saw you.

Reach out to discuss any of our corporate headshot packages. A full branding session can start for as little as $650. We can organise the makeup and hair for you if needed and we also have a stylist onboard who can help you decide which clothes fit you best and tell the story you need.

Book a chat today to begin your new journey.