Put your best face forward with a new approach to headshot photography

Putting your best face forward can mean everything in every part of life. Tampa entrepreneur Jonathan Trung knows, first hand.

At 7 years old, he had meningitis. At nine, he had a stroke, followed by five surgeries. 

"I lived my entire life in and out of occupational therapy," Trung said; his face had forgotten how to smile. "I always smirked because I couldn't move that side. I didn't want to do a full smile."

He felt that smirk was making it hard for him to attract investors in his startup company, Verapy, which uses virtual reality to assist patients going through physical therapy.

Trung explained, "We work with physical therapists and occupational therapists to come up with really cool exercise protocols and we build games based on those exercises."

He met construction contractor-turned photographer Vadim Davydov at a networking event and agreed to a photo shoot. During the three-hour session, Vadim coached Trung's expression into a gentle smile.      

Trung says his headshots now show potential partners and clients that he's warm and trustworthy, helping him attract more business. 

Studies consistently show those who appear more confident often make more money. The first chance to make that impression is often a headshot or profile picture.

Vadim showed FOX 13 several examples hanging in his studio; first of a middle-aged, confident-looking executive type, emanating a warm smile with casually crossed arms.

"We [are] trying to show other people he's [a] successful, confident businessman, but approachable," Vadim explained. "If you put your face online you have to be confident and approachable and trustworthy, [which will] create much more opportunity for you."

Vadim's process starts with posture. 

"When [your] shoulders open, you project to other people confidence and when your eyes are not wide open, you look confident because when you're scared, we show wide [eyes]. Another important thing is [the] mouth - if you have tension in your mouth, if you push your lips, you're losing confidence as well," he said.

Vadim is turning your headshot into your best shot to leave a lasting impression.