Why You Need a Professional Business Headshot
Top 5 reasons to have a headshot
- People tend to do business with those they know, like and trust. Having a professional business headshot helps people feel like they know you before you’ve ever even met.
- A polished, professional headshot taken by a professional photographer conveys, well, professionalism whether you’re in a suit or not, as long as your image reflects that of your business.
- People spend more time looking at photographs on your website than at your text.
- You absolutely need a professional business headshot on your LinkedIn profile. This picture could be the same one – or a variety with a few different poses and outfits – to use across all your social media, on your website, your marketing collateral, if you use one on your business card, your email signature, job proposals, in submission to contests and speaking engagements. A variety gives people a better sense of who you are in different facets of your life.
- And you never know when someone’s going to ask you for your headshot, so it’s just good to have it on hand.
Headshot do’s and don’t’s:
- You do, in most cases, want to look friendly, professional and trustworthy.
- Do find a good professional photographer who specializes in professional business headshots, not weddings, for example. A good headshot photographer will take a flattering headshot using the best lighting, backdrop and angle, consult with you on the image you want to convey, discuss where you’ll be using the image, the best location and give you ideas you may have not considered.
- Avoid having a friend or family member, who happens to own an expensive camera, take your headshot. They’re simply not trained, they don’ t know all the variables that go into a quality, professional business headshot. There’s a noticeable difference between photos taken by an amateur and a professional.
- Do wear clothing appropriate for your line of business, necklines that work with your face, and colors that work with your skin tone.
- Do make sure your clothing is pressed & lint-free.
- Don’t look sloppy.
- Avoid revealing clothing, wild colors and patterns. You want the main attention on your eyes and face, not your clothes.
- Do consider hiring a makeup and hair artist that has done work for photo shoots, as they’ll discuss your colors and how much makeup you usually wear. They’ll apply it, get your feedback and make any changes for your particular taste. You’ll want to recognize yourself when you’re done. They’ll work with your hair to give you volume, smooth it down when necessary and take it up a notch. Using a hair and makeup artist makes such a noticeable difference. I highly recommend it.
Who needs a headshot?
- Savvy business professionals looking to gain more business & recognition from their website, marketing materials and social media sites.
- Businesses, large and small, wanting to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
- Realtors are not the only professionals these days using their professional business headshot everywhere. We’ve photographed lawyers, engineers, financial advisors, insurance agents, solopreneurs, job seekers and most recently, the entire staff of a roofing company.
- Anyone on social media sites, which is practically everyone.
What’s the difference between a portrait and a headshot?
- A headshot is typically just head and shoulders and has a plain, out of focus background so the attention is on the person’s eyes & face.
- A portrait can be a close up, but can also show more of a person’s environment like where they work: an office setting, a boardroom, an architect with one of their buildings, a veterinarian with animals, an artist in their studio. It paints more of picture as to what the subject does.
- In my business, I’ve actually noticed a trend in website photography that’s moving away from generic stock images of models to on-the-job portraits of the business’s own staff. Potential clients can see who they’ll be working with and how that might look before choosing to hire them.
When should you update your headshot?
- As soon as your appearance drastically changes (if you cut your hair, dye it a new color, grow or remove facial hair) or within 1-2 years, whichever comes first.
- If your industry, job or position changes and you want to convey a new message.
- If you want to look like the person in your headshot, so people recognize you when they meet you in person.
- If you have distinguishing facial features like obvious freckles, a scar or wrinkles and those are all completely airbrushed out, that’s going to be immediately noticed by people who know you and those you meet. Its okay and mostly expected to have your image airbrushed a bit, you just want to make sure it’s not overdone.
What’s the importance of a quality headshot for your business?
- This is often times the first impression you make with a potential client. A professionally photographed headshot is going to send a different message than one taken by a family member with a nice camera.
- We’ve all seen poorly lit, out of focus headshots with distracting backgrounds. These don’t instill confidence and may deter a prospect.
- Quality headshots personalize your business and can take you a step ahead of your competition.
This was taken from an interview with GreenEarth Photography by Angel Tuccy and Eric Reamer of the Experience Pros on AM 560 KLZ.