Today, more than ever, having a professional, quality headshot is crucial (and expected) in the business world. It is your first line of introduction to new clients. There are many reasons to hire a professional, today I’ll be sharing 7 reasons why you need a professional headshot.
You may not think you need a professional to do your headshot but I’m going to tell you why investing in a professional high quality headshot is a worthy investment in yourself and your brand. I would bet that you can come up with a 100 reasons why you don’t want to have your headshot done, I get it, no one likes to be photographed but it doesn’t have to be a bad experience! Hiring a professional who knows what they are doing is the key to a great shot and a great experience. Looking natural, good lighting, genuine expressions are so important to a great headshot and a professional should be able to help guide you through the process.
A professional and experienced headshot photographer can provide you with wardrobe advice, location advice, hair and makeup advice and really bring out the best “you”. Sure, iPhones are getting really good but there is no replacement for understanding good light, how to position the subject, or bringing out the best in someones personality. A good photographer knows how to do retouching so you still look like you. I believe people should take advantage of the retouching, a good retoucher can fix flyaway hairs, blemishes, teeth whiten, smoothen out skin or even take off 10 lbs! I believe though a responsible headshot photographer should bring out the very best in the person they are photographing. Just because we can make you look like George Clooney or Cindy Crawford, doesn’t mean we should. We all want those wrinkles gone but let’s be honest, we earned those lines. If you are a 45 year old professional woman, don’t take your lines totally away. First of all, it doesn’t look natural, secondly, own those lines, you earned them (we will just soften them a bit) !
A professional photographer should ask you what your industry specialty is and professional goals are. The photography session should be in line with meeting your particular goals. It doesn’t make sense if you are a fishing guide to get a head shot with a coat and tie but if you are fishing guide that also works in land conservation who meets with corporate donors, you might find a happy medium with a jacket and no tie. Did you know that the color you wear can say to a potential customer “I’m powerful” or “I’m approachable” , color has a direct subliminal affect on the viewer. These little nuances can make a big difference in how you are perceived. I have an international banking client who wanted to make their executives seem more approachable and not so much the “bad guys”, I suggested soft blue tones in the ties for their executives vs. power ties like reds and bold stripes. Having a degree in psychology has come in handy in some of these little tricks and subliminal messages you can convey through wardrobe selection.
So what are the top 7 reasons to hire a professional to do your headshot?
Professionalism. First and foremost it gives you credibility and professionalism. Potential clients, investors and collaborators who find you online, either on LinkedIn or website or even facebook are more likely to take you seriously.
First Impressions. Did you know that we are judged by someone within 11 seconds of meeting or being seen? This seems crazy but isn’t it a good idea to take advantage of those 11 seconds (or probably way less online ) and put your very best self forward? Like or not, it’s true that we judge a book by it’s cover. Let’s pretend a buyer is searching for a widgets and looking to have a good long term business relationship with the widget salesperson. Seller A sells amazing widgets but doesn’t have a profile photo. Seller B has great widgets too but has a photo on their profile that is blurry and obviously cut out from 10 years ago at a wedding (likely with his ex-girlfriend). Seller C also sells widgets but the sales person has a great photo and looks friendly, approachable and easy to work with. Who do you think the buyer is going to call first? I can bet it’s seller C. People want to work with people. Put your best self out there.
Personality! Show it off. A good headshot will give your potential customers and idea of who you are, a great smile can go a long way.
Confidence. A great headshot will help you feel confident and professional when you are calling on a potential client. I always suggest having a makeup and hair person either on set or to have it done before hand. It’s amazing how much more confident it can make you feel. If you are waiting to loose those 10 lbs, there is not reason to wait, retouching can slim those cheeks or arms down a little just where no one will even know but just say what a great shot it is.
Stand out above the rest. A great profile photo on LinkedIn will set you apart from the competition. Believe it or not, you can’t imagine how many people cut out a shot of them from a wedding with their arm around an ex. Usually it’s a grainy cropped photo of the person in a tux, this is not a good way to show who you are or what you are about. I’m also always shocked at how many people don’t even have a photo up on LinkedIn. Remember, it is your first line of introduction, make it great!
Visual Reminder of who you are. How many times have you been to a function and met someone you wanted to connect with for business? A good, clean (and current) headshot can be a visual cue for someone to remember you and connect on LinkedIn.
Branding. There is a lot of talk now about branding your image. Many people think of branding as something only for a large company but it is also applicable to individuals. I hear all of the time that someone works for a large company but the company won’t pay for their headshot. I am always shocked to go in and pull up a nationally branded company on LinkedIn and see their employees linked with headshots that are all over the place, inconsistent, non-existent or just terrible. Some are cut outs at weddings, no profile shot at all, some against a wall with a phone.. I see it all. Can you imagine pulling up a company profile, seeing the drop down of their employees and seeing them ALL look professional. Don’t you think this is HUGE value for the company image? After all, a company is made up of it’s people, wouldn’t you want your company to show well on LinkedIn and your website? Another important thing a good professional photographer will do is ask about your website format and usage. Let your photographer know if you need your photo to fit inside a wide horizontal banner format. A good photographer should ask how your photo will be used and it’s for this very reason. You would hate to spend all of that time and effort to end up with a vertical photo that needed to be horizontal to fit your website.
A professional headshot is truly priceless. It is your brand and your first line of introduction, make it a quality one. To inquire about a professional headshot session, contact us , I would love to help make the process easy and enjoyable as well as provide you with an image you will be proud to show.
If you are interested tips to prepare for your headshot, check out this post.