Take a look at the photo of yourself on your LinkedIn profile, Facebook page, or website. Does it look like you? Does it bring out an element of trust, authority, and respect? Is it current? Do you still have the same hair style? Do you even have a professional photo of yourself? If the answer to any of these questions is “no”, then you may need to invest in an updated professional headshot.
Who needs a professional corporate headshot anyway?
Almost anyone in business nowadays can benefit from a professional, corporate headshot. Real estate agents, mortgage brokers, doctors, insurance agents, lawyers, landscape companies, actors, dancers, executives, authors, restaurateurs, plumbers – actually anyone who has an online presence and interacts with people.
Why can’t I just be anonymous?
A lot of people don’t like to have their picture taken or try to protect their privacy by not posting their photo online. But the reality is people need to see you. Clients, vendors, business associates, and potential employers will all be checking you out online. And in order for them to feel comfortable with you, they need to see you.
Can I use the photo from my backyard picnic?
We all have that favorite photo at the beach or with our family that brings back a lot of good memories. But the reality is it’s a candid shot in mediocre lighting and is probably not the professional image you want to portray.
A good photographer who specializes in headshots will be able to bring out your personality and show the best in you. They will use a simple background and proper soft lighting, along with sharp focus and expert composition, and make your photo will look professional and refined. Color correction and subtle re-touching afterwards can make you shine while still looking natural. The whole purpose is to have that personal touch and to convey the right tone for your personality and business.
What does a headshot tell people about me?
People like to know who they are dealing with – often times before they even give you that first phone call. They need to see if you are trustworthy, if you are friendly, and if you make a good ‘first impression.’ If you don’t, they may call your competitor without ever talking to you. How many times do you go to the ‘About Us’ section of a new company and check out the principles?
Think of a headshot as your professional calling card, or your personal logo. It can tell people a lot about you in just an instant. A friendly smile can convey a gregarious and approachable person; a more serious expression can convey solemnity, authority and respect. Conversely, an unflattering or outdated headshot can subconsciously tell people you don’t pay attention to details or may even give the impression of low self-esteem. Your headshot is the best way to put your best foot forward and to make a great first impression. A flattering professional headshot can help put a face to a name and helps to establish a personal connection between you and your clients, vendors, and potential employers.
I don’t have a job right now. Do I still need a headshot?
Absolutely! I recently read that up to 90% of Human Resources employees will check social media profiles, especially LinkedIn and Facebook, before deciding whether or not to interview a candidate. A professional looking profile picture can make the difference between getting that interview or not. In this situation, it is critical that you portray your digital self for the job you want.
What else can I do with my headshot?
A professional headshot can be used in many ways:
- On your company website and blog
- On your Facebook page
- On your LinkedIn profile
- On your Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and any other online social media
- On your business card
- In your email signature
- On company literature, brochures, and other marketing material
- As your bio picture for speaking engagements, seminars, tradeshows, articles you have written, book covers
- On a resume for a job interview
- For advertising in a magazine, newspaper, online, on a billboard or even a bus!
- Pretty much anywhere you want show your personality
What are my options to get a headshot done?
Ask co-workers and friends for recommendations. Once you have narrowed it down, contact your local photographer and ask about options for a photo session.
Typically there are three options:
- A private session at the photographer’s studio. This will usually take 1-2 hours and may include several clothing changes. Bring an assortment of colors and accessories. You would be amazed at how different your skin tone looks against different color clothes.
- A private session at an outside location. This may be perfect for a less formal business and may also include clothing changes. Be prepared to be flexible to allow for weather.
- An on-site session for your whole office. If there are five or more people in the same company, a photographer may be willing to set up a professional studio at your workplace. Typically, these are much shorter sessions – about 10 or 15 minutes per person. The beauty here is that you don’t need to travel and the pictures will have consistency across the photos while maintaining individuality. They will have the same look, style, and lighting for use on corporate websites. That would also be a great time to have a ‘Team Photo’ taken as well.
So do yourself and your business a favor by updating your profile picture. Show the world your professional, confident self and watch your business take off. If nothing else, think of all the positive comments and likes you’ll get.
Kerri Garfield is the Owner/Photographer at Kerri Ann Garfield Photography. She is located in West Linn, OR – just outside beautiful Portland. She photographs in Lake Oswego, Oregon City, Wilsonville, Tualatin, Tigard, Beaverton, and surrounding areas.
She will set up an individual photo session in her studio, at an outside location, or come to your workplace for office shots. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or visit her website at www.KerriAnnGarfield.com