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
The Science Behind the PRINT.
Have you ever noticed how brilliant and true to life the colors are in the prints you receive from a professional photographer? Skin tones look natural, shadows are smoothed out, and scenery is striking without overwhelming or overshadowing the main figures. You may not realize, but it’s not accidental, coincidental, or lucky. There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to provide you with prints with the most realistic, most vivid colors.
The most important thing a photographer can do is to pick out one or two local labs that she knows and trusts. Working closely with these labs, the photographer calibrates her own monitor to the lab so the colors she sees precisely match the colors from the printer. Typically the photographer will have a piece of specialized hardware that attaches to the monitor and reads the color off the screen. This device helps optimize the brightness, contrast and color output and works in tandem with Photoshop to display your images with the most accurate color display possible. This ensures the colors she sees on her screen will be the exact colors you get. Before you receive your print, she will look at each one critically and have it reprinted if it isn’t perfect.
A professional print goes through the same process that old-school film prints used to go through – light is shone on light-sensitive paper and run through a chemical process. These are true photographs, not just inkjet prints like you can do at home.
Sometimes it’s nice to purchase a digital file from the photographer as it allows you to do many other things your photographer can’t do. You can post it on Facebook or Instagram, use it as your computer wallpaper, put it in that family calendar, or maybe even create a fun mug or throw for Mother’s Day. It’s great to be able to do all those things. However, if you plan on having prints made to frame, be sure to talk to your photographer first. She can recommend what labs to use to ensure you will be happy with your print for years to come. It’s not uncommon for people to take a digital file and send it off to a discount store to print some copies, only to be disappointed that they aren’t the quality they were expecting.
A framed family portrait can grace the walls of your home for years and can become a treasured family heirloom. Make sure you give it the proper care and respect by starting off with the best possible print you can.
It’s three weeks into September and the school year is in full swing! Seniors, especially, are super busy in the Fall. In addition to getting back into homework, sports, clubs and other fun activities, there are also college applications, financial aid forms, cap and gown orders, and senior photos to think about. This is all very exciting!
I can help you get through the Senior Photo process as painlessly as possible. Although June seems far away, the Submission Deadlines for your Senior Photos are very near.
Below are the Senior Photo Submission Deadlines for 8 local high schools:
West Linn High School – Oct. 29, 2015
Oregon City High School – Nov. 1, 2015
Tigard High School – Nov. 1, 2015
Milwaukie High School – Nov. 2, 2015
Lakeridge High School – Nov. 3, 2015
Wilsonville High School – Jan. 5, 2016
Tualatin High School – Jan. 8, 2016
Lake Oswego High School – Jan. 15, 2016
All senior photos submitted must be high quality (300dpi or higher) and cannot be taken from a Facebook or Instagram picture. Each high school has their own specifications and submission process – be sure to check your school’s website for details. Once you have submitted your photo, make sure that you follow up to confirm they have received it. If you do not have a professional photo to submit, the school will use the photo taken for your child’s school ID.
So lets take your senior photo and get this checked off your list.
A Senior Photo Session is a special time for a student, as well as for the parents. Senior photo shoots are so fun; celebrate this time together and then share it with your family and friends. It’s not every day your senior gets to be the center of attention. Watch them start to shine, relax and feel more comfortable and confident during the photo shoot. It’s a great experience for everyone!
To schedule a Senior Portrait Photo Shoot, email email@example.com or call at 503-382-9052.