Love your headshot? Hate it? Completely ignore it and leave your LinkedIn face blank? Your headshot is essential to help people recognise you and to present yourself as professional. As a St Albans headshot photographer, I know how much people hate having them taken, but let’s chat about that tiny photo!
Yes, I know, it feels weird being in front of the camera trying to channel a “hire me, I’m good at my job!” smile. And that’s after you’ve agonised over what to wear, your makeup, your hair. And before you pour over the photos deciding which photos are most ‘you’, most ‘on-brand’ and which on you can stand to look at daily!
So, it’s tempting to ignore this tiny little photo on your website, right? When you’ve got a business to run, everyone will be more into what you have to say that how you look right? People surely aren’t that shallow?! We all know the saying about judging a book by its cover and sadly the same is true of your headshot. (This is a really long but interesting read about why). You are your brand and people will judge both quickly, so it’s worth investing a bit of time and energy in how you present yourself to the world.
What elements does a good headshot need?
This may sound obvious, but a quick look through LinkedIn would indicate that it does need saying!
- Show your face – all of it! That means no sunglasses and no weird crops.
- Your photo needs to resemble you. Yes, it’s tempting to use a 10 year old photo, but it’s also really hard to find someone when you’re meeting for the first time and they no longer look the same!
- Don’t be tempted to use a holiday snap with a cocktail in hand or a selfie (especially with the bathroom reflected behind you!). Exceptions obviously allowed if you sell luxury holidays, selfie-taking courses and maybe bathrooms!
- Make people feel like they’d want to work with you – look friendly.
Is there such a thing as a bad headshot?
I think so! But you decide…
What does ‘lifestyle headshot’ mean?
A recent trend known as the “lifestyle headshot” has started to replace the more traditional headshots against plain backgrounds and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I think that showing a bit of your personality and a bit of your business in your photo in the same frame the perfect way to say more to your client. For example, this high-end wedding planner wanted to show off her sense of style and appeal to the type of client she works with, rather than having a standard headshot. You can see a lot of different examples here.
If you want to read a bit more about the full trend of lifestyle branding and why I reckon it’s so great for your business then check out this article I wrote all about it.
And this legal firm wanted their clients to immediate know that they stand out in a sea of grey suits as the firm of lawyers with a difference.
A few things to consider before taking your headshot
Definitely wear what makes you comfortable and be the real you. Be aware that the camera does take a little makeup away and also makes highlighter show up like crazy. If you want to go all out definitely consider a makeup artist with camera experience as they’ll be able to perfect that on camera look for you. I can happily recommend people for you.
If you don’t always wear glasses and choose to be photographed glasses-free, make sure you’ve removed them with enough time so any marks on your nose have time to disappear!
If you love your statement jewellery pieces then definitely be you! Usually a statement necklace or statement earrings are the rule of thumb, rather than both.
Steer clear of neon shades as these can throw a strange hue on your skin. Again, your wardrobe is an opportunity to showcase your personality and potentially what you do but in general plain blocks of colours work really well in photos.
If you’re looking for a St Albans headshot photographer and you’d like to chat more about how I can help you update yours, then get in touch, I’d love to work with you!