WHY YOU NEED A PROFESSIONAL HEADSHOT IN 2015
If 2014 was the year of the ‘Selfie’ then 2015 is the year of the Professional Headshot! Professional headshots were once needed only by actors, dancers, comedians, and other creatives as promotional tools for auditions and employment reasons. Today, professional headshots are needed by nearly everyone including business owners, business professionals, employees, job seekers, dating websites and even casual users of social and professional online networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, etc…
TOPICS TO BE DISCUSSED
- Why Do You Need a Professional Headshot?
- Uses for a Professional Headshot
- Professional Headshot vs. DIY Headshot – “Smartphone Selfies”
- Key Elements of A Winning Headshot
- What To Avoid For Your Professional Headshot
- How Much You Should Expect To Spend For a Professional Headshot
- Elements of Style To Consider
- Final Thoughts for Your Professional Headshot
WHY DO I NEED A PROFESSIONAL HEADSHOT?
As the saying goes, ‘A picture says a thousand words’. Like it or not, you will be judged by others based upon the photos that are displayed of you. What do the online photos say about you? The photos posted by your friends of the Las Vegas Getaway, Spring Break in Mexico or Couples Retreat on the Booze Cruise may show some fun and memorable epic parties but is this how you want others to perceive you in the professional world? The Internet has become the greatest resource for information about each of us, a perpetual online dairy of our lives. As such, it’s become increasingly more important for us to take better control of the content that is posted for others to see.
“Take the Google Challenge!
Google yourself today and review the photos that are found online. Do they represent you in the way you want to be represented both personally and professionally?”
USES FOR A PROFESSIONAL HEADSHOT
- Employment / Job Seeking (Recent studies indicate that 90% of human resource departments check out social media profiles before inviting a candidate in for an interview) What does this mean for you? Inappropriate photos and poorly taken headshots could ruin your job opportunities!
- Social Media (LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc…)
- Business Website
- Business Newsletters
- Business Cards
- Dating Websites (A profile with a Professional Headshot will get MANY MORE clicks than one with a poor quality image or worse yet, no photo at all!).
- Networking Websites (Meetup.com)
- Business Presentations
- Email Signature
PROFESSIONAL HEADSHOT VS. DIY HEADSHOT
The ‘Do It Yourself’ movement has gained momentum with help from YouTube, Pinterest and other popular websites. Afterall, who doesn’t like to save a little money and build some self confidence by doing a job yourself? I am also a ‘Do-It-Your-Selfer’, however, I believe that certain matters should be left to professionals. This includes Headshot Portraits! Smartphones have taken the place of point and shoot cameras providing the ability for most people to take and post photos within seconds to social media websites. Pixel count has been increased but unfortunately, the majority of the photos being posted are poor quality as result of improper lighting, poor composition, incorrect editing, distracting foregrounds and backgrounds, awkward posing, etc… Smartphone selfies are great for sharing with friends but they won’t help you build a professional image! Make 2015 the year you take control of building your professional brand.
KEY ELEMENTS OF A WINNING PROFESSIONAL HEADSHOT
- The face should be clearly shown and be the majority of the composed photo
- The Subject should have a relaxed facial expression (A smile is not required)
- The Subject should be dressed in suitable clothing for the image they are trying to convey
- Your headshots should not be older than 1-2 years
- You should have 2-3 professional headshots. There is rarely such a thing as an ‘all uses’ headshot.
WHAT TO AVOID FOR YOUR PROFESSIONAL HEADSHOT
- No Selfies!
- One Person At a Time Please!
- Your Emotion Should Match Your Planned Use of the Headshot
- Limit Background Distractions
- I’m Bringing Sexy Back…(Leave this to Justin Timberlake!)
- No Full Body Shots
- Minimize The Double Chin
- T-Shirts Maybe But No Logos!
- Use Bright Colors Cautiously
- No Deer In The Headlights or Mugshot Poses!
- NEVER SAY “Cheese!!”
HOW MUCH SHOULD I EXPECT TO SPEND FOR A PROFESSIONAL HEADSHOT?
A professional headshot is available from a local professional photographer for the price range of $100 – $200. However, expect to pay more depending upon a number of factors including, the location (Studio vs. Outdoor / Environmental Portrait), number of poses, clothing changes, and use of hair and makeup professionals. Peter Hurley, Professional Headshot Photographer and Author of “Art Behind the Headshot” charges clients in excess of $1,000! Check out some of his online videos including, “It’s All About the Jaw!” and “It’s All About the Squinch!” for some helpful tips to keep in mind for your next Headshot Photo Shoot!
STYLE ELEMENTS OF PROFESSIONAL HEADSHOT
- In the Studio vs. On Location
- I suggest that your initial headshots be in studio headshots with a solid colored background of either white, gray, black or blue. The solid background will enable better control of lighting and will limit distractions that could take away from you. On location headshots (Environmental Portraits) may be suitable for business professionals wishing to emphasize their professions with their employment environment such as business owners, doctors, lawyers, CPA’s, and other professionals.
- Color vs. Black and White
- Historically, the majority of headshots taken were of actors, dancers and other creatives. They were customarily black and white photos. Today, there is more flexibility and use of headshots in color. I recommend color for professional use. Black and white may be appropriate for online social media websites.
- Posed vs. Candid
- There is a growing trend toward the use of candid photos for portraits and headshots. Once again, I would suggest that you consider the purpose and use of your headshots as a guide to determining if you should use posed or candid photos. What are you trying to convey…confidence, trust, honesty, knowledge, humor, sincerity, professionalism?
FINAL THOUGHTS FOR YOUR HEADSHOT
- Bring 2-3 Changes of Clothing
- Don’t Get Your Haircut The Same Week As Your Headshot
- Come To the Photo Shoot “Hair Ready” Unless You Are Using a Makeup Artist
- RELAX and enjoy your photo shoot!
I hope the information contained in this blog post will inspire you to kick off your New Year with a boost and get you ready to start building your NEW or UPDATED professional and personal brand. CONTACT STILL IN MOTION PORTRAITS TODAY TO SCHEDULE YOUR HEADSHOT PHOTO SHOOT!!